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Bhut chaturdoshi and Choddo Shak - 14 Greens ritual

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According to our forefathers this is the time at the end of the monsoons when people should start eating herbs in Bengal. I still wonder how much have we progressed or advanced or modernized from our forefathers. Man has left behind a wonde…

Thankuni Pata Bata and Drink

Thankuni Pata Bata and Drink
Thankuni Pata Bata - Mandukaparni/Brahmi Booti Paste
Centella asiatica Bengali: থানকুনি Thankuni
Sanskrit: Mandukaparni
In Bangladeshi cuisine Thankuni bata is eaten with rice and is popular for its medicinal properties.
s Thankuni Pata Bata recipe mandukaparni brahmi booti Centella asiatica

By Barnali Dutta
Published 12/19/2013

Prep time: 00:10 | Cook time: 00:05 | Total time: 00:15 | Yield: 2 servingsIngredients Ingredients: Thankuni pata/ Centella leaves, 2 bunches about 100 g Green chilies 2 Kalo jeera (onion seeds), 1 tsp Salt to taste Oil 1 tspA pinch of sugar to balance the tasteInstructions: Take the leaves from bunches (you can use whole leaves with stigma). Wash and clean thoroughly and keep in a big bowl of lukewarm water for 5 minutes. Take out leaves from water, do not strain, use your hand and remove leaves from water carefully.Though thankuni is usually not attacked by pets and diseases of serious nature, but this a small,…

Mutton Rezala Recipe

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Raise heat tolerance - Switch to Panta

Raise heat tolerance, Switch to Panta  

Panta, the fermented rice is a basic food of poor people, but panta with dried fish shutki or ilish is a traditional platter and popular celebration food of Bengal during Pohela Baishakh festival. A similar dish consumed in the Indian state of Orissa and Chattisgarh is known as Pakhal Bhat. In Assam, where it is sometimes called Poitabhat, offering Dudh Panta (milk with stale water-soaked rice) is a part of the marital ritual. Among Hindu Bengalis, it is consumed during the Ranna-Puja (Bengali cooking festival). In Orissa and Assam you will find hotels where you can get an elaborate meal dish of Panta or Pokhal during summer seasons. Pokhal often differs from panta bhat in that seasonings and yoghurt are sometimes added prior to the fermentation process.

The Halkhata has necessarily been a part of Poyla Baishakh festival , the Bengali new year . Most of the traders in the city are now busy with cleaning jobs at their shops and business centers in holidays as a part of the preparations for the festival. Poyla Baishakh, a festival when traders open new books of account for their customers who buy goods on credit. Traders are also finalizing their ledgers and books of account. On the account of clearing the old stocks of the last year every shops offers some special discounts to attract the customers on the month of Chaitra of Bengali calender, which is called Chaitra Sales in Bengal and from the month of Baishakh businessmen tries to collect new stocks in advance to store enough for the next big festivals like Eid, Durga puja, and Christmas.

The Halkhata is a business customs with some traditional puja rituals when traders will open a new account books that are traditionally wrapped around with red cloth. Traders collect their dues for the past year and open a new account during this festival. Traders traditionally receive their customers as well as guests with sweets in the essence of renewing contacts, settling accounts with creditors, getting pending payments, and encouraging new business relationships by distributing own printed calendar, and serving special sweets so sweet-traders also reportedly surge in sales on that day.

Our affair with New Year celebration is only engorging food from dawn to dusk, traditional to vibrational, all are related to Indian food only on this particular day. This year on Pohela Baishakh we have planned to start our Breakfast with jober chhatu, in Lunch panta and roasted prawn, Evening Snacks with fish kabab and rainbow mocktail, and finish the festival with the Dinner of prawn polau along with creamy lentil sauce, stuffed parwal and steamed bekti accompanying with mango raita.

 

raise heat tolerance with fermented rice in summer panta bhaat custom on pahela baisakh

We changed our daytime meal on holidays to Panta, the fermented rice. It has never been indentified as a cheap food for the poor people or lower income groups meal or only a poila baishak custom to us. We always trusted the meal on the summer day as a comfort food, a body cooler and stomach healer from our childhood. For our love with panta I intentionally make extra rice the day before our holidays and soak it for half day with cold water. The panta with roasted red chili, salt, sour and sliced onion always made us crazy if we have poppy seeds fritters, red lentil fritters and baked chingri. The sour options always were different like sour yogurt, jujube pickle, tamarind pickle, chargrilled mango and tomato and of course the gandharaj lebu and leaf.

To make Panta, for one person take one cup boiled rice add one cup drinking water to it and crushed lemon leaf. Store carefully covered in a cool dry place, but not more than 12 hours.  During eating mash the soaked rice slightly in that water, add lemon juice or tamarind juice or mango pickle of your choice, onion slices, green chili, roasted red chili, salt to taste and enjoy.

The microbiology of the soaked boiled rice is according to a study (Henry et al.), [This references has been taken from https://demo.internet-in-a-box.org/iiab/zim/wikipedia_en_all_nopic_01_2012/A/Panta%20bhat.html] panta bhat is often contaminated, with almost 90% of the samples containing fecal coliforms with a median count of 3.9 log cfu/ml. Numbers of faecal coliforms increased 10-fold when there was a delay of more than 4 hours between preparation and consumption; 90% of the samples were eaten more than 12 hours after preparation. The contamination was more in the rainy season. According to another study (ILSI 1998), fermentation improves the bioavailability of minerals such as iron and zinc as a result of phytic acid hydrolysis, and increases the content of riboflavin and vitamin B. Panta bhat contains a small amount of alcohol as a result of fermentation. When the conditions of preparing panta bhat — keeping rice soaked overnight in water — were simulated in the laboratory, the rice was found to be inoculated with veratridine, a steroid-derived alkaloid.

Month name (Bengali) Romanization English months related to Bengali calendar usually starts from 14th or 15th of the English month Seasons
বৈশাখ Bôishakh April গ্রীষ্ম Grishsho - Summer
জ্যৈষ্ঠ Jyôishţhô May গ্রীষ্ম Grishsho - Summer
আষাঢ় Ashaŗh June বর্ষা Bôrsha  Rainy - Monsoon
শ্রাবণ Shrabôn July বর্ষা Bôrsha  Rainy - Monsoon
ভাদ্র Bhadrô September শরৎ Shôrot - Autumn
আশ্বিন Ashbin October শরৎ Shôrot - Autumn
কার্তিক Kartik November হেমন্ত Hemonto Dry season - Late Autumn
অগ্রহায়ণ Ogrôhayôn December হেমন্ত Hemonto Dry season - Late Autumn
পৌষ Poush January শীত Šit - Winter
মাঘ Magh February শীত Šit - Winter
ফাল্গুন Falgun March বসন্ত Bôshonto - Spring
চৈত্র Chôitrô April বসন্ত Bôshonto - Spring