I’m a great fan of rice… Even though I don’t cook it enough because everything I’ve ever read about healthy eating promotes complex carbs over plain ol’ rice. In fact the main reason I don’t cook rice is because I have no concept of “controlled” portions when I eat rice! But poha is one of my favourite-est breakfasts and sometimes even lunch or mid-morning snack!
Oh-so-simple to make with very few ingredients, it’s the perfect “quick meal”.
Here’s what I used:
1 cup poha (flatted rice/ beaten rice/ rice flakes)
2 potatoes – peeled, cubed and half-boiled (I just microwaved them in a lidded dish for about 3 minutes)
1 large or 2 small onions – diced
2 green chillies – chopped finely
leaves from 3 curry stalks
1 tomato – diced
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp shelled peanuts
Salt, to taste
1/2 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Here’s how I made it:
I measured out the poha in a colander…
Then I rinsed them thoroughly under gentle running water for a full minute, mixing gently with my hands to ensure all the flakes get some water. Then I let them sit while I did the rest, giving them time to swell up.
Some people like to soak the poha in a bowl of water for a while, but in my opinion that makes it sticky and clumpy. I prefer the thorough rinse and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Next, I heated up the oil in the kadhai/ wok and added the mustard seeds and left them until they sputtered furiously!
While waiting for them to sputter furiously (sorry I can’t stop saying, ahem writing, that!), I took a quick photo of some of the other cast of characters!
I added the chopped onions to the kadhai and cooked on medium-high heat until pale & soft.
I then added the green chillies, the curry leaves and the peanuts.
I roasted these for about 2-3 minutes or until the peanuts were slightly browned and then added the haldi and let it roast for another minute.
Then I added the potatoes and salt.
I covered it with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the potatoes were cooked through. I gave it a gentle stir 2-3 times to make sure the potatoes didn’t stick to the pan.
Then I added the poha to the pan in batches and stirred gently to incorporate into the other ingredients.
I covered and cooked it for about 2-3 minutes until everything had mixed in well and the salt & haldi were evenly distributed amidst the poha and potatoes!
I added the tomatoes, the lemon juice, mixed it well and turned off the heat. I covered the kadhai and let the poha rest for 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes were softened by the heat but not really cooked! It adds a different dimension to the texture of the dish!
When I couldn’t wait anymore, I dunked it into a serving bowl and ate straight out of it!!
I once heard someone say that this is a “healthier” form of rice, although I really don’t see how! On a serious note, some people add more vegetables to this dish, including carrots and peas. Some even add tomatoes at the earlier cooking stage. But I prefer to keep it simple. I do, however, love chopped cilantro on top, but I was out. Sadly. It makes a huge difference, I promise!
It dries out a little in the fridge, if stored. But it is easily revived by mixing in half a chopped tomato, some lemon juice and then microwaving in a lidded dish. As good as new!