Now where do I start with describing my hometown Indore’s connection with Poha? Let’s just say that the term Indore is synonymous with Poha. I remember, throughout my childhood, whenever we had guests visiting our home from the other cities, almost everyday they would demand Indori poha for breakfast.
Pohe or poha is a staple recipe of Indore, made with flattened rice, potatoes and often- onions. In the mornings, you will see people crowding up at every eating joint on the street to buy poha for breakfast as well as women in most houses to preparing it in their kitchens. It is easily the signature dish of Indore.
Poha is an easy and a healthy breakfast dish. I have grown up eating poha and can still have it every day for breakfast or for brunch. A hot cup of tea to go with it and my day is made!
Interestingly, all the stalls and shops serving poha in Indore will never use onions in their poha. Rather, they will use raw chopped onions as a garnish along with sev (crunchy noodle snack made from gram flour) and believe me, combined, it tastes amazing! I still use onions in my recipe but you can skip it completely if you want. Also, Indori poha is a bit sweet. So, I add sugar to it as well but again, you can skip it if you like. So, here we go…
Give this recipe a go and enjoy!
-2 Cups of medium/thick flattened rice (Easily available at the Indian stores)
-1/2 Tsp turmeric
-2 Green chillies chopped
-1 Tsp mustard seeds or rai
-5-6 Fresh curry leaves
-3 Tbsn oil
-1 Pinch asafoetida
-1 Onion chopped (optional)
-1 Medium sized potato, peeled and diced into cubes
-2 Tsp sugar
-Salt to taste
-Chopped coriander leaves and lemon to garnish
-Take poha in a strainer/colander and rinse gently under the tap water. Do not mix or the poha will break or go mushy. Traditionally, poha is soaked for a couple of minutes and then drained of water but I find that the poha we get here in Ireland is too soft and absorbs enough water while rinsing. Thus, I don’t soak it. You can soak it if you feel there’s need to. Poha must get soft but still remain intact. Keep aside in the colander and it will rid itself of the excess water.
-In a pan, heat the oil on medium flame.
-When it gets hot, add your potatoes first and cook till they look almost done.
-Next, add asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves and chopped green chillies. Stir and cook for about half a minute.
-Add your chopped onions and turmeric and salt.
-Cook till onions turn soft and translucent.
-Next, add the pohe carefully along with sugar and mix everything gently once.
-Cook for 3-4 minutes. If you poha looks dry to you, you can sprinkle some water on it.They will soon start looking uniformly pale yellow and cooked well.
-Finally, turn off the heat and add coriander leaves and lemon juice.
-Mix and keep covered for five minutes.
-Garnish with Sev and serve hot with tea. Enjoy the yummy breakfast!
-You can add roasted peanuts or steamed peas to pohe too. Both go very well with it.
-If you have boiled potatoes lying around, skip step no. three and add your chopped boiled potatoes directly after the onion in the tempering gets cooked.
-Make sure you don’t add more turmeric to your pohe. The color should be pale yellow as against dark yellow and thus, requires less haldi in it.