The name itself brings fond memories from my growing up years. Poha is a common breakfast/ snack in north India. In places like Bhopal and Indore, hot Poha is eaten with hot jalebis. It is healthy, filling and nutritious, all at the same time.
The one thing that I like about Poha is the vibrant colours it has. It is a very humble dish with simple and easily available ingredients. The best part is it is prepared within half an hour time. Lovely isn’t it.
But the disclaimer is not everyone may be a fan of it. My husband does not appreciate it. Likewise people who are used to heavy breakfast may not like it. Anyways my son likes it and I send it for his tiffin sometimes. To increase the nutrition quotient I add chopped walnuts and almonds.
Here goes the recipe:
Flattened Rice/ Poha/ Aval – ½ cup
Peanuts/ groundnut –2 table spoon
Onion – 1 small
Curry Leaves – 1 stem
Coriander Leaves – 2-3 stems
Potato – 1 small
Mustard – 1 teaspoon
Green chilly – 1 (optional)
Red chilly powder – 1 teaspoon
Turmeric poweder – ½ teaspoon
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
Lemon – Half a lemon
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Salt – As per taste
- Take flattened rice in colander and wash it over running water for 30 seconds.
- Take chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt and roughly mix around the poha with hand.
- Heat a kadai with oil.
- Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds.
- Once mustard splutters and finely chopped onions.
- Saute till the onions turns translucent.
- Add the peanuts and saute for another minute. Add curry leaves.
- Add the finely chopped potato and ½ tablespoon water to avoid burning and facilitate cooking of the potatoes.
- Keep the flame on low and close with lid.
- After few minutes open the lid and toss around the potatoes until cooked.
- Now add the soaked poha and mix thoroughly.
- Add sugar and increase the flame to medium and give a good mix for a minute before switching off the flame.
- Garnish with lemon juice and coriander leaves and mix properly.
- The flattened rice/poha that we get here is of 2 varieties – thin flakes and thick flakes. For poha thick flakes are ideal since it won’t get soggy or mushy when mixing.
- There are white rice and brown rice poha. As far as you use thick flakes white and brown does not matter. Yes, brown rice poha is the healthier version.
- The poha in your palate should taste a little spicy with a lingering sweetness. The peanuts should give the crunch and the potatoes would give the starchy feel. The lemons provide the tartness required.
- For kids/toddlers, I move towards a sweeter and nuttier version of poha. I add a little bit more of sugar and add nuts like walnuts along with peanuts.
- Poha has got its variations. You can add soy granules, frozen peas, corn, etc.
- Southern part of India also likes to add freshly scraped coconut to the poha.
- North India relishes poha with a lehsun sev and jalebis.
- Poha in itself is a complete dish but you can have it with coconut chutney if you please.