- 150 g gobindobhog rice
- 50 g mosur/moog dal
- 8 g salt
- 1 litre water
- Seasonal vegetables of your choice
- Oil, butter or ghee
- Green chillies
- Bhaja or leftover torkari
- Choice of eggs
Phena bhaat (ফেনা ভাত), also known as phensa bhaat, bhaate bhaat, or sheddho bhaat, is a starchy rice gruel/porridge made with fragrant, short-grained, raw (non-parboiled, আতপ) rice such as gobindobhog or kalijira. Various types of seasonal vegetables are added to the rice for both flavour and nutrition. We also like to add some mosur dal (red lentils) or moog dal (yellow mung lentils) along with the rice. This makes phena bhaat a one-pot meal that cooks in 15 minutes, maximum. Phena bhaat is served steaming hot with a spoon of ghee, butter or mustard oil. Boiled or fried egg is a common accompaniment. Any kind of bhaja (fries) like fried fresh fish or potatoes, or leftover torkaris (vegetable preparations), can be served on the side. Many Asian paddy growing cultures have an equivalent of phena bhaat. For example, it is known as kanji in Tamil, kanhji in Malayalam, ganji in Telegu, hsan pyok in Burmese, baw baw in Khmer, chao in Vietnamese, bubur in Indonesian and the list goes on.
Phena bhaat is not just for those of delicate constitution. If you appreciate a quick, fortifying, delicious meal with little to no effort, phena bhaat is for you!
- Phena bhaat can be made only with rice, or with a mix of rice and dal, for added nutrition.
- Fragrant, short-grained, raw (aatop) rice is best suited for phena bhaat. Thus, gobindobhog rice is the perfect choice, as are other varieties like kalijira, chini gura, or karpurkanti.
- Phena bhaat is typically mushy, starchy, and slack; you need to cook the grains in plenty of water.
- You can choose any combination of seasonal vegetables that you like. If it's summer, you can use potato, pumpkin, pepe (raw papaya), ladyfinger, jhinge (ridged gourd), kathal'er beej (jackfruit seeds), etc. During winter, you can use potato, pumpkin, cauliflower, sheem (bread beans), green beans or carrots.
- Wash and rinse the grains, in this case, the rice and the dal.
- Add them to a pressure cooker with salt and water.
- Cut the seasonal vegetables you are using into 5-cm large chunks. In our demonstration, we've used potato, pumpkin, jhinge (ridged gourd), pepe (raw papaya), and ladyfinger.
- Pressure cook on medium high heat for 1 whistle. Allow the pressure to release naturally.
- Serve it hot with either butter, ghee or mustard oil for flavour, and a green chilli, and the boiled vegetables on the side. We paired our meal with a soft-boiled egg too.
- Pressure cooker/boiling pot