Sunday Morning. Fresh out of bed. Light rains. Cool breeze. A hot cup of mint & ginger tea. And a plate of hot poha!
I just described my perfect Sunday morning! And I think this goes for anyone who has stayed in India even once, specially in the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Poha (a recipe made with flattened rice and various spices) is one dish that is just so Indian in its taste and appearance and yet so universal in its liking. There are so many memories attached to this simple dish; back from my hostel days during MBA. It used to be the favourite breakfast recipe – one loved by all, regardless of the state they belonged to. All the more liked by people from Indore (a city in MP) for they literally thrive on poha with sev.
Its funny how such a simple dish can unite so many people over a table to have endless conversations. Believe me, poha is something that brings conversations to life and can be had anytime – breakfast, post lunch or dinner – because its just so light! And filling! In India, you will find so many road side vendors sell this healthy, simple and happy dish, as early as 4 A.M. And more important is the fact that they find customers as well. Some of them even have regulars!
One of the best pohas I have had are at Shrinathji or Nathdwara – it’s a temple in Rajasthan near Udaipur. My family is an ardent follower so we go atleast twice in a year there and I have never missed having poha and tea for breakfast there – in the cool mornings – if you go there, you should definitely have it from the many stalls that you will find on the way to the temple and back home 🙂
One thing I can say for sure is that you should at least once in your lifetime, cook this simple dish for your loved ones and see the smile on their faces as a great conversation unfolds!
- 1 cup Flattened rice
- 1 onion (chopped finely)
- 1 potato (chopped finely)
- 1 tspn cumin seeds
- 1 tspn mustard seeds
- 4 - 5 Curry leaves
- 4 tspn red chilli powder
- 1 tspn turmeric powder
- 3 tspn Coriander powder
- 1 tspn sugar (Can be increased as per taste)
- 2 tspn lime juice
- Handful of peanuts
- Salt to taste
- 4 tspn oil
- A pinch of asafoetida powder
- Heat oil in a pan on a medium flame. Add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the cumin seeds and as soon as they start changing colour, lower the flame, add the curry leaves and asafoetida powder and stir. Add the peanuts and roast them properly.
- Add the chopped onions and salt and stir properly till the onions become transparent and change colour.
- Add the potatoes, mix well and let them cook properly.
- On the side, soak the flattened rice for 5 mins and drain the water. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder in this rice and mix well.
- Add the prepared rice mixture to the pan, lime juice and sugar and stir properly, mixing everything together. At this stage, check for the salt, sugar, spices and lime juice and adjust as required.
- And lo! your poha is ready in 4 simple steps. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with tea. Your breakfast/dinner is sorted.
I think poha is best had as it is! OR I like it with a simple green salad as well – its a great combination. Have it as you like it – but make sure to have it.
Do you have some interesting memories related to this simple Indian yet universal dish?