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Pakhala – The Summer Supplement


Pakhala, the leftover fermented rice mixed with curd or water or both, is a summer Supplement, especially for Odias. As rice in curd has nutritional value, this acts as oral rehydration. This is also advised by the Health Department to drink Torani (the watery part of ‘pakhala’) to tackle the heat.

A few years back, Pakhala was called the poor man’s dish, because Pakhala was loved by only the poor and middle class. As it is considered to be a coolant during summer, people living in rural areas consume it in breakfast instead of hot breakfast. But now, Pakhala is a part of the menu in several hotels, including those star-rated in Odisha.

Though it was called a poor man’s food, people thought it has no nutrition value. But research says it has much nutritional value and huge health benefits. It is considered the best food in summer to beat the heat. It’s a great weapon to fight back dehydration due to heavy sweating in summer. Being a natural coolant, it reduces body temperature and keeps you cool.

What’s up? By eating Pakhal, you will gain weight? Not. You can have Pakhala and stay slim also. Yes, you read correctly. Usually, rice is cooked in the afternoon and cools down to room temperature. Then, it is soaked fully in water and stored in an earthen clay pot under regular room temperature overnight. Then rice would be fermented by the next morning. So when the rice fermented overnight, it can contain up to 60% fewer calories than when freshly cooked – dropping from 130 calories per 100g to just 52. That’s why eating Pakhala can help you stay slim! So you can have pakhala by quantifying the amount.

Eating Pakhala helps break down meals daily for compromised digestive systems and also helps strengthen the digestive system in general. They provide beneficial digestive enzymes, and also a good strain of beneficial bacteria in the gut. It also reduces Stomach Illness & helps in curing Ulcers. Consuming Pakhala in the morning can keep stomach related illness at bay as it neutralizes the harmful and excessive heat trapped in the body. If you are suffering from ulcers, take this rice thrice a week to speed up the recovery.

According to the study, Pakhala also helps in maintaining a radiant look. It is high on micro-nutrients and minerals such as iron, potassium and calcium. It also provides sound sleep in the night. So having Pakhala daily especially in Summer helps one stay healthy.






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