An Indian breakfast made with flattened /beaten parboiled rice
Poha or Aval is rice that is parboiled, beaten thin and flat and dried well. It is a very quick cooking alternative that is easily digestible and has added nutritional value. It can be rehydrated easily and absorbs flavors really well. Add sugar or jaggery with some coconut and make it sweet or add a savory tempering and make it fit for a warm comforting breakfast or brunch. Back home, we have a small store right around the corner from my house that sells freshly roasted nuts, locally made, hand pounded poha/aval. One cannot cross the store without indulging in some hot fresh roasted peanuts..yum !
A warm mildly spicy Poha Upma is a weekend breakfast for us. I make a peppery coconut poha ( my mom makes the best milagu aval upma) or potato poha or potato onion poha. The common ingredient in all these variants is the generous addition of peanuts, with skin. It is a bribe to make the kids eat it.
It is a quick fix recipe and is very filling too. Make it more whole grain when you use red rice or brown rice poha. Poha comes in 3 thickness : Thin, Medium Thick and Thick. My favorite is the medium thick poha,you can find it in any Indian grocery store in town.
Recipe : Batata Poha
Prep time : 5 minutes
Cook time : 10 minutes
Feeds : 3 or 4
Ingredients Needed :
- Poha (white) Medium thick – 1 and 1/4 cup Dry (will swell up it rehydrates)
- Potatoes – 1 large (Yukon or Red or Russet)- diced small
- Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
- Water 2 Tablespoon
- salt to taste
- sugar – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
- Cilantro – 2 or 3 sprigs finely chopped
- Lemon wedge – 1
For tempering :
- Coconut oil – 1 Tablespoon
- Mustard seeds (black) – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Split bengal gram – 1 teaspoon (optional)
- Raw peanuts – 1/4 cup
- Curry leaves – 3 or 4 leaves
- Green chili – slit- 1
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Take the poha in a bowl and rinse it in tap water until it runs clear. Drain all the water and let it sit for about 5 minutes. This will help plump up the poha.
- Heat a skillet on medium high and add coconut oil to it. When the oil heats up add the tempering ingredients one by one. Add mustard seeds, wait for it to to crackle,then add the rest of them.
- Once you see the gram dal and peanuts turning crisp and brown, add the diced potatoes and the turmeric powder. Fry the potatoes until they are well cooked, slightly crispy.
- Cover and cook if you want, but open and stir after 2 minutes and remove cover. We don’t need mushy potatoes.
- Add half the amount of salt you need and let it cook for another minute. Small diced potatoes will cook fast. Potato should be fork tender and slightly crispy.
- Now add the soaked poha, sprinkle 2 tablespoon of water, cover and cook for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove lid, check for salt, add the sugar if you want a hint of sweetness.
- Turn off heat and garnish with cilantro. You can add some lemon juice at this point to round up the flavors.
- Serve in a bowl because there is something comforting about food eaten from a bowl 😉 !
Notes : You can add finely chopped onions to this (right after the tempering step) or some freshly grated or dessicated coconut (at the end, after step 6,right before you turn off stove). Add any other nuts that can take the heat or sprinkle some over it while eating it. Make it your own.
This is one of my most favorite Indian breakfast ever! Thank you for stopping by. I hope you like it too.