Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Poha/ Spiced Flattened Rice

Somehow I always thought that I had the recipe of 'Poha' on here. Afterall it is a staple in my kitchen. Made almost every alternate day for breakfast or as a light evening snack, this very popular Indian street food has kept me company for as long as I remember. 

Poha or flattened rice is commonly available in India but if you can't get it, I've also used left-over rice to make the same recipe for the same delicious results! 

There was a time I remember very clearly, I was in my 5th grade, I used to ask mom to make it everyday for school lunch. She used to make it a little differently then. Added in veggies or sauteed potatoes in the mix to make it healthier. I mean imagine! Trying to trick her kids into eating something healthy. Little did she know that I used to separate all the veggies and share that with my friends and eat away all the fluffy light yumm poha. But shhh... don't tell her this! 

Anyway, this is my favourite way of making poha. Perfectly spiced and well balanced with a little bit of sweet and tangy flavours. This is exactly how they serve it on the roadside. Infact many of my grey cold winter mornings begin with a steaming hot cup of tea and a bowlful of this brightly hued poha. Lets see how its done then, shall we?! 

Serves: 2

Time taken: 15 mins

Complexity: **

You'll need

2 cups of poha (rinsed and kept in colander to allow excess water to drain)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
5-6 curry leaves
5-7 peanuts
1/2 tsp asafoetida
1 green chili, thinly sliced
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp dry coriander powder
1/2 tsp red chili powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp peanut oil
Pinch of love

To garnish

fresh coriander leaves
pomegranate seeds
sev (fried spicy chickpea noodles)
finely chopped onion
finely diced tomatoes


Begin by rinsing the poha. The poha is dry in texture and needs to be rehydrated. I just place it in the colander and place it under running water for a minute till all the flakes are a little wet. Allow the poha to be in the colander till the end so the excess water drains out

Now in a deep skillet, I took some peanut oil on medium high heat. I then added the black mustard seeds till they began to splutter

As soon as they start to splutter, I added in the peanuts. You can either coarsely grind them or add them whole. 

Next goes the fennel seeds

And the asafoetida

And the curry leaves. Ohhh my... do you smell all the delicious flavours in there?! There's more to come. 

Add in the thinly sliced green chili

In goes the salt

The turmeric, coriander powder and the red chili powder. Mix it all well so the spices don't burn. If required, you can reduce the heat to medium low

Next add in the powdered sugar. Mix and then add the hydrated poha that's been resting. Then give everything a good toss so the poha is mixed well with all the spices. 

Squeeze the lemon juice over the poha and toss it again carefully. Now give it a taste test to adjust the seasoning. If you find that your poha hasn't entirely softened, you can add a couple tbsp of water and cover the pan with a lid to cook for a couple of minutes. The steam will soften the poha and its done!! 

How easy was that! Now to garnish in the typical street food style, Spoon some poha in your bowl. Top it up with the suggested garnishes. You can also grate some carrot or beetroot over it to make it notch healthier. Pretty, healthy and light! My beautiful bowl of sunshine!