Pohe/Poha/Flattened rice is the quintessential breakfast and snack dish in any Maharashtrian household. It is very healthy, and a great comfort food. It is served with freshly grated coconut and lemon wedges. To make it healthier, I do add veggies like green peas at times, but todays’ recipe is a basic recipe with just onions and potatoes, served the traditional way. Since I have resorted to consciously incorporating organic and healthy items, the regular flattened white rice has been replaced by red poha. Earlier my Mom used to get me the ‘tambde fauv’ or red poha made of ‘ukade tandul’ i.e. Parboiled rice from Goa. They are not only healthy but also tasty. But since my parents are no longer based in Goa, now I buy it locally from organic brands like Conscious.
There is a Mahrashtrian store in Dadar, Shivaji Park, where I was introduced to one form of this red poha which could be fed to infants. The lady at the store was kind enough to share with me the traditional method. It was supposed to be served to kids and infants without washing, by soaking it in milk. One could add sugar or jaggery if needed. Washing it would remove all its nutrients. This was a part of my sons’ diet when he was an infant. Its sad, that when we have so many healthy traditional options available to us, due to lack of knowledge we don’t incorporate it in our lifestyle. My blog is also about giving insights into such foods, that we seem to have lost track of , but are extremely healthy and should be a part of our diet. This recipe need not even be cooked, and its quick, cheap, easy and healthy option for children instead of serving them cereals loaded with sweeteners and preservatives . I completely believe in the adage ‘old is gold’, and would like to reach a stage where my family eats food the way our ancestors did, completely healthy, non toxic, pure and real food.
There are two versions, which I make. This, Maharashtrian style, is made often in our house for breakfast as it is a simple comfort food. The other variation is the South Indian style with tamarind juice and peanuts which I make when we are craving for a variation in taste.
3 cups poha or flattened rice ( I have used organic red poha), rinsed lightly in a strainer and left for 15 minutes to soften
2 finely chopped onions
1 potato, peeled and cubed
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
8-10 curry leaves
Asafoetida, a pinch
1-2 green chillies, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup frozen or fresh green peas ( optional)
1/2 cup chopped Coriander leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and once they splutter add, curry leaves, green chillies, fenugreek seeds, and asafoetida.
- Add chopped onions. Once they turn translucent, add cubed potatoes and let them cook completely.
- If adding green peas, add with potatoes.
- Add salt, sugar, turmeric powder and the rinsed poha.
- Mix well and let it cook for some time.
- Switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve with fresly grated coconut as topping and lemon juice.