Poha Recipe

Poha is one of India’s most popular breakfast (especially in North and western India).

Flattened rice is tempered with spices and onions making it the perfect way to start the day.

poha served in a black bowl garnished with cilantro and lemon wedges with cups of chai placed in the background

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Growing up, I wasn’t a huge Poha fan.

I was okay with it but I would never ask mom to make it.

But of course it was made very often in my house. And the reason for that is that it’s a filling and nutritious breakfast which gets done in no time!

What is Poha

Poha (flattened rice) is typically a Western Indian breakfast recipe but it’s taste and ease of making has made it extremely popular all over India.

Poha is very easy to make, it requires almost no cooking, the flattened rice just need to be rinsed till it’s softened and that’s about it.

You don’t need to cook it like any other grain.

Traditionally in the state of Maharasthra, it is known as “kanda poha”  (kanda=onion) where poha is made with only onions and I prefer that version too.

I know a lot of people add lot of veggies to their poha which you can definitely do but I like it simple with only onions at green peas.

When I first started making poha, it never turned out good.

In fact, I would always ask Sarvesh to make it since he made it so much better.

Mine would always turn out mushy or too dry.

But then over the years, as I started making poha frequently for breakfast, I learned the little things which help in making the perfect poha!

poha in a wooden bowl with curry leaves scattered on the sides

Tips to Make Good Poha

Rinse the poha in a strainer until it turns soft. You can check if it’s done by taking a flake and pressing it between your thumb and index finger. It should break easily.

This step makes sure the poha doesn’t turn mush when you add it to the pan.

I also add salt and turmeric into the strainer once the poha is soft, however you may add them directly to the pan too.

Add lots of peanuts as they give a nice texture to the poha.

After you add the rinsed poha to the pan, toss it and then take a flake and taste test it. If it tastes dry, sprinkle some water over the poha (just sprinkle, and add more as needed).

I usually have to sprinkle some water since the poha dries out a little in the strainer as you make the tempering in the pan.

After sprinkling water, I usually cover it for a minute or two on low heat.

Add little sugar to balance the flavors, just a little bit really helps in balancing the flavors of the poha. It’s optional though.

Finish with fresh cilantro and lemon juice, it adds so much flavor. I cannot have my poha without a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Garnish with sev! So just before you serve the poha, top it with sev and then dig right in. Oh it’s so good with sev on top!

If you don’t have sev, other namkeens like aloo bhujia, chivda would also do.

For those who don’t know what sev is, it is a kind of savory snack made with chickpea flour. It’s deep fried and usually enjoyed with chai.

Adding Veggies to Poha

My poha recipe only has onions and green peas but you may add more vegetables.

I sometimes add potatoes, if you want to do that, dice them very small so that they cook quickly. Add them after the onions are done and cook them first before adding the poha to the pan.

My mother-in-law adds carrots and cauliflower to her poha. Again, she chops them very fine.

So the most important thing to remember here is chop the veggies very fine. Yon can then add whatever veggies you want to your poha.

Method

1- To a strainer, add flattened rice (poha). Rinse it under running water until it turns soft.

2- To check if it’s done, press a flake between your thumbe and index finger, it should break easily.

3- Add turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the poha and toss to combine. Set it aside while you make the tempering in the pan.

4- Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop.

Then add the peanuts and saute for a minute or two until they start turning brown.

step by step picture collage of making poha at home

5- Then add the chopped onion, green chili and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions soften.

6- Add the green peas (which had been soaked in warm water for 10 minutes prior) and mix. Cook for 2 minutes until raw smell of peas goes away.

7- Then add in the rinsed poha and toss to combine. Taste test some poha and if it feels dry, sprinkle little water all over (I usually do that). Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Also tastes test and add more salt as needed at this point (I added around 1/8 teaspoon).

Also add the sugar (if using) and cilantro.

8- And then cover the pan with a lid and turn heat to low. Let it be like that for 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat.

step by step picture collage of making poha at home

Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Garnish poha with more cilantro and sev and serve with a cuppa chai.

bowl of poha along with a spoon garnished with sev and lemon wedge, with a cup of chai in the background

Other Popular Indian Breakfast

Rava Upma

Aloo Paratha

Spinach Corn Sandwich

 

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This post has been updated from the recipe archives, first published in August 2014.

Poha Recipe

Flattened Rice tempered with onions and spices, Poha is popular breakfast across India. It is also vegan and super easy to make!

poha served in a black bowl garnished with cilantro and lemon wedges with cups of chai placed in the background
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Keyword poha
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 495 kcal
Author: Manali
5 from 1 vote
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Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups poha, 114 grams, use thick poha
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided, adjust to taste
  • 1/3 cup green peas, I used frozen, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons oil, 10 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1.5 tablespoons raw peanuts
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar , optional
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro, + more to garnish
  • 1/2 lemon, juice of
  • sev, to garnish

Instructions

  1. To a strainer, add flattened rice (poha). Rinse it under running water until it turns soft. To check if it's done, press a flake between your thumbe and index finger, it should break easily.

  2. Add turmeric and 1/2 teaspoon salt to the poha and toss to combine. Set it aside while you make the tempering in the pan.

  3. Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and let them pop.

  4. Then add the peanuts and saute for a minute or two until they start turning brown.

  5. Then add the chopped onion, green chili and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions soften.

  6. Add the green peas (which had been soaked in warm water for 10 minutes prior) and mix. Cook for 2 minutes until raw smell of peas goes away.

  7. Then add in the rinsed poha and toss to combine. Taste test some poha and if it feels dry, sprinkle little water all over (I usually do that). Cook for 1-2 minutes.  Also tastes test and add more salt as needed at this point (I added around 1/8 teaspoon).

    Also add the sugar (if using) and cilantro.

  8. And then cover the pan with a lid and turn heat to low. Let it be like that for 2 minutes. Then turn off the heat.

  9. Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Garnish poha with more cilantro and sev and serve with a cuppa chai.

Recipe Notes

  1. You may also garnish the poha with freshly grated coconut, tastes great.
  2. Make sure to use thick poha here. The thin poha doesn't work for this recipe.

 

Nutrition Facts
Poha Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 495 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Sodium 19mg1%
Potassium 707mg20%
Carbohydrates 96g32%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 215IU4%
Vitamin C 63.9mg77%
Calcium 84mg8%
Iron 4.9mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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