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 thumb 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

 

If you’ve tried this Poha Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

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

Poha Recipe

poha served in a black bowl garnished with cilantro and lemon wedges with cups of chai placed in the background
Manali
Flattened Rice tempered with onions and spices, Poha is popular breakfast across India. It is also vegan and super easy to make!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2
Calories 495 kcal

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
 

  • 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 thumb and index finger, it should break easily.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Then add the chopped onion, green chili and curry leaves. Cook for 2 minutes until the onions soften.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice. Garnish poha with more cilantro and sev and serve with a cuppa chai.

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

Calories: 495kcalCarbohydrates: 96gProtein: 12gFat: 6gSodium: 19mgPotassium: 707mgFiber: 6gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 215IUVitamin C: 63.9mgCalcium: 84mgIron: 4.9mg
Keyword poha
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11 thoughts on “Poha Recipe

  1. Thank you for this recipe! I love Poha! My adopted son, who is an India doctor, makes this for me when I go stay with him and the family. Now I can make it! Thanks again!

  2. Hi, loved the recipe and all the flavours it had. But my peanuts got soggy and when I added soaked poha to the pan with everything in it- some of it got stuck to the pan. What to do about these too

    1. not sure what happened. You have to cook the peanuts until they turn brown, they remain crispy until the end. I cook poha every other week and never had this problem.

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is fab! I was introduced to poha last summer when I travelled solo across (western) India. It was a common breakfast meal and I loved it from the very beginning. At the end of my trip I was sad that it was something I likely wouldn’t be able to have again or recreate for myself, unless/until I visited again.

    Lucky for me I recently moved to a bigger country where there are more options on Amazon, and I came across your website. I used dried curry leaves and unfortunately didn’t have any sev, but otherwise followed your directions as written. It tastes just like the poha I had in India and I’ll definitely be making it over and over again! Thank you!!

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