(Beaten rice with potatoes and lemon)
When you’re craving something tangy, spicy and delicious that’s quick to put together, look no further than poha.
Poha is a dish made of flattened dehydrated rice. While the origins of Poha are lost in the mists of time, rice has been a staple of the South Asian diet for close to 8000 years.
As some point in the past, the technology of flattening and drying rice came into practice. This made rice portable and easy to prepare with just a quick rehydration required.
A story that all Indian children hear, is that of Krishna and his friendship with Sudhama.
Sudhama carries a small pouch of poha for his friend, remembering how much Krishna loves this simple dish.
Read the story here.
The humble poha is so loved by Krishna that it still is made on his birthday every year.
Krishna greeting Sudhama.
Miniature painting. Smithsonian, Freer Sackler Gallery.
1 cup flattened rice, washed
1 onion, chopped fine
2 small potatoes, boiled and cubed
For the tempering:
2 tbsps vegetable oil
Peanuts, raw (optional)
½ tsp mustard seeds
2-3 green chillies, slit in half
A few curry leaves
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1-2 tsps Sugar
Juice of ½ lemon
Coriander leaves, finely chopped, to garnish
1. Rinse the flattened rice until fully hydrated and set aside.
2. In a wok, add oil. Add the raw peanuts and fry until brown and fragrant.
3. Remove the peanuts and set aside. Add mustard seeds to the same oil.
4. When the seeds pop, add the green chillies, curry leaves and turmeric.
5. Add the onions and fry until translucent. Don’t let them brown.
6. Next add the boiled potato cubes and fry for a few minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and add the washed flattened rice. Add salt and sugar and stir until fully coated.
8. Reheat over a gentle flame, adding salt if required.
9. Turn off the heat and squeeze/pour in lemon juice to add tang.
10. Top with the fried peanuts and chopped coriander.
Sweating the onions
Cooking the potatoes until tender
Adding the flattened rice
Comfort food — quick and easy!
So what variations will you be making?