Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Pakhala or Paanta bhaat or Fermented rice and water ... going back to traditional staples and completeing 9 years of food blogging

Paanta bhaat
 Yes, 9 whole years.
Albeit with a few breaks.
But 9 years, still.
And this is what I wrote on my wall on facebook -
"Food blogging is just as much hard work as it is fun.
Cooking whole meals for just one post to rearranging an already set table for just one photo.
Rushing to keep up with the sun for some natural light to waiting with bated breath for the reactions to your food, photos and recipe.
Asking hungry family and friends to hold that spoon as you catch a click.
Ignoring illnesses and bad days to complete that pending post. Or to reply to a reader's query on mail.
Sitting up nights after a full day's chores to complete writing down the lines that have been playing in your mind the whole day.
Getting to know wonderful people who are now more than just blogger friends ... they are real friends now.
Thanking you all, as I complete 9 years of food blogging, for being a part of my journey with Kichu Khonn.
Love you all! "

Yes, this roller coaster of a journey would not have been possible without all of you and your support and love.
So, a sincere "Thank you!" from the bottom of my heart.

I have with me today the photo of our very tradional Paanta bhaat or the Pakhala, as it is known in Odisha. I had posted this photo as a part of the Pakhala theme in one of the most traditional food oriented groups on facebook.
And had recieved an overwhelming response.
After which I shared it on my page for this blog on facebook too.
And was so happy to see that many still prefer our traditional and old ways of food and eating.
Many came out to say that while they absolutely love this, sadly, the paanto bhaat is slowly losing its popularity.
( You can read as well as write in your views on the Paanta bhaat too, here. )

Not so in Odisha ... that much I can say with conviction.
While the Paanta bhaat or the Pakhalo is a very regular and common meal in rural Bengal and Odisha, come summer and its popularity doubles in many households, including urban ones.
Traditionally, it is rice and water, left overnight (or more) to ferment slightly, and is eaten with a number of side dishes that depend upon the socio economic conditions.

Once upon a time, doctors used to advice rural people to just eat panta bhaat with a little saag / leafy vegetable ... that is enough to fulfill the vitamin, especially B12, as well as required carb for a person.
While people in rural Bengal and Odisha eat it with saag, a little fish, potatoes, onions or whatever vegetables are available, people in cities have glamorised it with a side of dishes made with posto and sometimes the very rare Ilish maach bhaja too.
Extremely cooling, the much loved panto bhaat is now a part of many restaurants too.

The perfect pairing to the pakhala will be all kinds of bhajas ( of both vegetables as well as fish ) and makhas or bhartas.

Here is my layout for today -
Baasi paanto with doi / basi pakhala (fermented), bori bhaja / badi chura , ucche sheddho / kalara bhaja, aloo sheddho makha / aloo chakata, rui maach bhaja, aloo borboti bhaja, potol bhaja, narkel nadia, peyaj, kancha lonka.

Paanta bhaat
I will try to make some more posts on the Paanta bhaat or the pakhala, before summer runs out.
Till then, thank you again folks, for all the love!

Enjoy life!
Have fun!!
And here's to good food!!!


  1. ন'বছর পূর্তির অনেক অভিনন্দন আর শুভেচ্ছা, শর্মিলা। ফুড ব্লগিং ভয়ানক শক্ত কাজ তাতে সন্দেহ নেই , আর তুমি যে সে কাজটা ভীষণ ভালো কর, তাতেও না। 'কিচেনে কিছুক্ষণ'-এর যাত্রা দীর্ঘ ও নির্বিঘ্ন হোক, এই শুভেচ্ছা রইল।

  2. Hello,

    I hope this comment teaches you as I have some problems in my phone ( only resource where I can post my comment) and I can't comment��
    preety mat and lovely mouthwatering layout.. I have to try this now. My sis in law is from behrampur and she loves panta..

    Keep posting
    Warmest regards,

  3. Sorry.. It was reaches and not teaches

    Warmest regards,

  4. Thank you so much Ash! Hope you have settled down well at your new place.

  5. Boxes still exist and miss old place like hell.. Your posts and comments bring enthusiasm to a bit annoyingly new life�� ( wish I could adjust faster and better and not have so many exhausting travels to memory lane)

    Please keep posting

    Warmest regards,


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!