FOOD AND TRAVEL

Friday, April 9, 2010

Poha- A Quick Fix Breakfast


So now I can't hide behind the blanket of being poor and not having a good camera for the blog. Now its going to be public that I have no artistic talent and I suck at photography. Yes people we bought a Canon G10. And may be its obvious that if I'm bad with photographs I'm terrible with gadgets? I have no idea how that thing works. I'm trying ...and I'm positive it will start getting better. Do let me know and just in case you don't see any difference, oh well just ignore it.

So lets go onto Poha, the beaten rice. When rice is beaten to make dry flat flakes its called Poha, which is easy to cook and eat. The thickness of poha varies, from super thin poha to thick ones. The thin ones can be lightly roasted or fried and used  as a crunchy garnish to savory chaats.  The thick pohas are normally deep fried, and used  in Chivdas. For this recipe though you want a medium thickness pohas, which soak well and don't become mushy. Yes, it is important that you use the right kind of Poha, otherwise you could end up with baby food ( I love cerelac, no judgements please).

Poha is an extremely famous Indian breakfast snack, which could be found on the streets almost all over India. As everything else in India, there are many variations to Poha. A recipe below is the basic poha recipe which works wonder for a quick fix breakfast but if you wanted to take it one notch up as a brunch or  an evening snack , recommendations will follow.

Poha
Serves : 3 real people or 2 us.

Ingredients

1 cup Poha(medium thickness)
1 red onion( medium,chopped)
2 green chillies ( chopped)
1/2 tsp  turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
2-3 tbsp of peanuts
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil *
1 tsp ghee
Salt to taste
Handful of coriander
1 sprig of curry leaves  (optional)**

Notes:

* Use all olive oil or all ghee if you please. I find the middle path to healthy living for my sanity.

**There is no reason why you shouldn't make it if you didn't have curry leaves. I often don't and skip it. It tastes just as good.

Method

Lets talk about medium thickness poha again. 
When I was new to Kuwait, I struggled to make poha. Back home, all you needed to tell the grocery guy was you want to make poha and he would give you just the right kind. Now here, I just bought the wrong poha for a while. Till I educated myself on how the thickness of poha is essential to getting things right. And I started buying this brand and I was back to my comfort zone. But how would you know if a package which says Thick refers to thick poha or medium thick poha? If have used the right poha before you could probably make the right choice by looking at the thickness. But again what if you have never ate or seen poha?
Assuming that the package is transparent, pick it up, peek into the package, does it look like thin rolled out plastic? No ! thats not for us.  Pick the next one, peek into it, does it look like boiled rice but just flat with same or more thickness ? Well that thickest poha. Not for us either ! Pick the next one , does it just break but not as easily? Is it just like you pinched boiled rice? That should be it. That's our breakfast.

Run water through the pohas in a fine sieve. The idea is to let the poha absorb water but not soak it in water.


In a kadai, heat up the olive oil and add curry leaves(if using). It will splutter so stay away from the stove.

Chop the onion, green chillies and coriander.

Add half the onions and green chillies to oil and let them cook away till the the onions are soft and translucent.
Add the turmeric, red chilly and salt. Don't be shy of salt here (atleast a tsp)
Add the pohas and mix it to soak up all the spiced oil. Mix rather lightly. Don't want to break the pohas.

Add the sugar and cook for 2 minutes. Meanwhile lets fry the peanuts. In a cute little vessel, fry the peanuts in ghee.

 Add it to the pohas and add half of the coriander now. Mix Mix .

There you are. Garnish with chopped onions, coriander and wedges of lemon.

Comes together in less than 15 minutes.

Things you could do :
  • For making it heartier, add cubes of boiled potatoes and it will make a great brunch. 
  • Shredded coconut works great in garnish. 
  • I do love some pomegranate seeds in the garnish, but I didn't have it on hand. 
  • Garnish with chivda if you will. Just about any kind. 
  • You could also add nuts of your choice. 
Whatever you do with it, its not going to disappoint you.

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5 comments

  1. looks so delicious.what u said is right,a best choice for breakfast..
    we like coconut sure will garnish with shredded coconut too..
    love to come back following you yarr

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  2. Thank you! You are very kind.

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  3. It really do.This is one of my favorite breakfast especially on weekends when i have time to prepare.Aside from oatmeal,it's on my list.

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  4. I know it says to try for breakfast, but I have been looking for new ways to spice up my lunches. I like the red onion and peanuts part about this recipe.

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  5. hey ... i love poha and my hubby is a big fan of this breakfast dish...its a regular sunday breakfast at our place and a sunday morning is incomplete with out it lovely post... i had done the post on poha a couple of months ago... wonderful. do drop by...

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