Poha (Flattened Rice)
I love road trips.. but I’m really a poor planner when it comes to food. I simply assume that I will of course find something to eat along the way. After all – living in America, this isn’t a far-fetched assumption. Well – when you’re driving through farmland, it’s a little harder to find a restaurant. Especially when you have a group that has some serious diet restrictions – like gluten free, vegetarian, sugar free, processed food free and of course it has to be tasty. 🙂 So the other day when I reached my destination – I was starving! And I’m not a good person to be around when I’m hungry. The fact that my husband says in a panicked tone – “The dragon is loose!” – says it all. LOL. It’s true. When I get hungry you better get me some good food quick otherwise “the dragon” really does come out.Luckily for me, my mom happened to be one of my travel companions. She served this dish to ravaging me in about 20 minutes. It was sooo good.
Poha is a super traditional breakfast item in India. As all good indian recipes, everyone had their own variations. A very basic version includes all the ingredients I’ve listed below without the peanuts, peas and potatoes. Sometimes you’ll find it with raisins. The flatten rice is really easy to digest because it’s basically dehusked rice flattened into flakes. It’s obviously not super nutritious – but it is tasty and filling — which is definitely a huge consideration when the dragon is loose!
I’ve eaten this at home SO many times however I’ve NEVER seen it at a restaurant. Definitely no restaurant in America. And not any main stream restaurant in India. So I suggest you find your self an Indian friend (I’m available!) or better yet – try making this at home – it’s an easy way to bring traditional indian flavors into your kitchen!
Makes: 4 – 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ready in: 20 – 30 minutes
- 3 cups thick poha (flatten rice – really important to get the THICK ones and not thin)
- 4 small red potatoes
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 2 – 3 serrano peppers
- 1 tablespoon organic canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (rai)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
- 1/8 teaspoon asafetida powder (hing)
- 3 – 4 curry leaves (kadi paata)
- 1 tablespoon roasted peanuts
- 2 teaspoons (to taste)
- 1/2 cup green peas (optional – I’ve left this out)
- cilantro for garnishing
2. Rinse and chop up the potatoes into small cubes. Peel and chop up the onions. Chop the serrano peppers into large pieces.
3. In a pan, heat the canola oil. When the oil is hot enough add the cumin and mustard seeds. Test if the oil is hot enough by adding a couple of cumin seeds – they should sizzle. Then add the spices, curry leaves and serrano peppers. Let them fry for about 15 seconds.
4. Add the potatoes and onions. Cook till the potatoes are done. (Can be easily pierced with a fork)
5. Add the roasted peanuts. Stir.
6. Add poha (the fatten rice) to the pan. Stir till the poha is covered with the spices and becomes a beautiful yellow color. Add salt. Serve HOT topped with cilantro.