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. I am from Delhi and while I was in India I used to eat poha for breakfast at least once or twice a week. 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, poha is known as “kanda poha” [kanda=onion] where poha is made with only onions but I know my mom tries to sneak in every vegetable possible in the poha, I love veggies so I am not complaining but it’s a personal preference. Some might prefer it the traditional way with only onions while some like me might want to add in some vegetables. I like to add potatoes and green peas in my poha but you can add whatever veggies you like or add nothing at all.
My hubby makes really good poha, in fact as a rule in our house whenever we decide to have poha for breakfast, he has to make it. So this is actually his recipe, I just made it way he makes it. The only different thing that you would notice is that I added a fist of rinsed poha towards the end. It gives the poha just the right amount of moisture, neither soggy nor dry. Also, I don’t cover and cook my poha, but you can if you want to.
Measure 1 cup of poha and place it in a strainer. Rinse under running water till it’s soft.
Once the poha is rinsed add turmeric powder, salt and mix thoroughly.
Let it sit for 10-15 minutes while you work at the tempering.
Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
Add in raw peanuts and saute till are light golden brown in color. Keep an eye on them they get burnt quickly once hot.
Add the boiled potato cubes. Remember to not over-boil the potatoes. You can boil them in microwave, wrap in a kitchen towel, sprinkle some water on top and microwave for around 3 minutes. The regular potatoes are done in 3 minutes, though they might not be completely done which is fine because they get cooked when we saute them. The big potatoes would take more time.
Saute till the potatoes have these brownish spots on them and are cooked.
Add in the chopped onion and curry leaves.
Saute till onions are translucent, around 2 minutes.
Add in the peas and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Now add the rinsed poha that we had kept earlier.
Mix it thoroughly and cook for additional 2-3 minutes, uncovered on medium flame.
Finally take a fist full of poha, rinse under running water and straightaway add to the kadhai/wok.
Mix this additional poha till well combined with all other ingredients. This additional poha provides just the right amount of moisture to the dish.
Add in the lemon juice and give a quick mix.
Serve hot poha with ginger cardamom chai.
* You can garnish with grated coconut or chopped coriander leaves.
* The poha shouldn’t be dry, if you feel it is sprinkle some water.
* A special tip to spice up your poha – add little, around 1/2 teaspoon of coriander chutney or pickle masala (any pickle) at the end to your poha. It tastes amazing!
* You can get poha at any Indian store, there are generally 2 varieties – thick and thin, I used the thick one for this recipe.
- 1 cup + ⅓ cup poha, ⅓ cup or a fist full to be added later on
- ¼ cup green peas
- 1 onion, small, finely chopped
- 4-5 curry leaves, chopped
- 10 peanuts
- 1 potato, small [boiled and cut into small cubes]
- ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- salt, to taste or around ¾ teaspoon
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice or to taste
- 1.5 teaspoon oil
- Measure 1 cup of poha and place it in a strainer under running water.
- Wash the poha till softened and then add turmeric powder and salt to it.
- Let the poha sit for 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat oil in a wok/kadhai on medium heat.
- Once hot add the mustard seeds and let it splutter.
- Add the raw peanuts and saute till they are light brown in color.
- Add in the boiled potatoes and saute till develop some brown patches and are cooked.
- Next add in the chopped onion and curry leaves and saute till onion becomes translucent, around 2 minutes.
- Add in the peas and cook for another minute.
- Once the onions are done, add the rinsed poha and mix well.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, uncovered.
- Take a fist full of poha, rinse it under running water and directly add it the wok [to the poha that's cooking].
- Mix well and cook for 2 minutes.
- Check salt, squeeze in some fresh lemon juice.
- Serve hot poha with chai.