Pakhala Bhata or Water Rice or Panta Bhat
Lunch Recipes

How to Make Pakhala Bhata (Popular Odia Recipe)

Pakhala Bhata with side dishes

Pakhala Bhata / Panta Bhat / Water Rice Recipe

What is Pakhala Bhata/Panta Bhat: Pakhala is a Popular Odia cuisine. This is made of cooked rice that is washed and moderately fermented in water for some hours. The liquid (water) part of it is called Torani. It is popular in Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Bengal, Bihar, Assam, and Tripura.
Pakhala Bhata is best to eat during the summer season. It hydrates our body. Some people eat this every day as their daily lunch. Mainly this Paani Chawal is eaten during lunch.
It is a traditional Odia dish, prepared with rice, curd, cucumber, mint, and coriander leaves. It is popularly served with Potato or Aalu bharta, Badi Chura, vegetable bhaja, saga bhaja etc.
Various Types of Pakhala Bhata / Panta Bhat :
1. Saja (Fresh) Pakhala: This type of pakhala is prepared by adding cold water to just freshly cooked rice. It does not need any fermentation. We can add lemon, curd and mint leave to add flavors to it.
2. Basi (Stale) Pakhala: This type of pakhala is prepared by keeping the cooked rice overnight added with water and eating the pakhala the next day. If you keep the Saja Pakhala overnight at room temperature then the next day it turns into Basi Pakhala.
3. Jeera (Cumin seeds) Pakhala: This type of Pakhala is prepared by adding cumin seeds, and curry leaves to the pakhala by making a chunk of it. This means in a Pan you have to add some oil(preferably mustard oil) and then when the oil is heated then add cumin seeds and curry leaves and drain it into the Pakhala Pot. This adds some extra flavors to the Pakhal Bhat. You can try this method to both Saja Pakhala and Basi Pakhala.
4. Dahi Pakhala: When you add Dahi or Yogurt or Curd to Saja Pakhala or Basi Pakhala then it is called Dahi Pakhala. Curd or Yogurt adds a great taste to the Pakhala Bhata. Here In this recipe, I am showing the Dahi Pakhala Variant. If you eat Dahi Pakhala you will get the benefits of Pakhala with the extra benefit of Yogurt or Curd, which is a natural digester.
5. Chain Pakhala or Garam Pakhala: This is also known as Saja or fresh pakhala but here the rice is hot. You have to add cold water to it while eating.
What is Torani: The water which we added to the bhata to make it pakhala is known as Torani. This is the best part of the Pakhala Bhata. After eating the rice or bhata you should drink the Torani. This Torani will keep you hydrated throughout the day. The Water content of Basi Pakhala is called Basi Torani and that for Saja Pakhala is called Saja Torani.
Side dishes or What to eat with Pakhala / Panta Bhat: It is the regular food of Odia people. Rich or Poor no matter, everyone can eat this. This is very low-cost food. The best part of this is that you can also eat it with onion and salt.
I mentioned some side items on the instruction page with images. If you want to know how to prepare these side items that can eat with Pakhala Bhata / Panta Bhat then please do comment to us so that I can create a separate recipe section for these. 
Some other vegetarian side items are already on our website which you can eat with Pakhala Bhata to enhance the taste.
Veg Mushroom Omlette
Eggless Cabbage Omlette
Besan Cutlet
Peanut and Poppy Seed Cutlet
Saga Bhaja
Drumstick Pakoda or Sajana Chuin Pakoda
Jackfruit/Panasa Katha Pakoda
Palanga Saga (Palak/Spinach) Bhaja
Nimba Patra Bhaja or Neem Leaves Fry
Badi Chura
Vegetarian Side dishes: Badi Chura, Aalu or boiled potato bharta, different types of saga bhaja, bitter guard or kalara fry, Jackfruit pakoda or panasa pakoda, Besan Cutlet, Peanut, and posto seed cutlet, Veg Mushroom omlette, Cucumber salad, pampada, Tomato bharta, Brinjal or Baigan Bharta, etc.
Non-Vegetarian Side dishes: Different types of fish fry (Macha Bhaja), Prawn or chingudi fry, Fish or Macha besara, etc.
Benefits of Pakhala Bhata / Panta Bhat: Pakhala Bhata is called Super Food because it boosts our Immunity level and also increases our energy level. Water content or Torani of Pakhala Bhata increases the water content of the body and keeps it hydrated throughout the day. Also, Pakhala Bhata is very easy to digest. It keeps body temperature in check and regulates blood pressure. Also, It gives sound sleep at night also. Pakhala Bhata helps you to fight against the summer heat.
Other important facts about Pakhala Bhata: Pakhala Word means to Wash/washed.
Pakhala Divasa / Pakhal Day : To promote Pakhala Bhata worldwide Odia people celebrates March 20 every year as Pakhala Dibasa also known as Pakhala Day.Pakhala is a very tasty summer lunch recipe.
Pakhala is a very old food item. In earlier days people use to keep the leftover rice in an earthen pot by adding water. This has also some significance. In Puri Jagannath Temple, Odisha Pakhala Bhata is given as Bhog/Prasad to Mahaprabhu Jagannath, Balabhadra, and Subhadra daily.
In Odisha on the summer holidays when people meet (family or friends get together) or when the members of the home are on job duty for the whole week then they all eat this tasty Odia Authentic Odia lunch on the weekends with all the tasty side items. Those who are vegetarian enjoy vegetarian side dishes like Chatu or Mushroom items, Saga Bhaja, Badi Chura, Aalu and Tomato Bharta, etc, and others enjoy non-vegetarian side items like Sukhua Poda (Dry Fish), Macha Bhaja, etc. Panta Bhat when eaten with your near and dear ones gives extra happiness to Odia People as this is the Soul food of Odisha.
At our home also in Summer Season normally we eat Pokhal Bhat every day. We try different side items every day. But Pakhala is a must in the hot and humid season. Also, it is a less time-consuming Recipe. Tastes even better with tasty side items.
Why Pakhala Bhata is so famous in Odisha: First and only important point is the climate of Odisha during the summer season is very hot and humid. This consists of both rice and water and provides relief during this hot humid weather to the body of Odisha People. Also, the curd which is added in the Dahi Pakhala or Curd Water Rice variant that also keeps our body super cool and gives natural refreshment.
In Odisha, we called it Pakhala Bhata. In English, it is called Water Rice. In Bengal, it is known as Panta Bhat. In Chattisgarh, it is known as Bore Bhat or Bore Baasi. Some called it Pokhal Bhat / Paani Bhat.
If you want to know how to make Pakhala Bhata / Panta Bhat at home then please see the below instructions. You can also make this easiest Pakhala Bhata. Cook it, Eat it, and Serve it.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 8 hrs
Cook Time 2 hrs
Total Time 8 hrs
Course Lunch Recipe, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 People


  • Dish


  • 1 Bowl Boiled/cooked rice If the rice is cooked before 2-3 hrs better.
  • 1 tbsp corriander leaves Added to enhance the flavour and smell
  • 1 green chili You can increase the number of green chilies depending on your taste
  • 1 tbsp lemon To add some sour taste
  • 2 tbsp curd To thicken the torani or water of the pakhala bhata
  • Salt as per taste


  • Take one bowl of cooked rice. Allow it to cool first.
    Cooked/Boiled Rice Image
  • Add some cold water into
    Pakhala Bhata
  • Now add some coriander leaves, 2 tbsp curd, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice,1 green chili sliced, and salt as per taste.
    Pakhala Bhata or Water Rice
  • Now, the Pakhala Bhata is ready to eat and serve.
    Pakhala Bhata Recipe
  • If you want to know how to make Pakhala Bhata / Panta Bhat then please follow all the steps. You can make the tasty Odia Pakhala Bhata / Bengali style Panta Bhat.
  • Some side items that we can eat with this Pakhala Bhata are Badi Chura.
    Odia Badi Chura
  • Second side item is Aalu Bharta i.e also very popular and tasty to eat with this Pakhala Bhata.
    Aalu Bharta
  • If you don't have anything to eat with pakhala then you can eat this with only onion and chilies also.
    Onion, Chilli and Salt
  • Saga Bhaja is another tastiest side item of Pakhala Bhata.
  • Drumstick or Sajana Chuin Fry is another tastiest item to be eaten with Pakhala Bhata.
  • Raw Jackfruit or Panasa Katha Pakoda can add a great taste to this Pakhala Bhata.
  • Try this tasty Neem Aaloo Bhaja or Nemba Patra Bhaja with Pakhala Bhata side item.
  • Spinach Bhaja or Palanga Saga Bhaja should try with Pakhala Bhata. Very tasty and healthy Saga bhaja.


Pakhala bhata (Water Rice)  is the heart and soul of Odia people and the most loved lunch recipe.
The main and important part is to not forget to add salt as per taste while eating this Pakhala Bhata / Panta Bhat. 
If you add water to the cooked rice and kept it for 3-4 hrs then it will enhance the taste.
Try this unique lunch item and beat the summer season.
You are welcome to ask any type of query you have regarding this recipe. Surely, will help you to make it.
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  1. 5 stars
    Pakhala is a traditional dish of odisha. Everyone must try it in summer by above mentioned instructions and ingredients described

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