Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mushy Rice With Green Chillies (Tanni Anna/ Panta Bhaat)

Many a times when we were kids, leftover rice would be aptly used for this recipe - Tanni Anna or Panta Bhaat - the Bong version of this rice. I am talking about days when scorching summer would annoy to no end and refrigerators were owned only by the rich, if you know what I am saying. Mom used to soak the rice in cold water at night before sleeping, make a comforting meal for 1100 noon next day morning for us. Anna is Rice in Konkani, Tanni is cold in Kannada. Even during days when there is no leftover rice, I keep some cooked rice aside to prepare this soul-warming comfort meal! This is a depleting recipe yet very very silly one so to say. I sometimes think that lesser mortals like me are the only ones hounding their Grandmoms and Aunts to offer gyaan on such simple recipes. But I wanted to document this to aid the sprawling, curious bunch of posterity in my jumbo family.

The science behind this recipe is the rice gets lightly fermented in water giving it a very mushy texture. Next day morning the rice is squeezed from the water, mixed with little green chillies crushed in a mixture of salt and oil. All the gooey mass mixed in together to form a mushy kid meal. But mind you, this recipe is not for the faint hearted. The green chillies pack in quite a punch, so reduce you green chillies if you are not ready for spice and heat. I prefer soak time of 2 hours and use the rice thereafter. Do not oversoak as you run the risk on over-fermentation of rice. My Ammama made this and Paej frequently when she had to feed an army of kids, grand kids in a joint family. The recipe is close to my heart for the sheer paltry ingredients it needs and the simplicity it carries. It is also known as a Paupers meal owing to the simple stuff its made of and was prepared by poor people during olden days as resources were scarce so says my Grandma.

Few years later further to my discovery, a Bengali friend of mine informed me that they have a similar version amongst Bongs, known as Panta Bhaat. The only difference being, the seasoning is some lime juice, red onions chopped and green chillies instead. Panta = soaked in water and Bhaat = boiled rice in Bengali. Panta Bhaat is made during key Bengali festivals. In Konkani homes (atleast the ones I know), this is a hush-hush secret recipe to devour the leftover rice. My Grandmom was to embarassed to discuss the details and laughed it off saying it was 'silly' and too easy. I think its too precious to be passed off and ignored what she said! :)

Soaking time - 8-10 hours
Processing time - 5 minutes

Cooked rice (2 cups) - soaked in double the quantity of cold water
Green Chillies - 1-2
Coconut oil

Soak cooked rice which is cool, in water for 8-10 hours. Once soaking time passes, squeeze the rice out of water. Mix salt and oil and crush green chillies in them. Mix all of this together and devour with relish. Remover green chillies while serving if required. For more authentic flavour, use Coconut oil.

1 comment:

  1. Loved to read about your memories regarding leftover rice. I was searching for 'Panta Bhaat' recipe and came across your post :) [lol, yes, I am a Bengali :) ] . In fact today only I was trying to make Panta Bhaat, remembering the recipe from my memory, as we used to have it sometimes during summer days, in my childhood. Then decided to search for it from Google :D. ... Thanks for the recipe and a good post to read :)


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