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Mon, 21 Oct 2019

Northeast Today

The Local Coolant: Poita Bhaat

The Local Coolant: Poita Bhaat
June 27
17:03 2019

NET Bureau

Once again the scorching heat is here to drain us all out. Hence, it’s time for coolants. One of the most loved traditional coolants of Assam is Poita Bhaat. The talk of this dish is not only restricted to Assam. It is savoured in many other parts of Northeast, as well as India.

Fermented foods and beverages are an integral part of cultural heritage, and the same can be said for the present time. With time and evolution, the methods have been developed for sustained nutrition and food preservation.

Poita Bhaat is nothing but fermented cooked rice soaked overnight. The cooked rice is cooled down to room temperature and adequate water is added to it. This watery rice is allowed to ferment overnight at room temperature.  The principal raw ingredients are rice and water. Once, it is fermented, salt and mustard oil is added to it. It is usually consumed with Aloo Pitika (Potato mash), raw onions, chilies, smoked fish mash etc. according personal taste preferences.

Traditionally, Poita Bhaat was a popular breakfast in rural households of Assam. Basically, the idea was to not waste leftover rice. Hence, it was kept soaked in water and then consumed as breakfast the following morning. This dish is a perfect and inexpensive coolant in summers.

Apart from being a coolant, poita bhaat is also a healthy option for consumption in summers. Fermentation enriches the rice, supplements it with different essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotic organisms, and degrades antinutrients (phytic acid, tannins, and polyphenols). Thus, its nutrition, energy contents, and therapeutic potentialities are increased.

So, this summer, go for this traditional, inexpensive and healthy coolant to beat the heat.

 

 

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