Poha (flattened/beaten rice) is rice that flattened into dry flakes. These flakes are soaked in water and swell up as they absorb all the liquid. In Indian cooking, poha has been used in sweet and savory dishes. There are several versions to the savory poha...you can add veggies or skip them, either way they taste good. One of my favorites is the savory poha that mom makes frequently. Mom makes this recipe without potatoes but I like to add them once in a while because it works well with the soaked rice and has a great texture. This version is also known as 'Kanda Poha' (onion poha) which is a popular Mumbai (city in Maharashtra, India)
street food. Coming to think of it, I guess mom used to make it often because of her influence from living in Mumbai until her teens. This recipe is quick and easy and the crunch from the peanuts makes it tasty...so don't skip it unless you don't like nuts.
2 1/2 cups thick white poha, rinsed and soaked for 20 mins
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3-4 green chillies, cut lengthwise
1 medium potato, boiled, peeled & slightly mashed (or you can cut into small pieces)
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp urad dhal
2 tsp channa dhal
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Few curry leaves
2/3 cup skinless dry roasted peanuts, crushed (if you don't like too much crunch, reduce to 1/2 cup)
Rinse the thick poha and soak them in filtered water (just enough to soak the poha, roughly about 1 1/4 cup water) for 20-25 minutes.
In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, urad dhal and channa dhal.
After the mustard seeds start to splutter and urad dhal and channa dhal turn golden brown, add curry leaves, onions and green chillies.
Fry until onions are slightly brown, add turmeric powder and then mashed potato (optional). Mix well. Now, add the soaked poha and mix again until all of it is coated with turmeric.
Add salt and lemon juice and mix well. Add the chopped cilantro and crushed peanuts (make sure you don't crush them too finely) .
If you like, you can also add fresh grated coconut to the poha. You can also make this recipe using red/brown rice poha. Toss well and serve hot.
Makes 3-4 servings.