A modern-day take on dhoodh-bhaat: Be healthy, save money and lose weight

Two weeks ago the latke and I signed up to do a 10-mile race on the longest street in our city. With about two months to prepare, I’ve been trying to be super disciplined about exercise and diet. Three-mile runs two to three times a week and yoga and strength training in between. To fuel my runs I’ve been looking into healthy foods to eat since this will be my first as a non-meat eater.

I came across this super easy and delicious recipe on Youtube by American reality-TV personality Bethenny Frankel. She calls it her “Healthy Brown Rice Breakfast” but if you look at the ingredients, it is pretty much what Bengali moms have been feeding their children for centuries: Dhoodh-bhaat (Milk-Rice). Just keep a few cups of cooked rice in the fridge and throw in some pantry staples and you have a healthy, cheap and tasty breakfast for a whole week.

I think that back in the desh dhoodh-bhaat was more served as a dessert rather than a breakfast and was fed primarily to little kids. Really little. Like you just had your annaprashan little. Alas, dhoodh-bhaat is not just for gummy little kids anymore. I made Frankel’s recipe this morning and the first thing I noticed is that it smelled SO GOOD! Substituting brown rice for white makes it healthier (more fiber and stays in your system longer) and the nuts and craisins give your adult chompers a bit more exercise.

Here is the recipe I used: (substitutions are in parenthesis)
½ cup of cooked brown rice (quinoa or oatmeal)
1 tbsp slivered almonds (pistachios or walnuts)
1 tbsp dried cranberries (raisins, dates, berries, half a banana)
¼ cup or ½ cup soy milk depending on how soupy you like it (rice, almond or skim milk)
1 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup (brown granulated sugar for crunch, molasses, honey, gur or agave syrup)
dash of spices (cinnamon, cardamom or nutmeg )

Microwave for one minute and enjoy! This recipe has 250 calories.

Glossary of Bengali terms in post:
dhoodh – milk
bhaat – rice
annaprashan – a rice feeding ceremony and rite of passage for Hindu infants (around 6 months old . . . different for boys and girls).