Bachelor-friendly, Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks, Vegan

Poha – Beaten Rice Flakes Upma – Aval Upma

Poha is a popular Maharashtrian breakfast item. Poha is the Marathi term for Beaten rice flakes and the breakfast item made of it is also called Poha. It is made with onions (Kanda Poha) or potato (Batata Poha) or with both onions and potato. This is very easy to prepare and light on the stomach. Use red poha instead of white variety health benefits.

ingredientsIngredients:
Poha (white or red variety) – 2 cups
Onion – 1 medium
Diced boiled potato (sweet variety or the normal one) – 1/2 cup
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Green chilies – 3
Water – 1/2 cup (adjust as per need)
Sugar (optional) – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tsp
Salt as needed

For Garnish
Finely chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Roasted peanuts – a fistful
Pomegranate seeds (optional) – a fistful
Lemon – half a lemon

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2

pohaMethod:
The red variety of poha is thick, and the white variety is usually super thin. If you are using thick poha, you may have to rinse the poha in water. You can also rinse the poha using a strainer under running water. Add turmeric powder and salt to the rinsed poha. If it’s the thin variety, sprinkle a mixture of water, turmeric powder, and salt until the poha is soft enough. Be careful that the poha does not get mashed or stick together. Close with a lid and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai and crackle mustard seeds. When they begin to crackle, add urad dal, split green chilies, and curry leaves. When the dal turns pink, add finely chopped onions and saute them until it becomes pink. If desired, add half a teaspoon of sugar at this point. Add the potato pieces and stir. Add the moistened poha, stir, cover, and cook in steam for 2-3 mins on a low flame. Switch off the fire and let the poha remain covered for 1-2 mins. Remove the lid and add finely chopped coriander leaves, pomegranate, and lemon juice. Mix well and serve.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Steamed Red Poha Dumplings

A simple steamed breakfast/tiffin item that I learned from this blog.

aval kozhukattai

Ingredients:
Red beaten rice flakes (aval/poha) – 2 cups
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon
Chana dal – 1 tablespoon
Urad dal – 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida powder – 1/4 tsp
Curd chillies/green Chilies/dried red chilies – 2
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash the poha and soak it in clean water for about half an hour. Drain out all the water and keep aside.

Red Poha Kozhukattai doughHeat oil in an iron wok and add mustard. When the mustard starts to crackle, add chana dal, urad dal and asafetida powder. If you are adding curd chilies, add at this stage. When the dals turn light brown, add chopped green chilies/red chilies and curry leaves. Add the wet poha, add salt and mix well. Add grated coconut and mix. Ensure that you keep the flame low.

When the mixture cools down a bit, take a lemon-sized dough and make smooth round/oval balls (kozhukattai). Keep the balls in an idli plate and steam cook for about 5-7 minutes.

Serve with sambar or any chutney.

P.S.: You may use normal poha (white poha) also for this recipe. You would need to cut down the soaking time because white poha flakes are usually very light and soak easily.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Tangy Poha

Tangy Poha

Here is a tangy variety of poha that almost tastes like puliyodarai. I tasted this at a friend’s house and soon after tasting the first spoon, me and my mother were after my friend and her mother-in-law to get the recipe secret out. I tried making it soon enough so that I don’t forget the ingredients. Dry roasted and powdered whole masala ingredients are used for this recipe. Store this powder in an air tight container and then making this tangy poha is just a matter of few minutes. Let’s look at how tangy poha is made.

Ingredients:
Poha (beaten rice flakes/aval) – 6 cups
Tamarind juice – from a lime-sized tamarind ball
Water (optional, only enough to lightly moisten the poha)
Jaggery powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For masala:
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek (uluva) – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Asafetida – 1/2 tsp

For seasoning:
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Chana dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Roasted Peanuts – one fistful
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

For garnish:
Coriander leaves – 4-5 stalks
Curry leaves – 2 stalks

Method:
Soak tamarind in half a glass of water and extract the juice. Choose the amount of tamarind very carefully. If you feel later that it is not sufficient, you can add lime juice to balance the taste.

Grind the poha in a mixer to make a coarse powder (slightly bigger than rawa consistency). Transfer to a large bowl and keep aside. Mix the tamarind juice along with water and salt to moisten the poha. Use water carefully because the poha should just be sufficiently moistened. The consistency should be moist powdery but neither lumpy nor dry. Add jaggery powder. Mix well. Jaggery helps balance the tanginess and enhances the taste. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Since I used matta rice variety of beaten flakes, I could not get a fine powdery version. The white rice variety helps you get a nice powdery version.

Masala for tangy pohaIf you are using whole masala ingredients, dry roast each ingredient separately and powder them. I used powders except for fenugreek and jeera. Dry roast fenugreek and jeera in an iron kadai. Powder the roasted ingredients using a mortar and pestle before it cools down. Dry roast the remaining ingredients (coriander powder, black pepper powder, chilly powder, asafetida) together in the iron kadai in low flame for about 2 minutes until the raw smell is gone. Add the powdered fenugreek and jeera to this roasted masala and mix well.

TangypohaIn an iron kadai, pour oil and crackle mustard seeds. If you prefer to add urad dal and chana dal, you can add them now. When the dals turn red, add curry leaves and peanuts. Roast for a minute. Add the masala powder along with turmeric powder and stir for half a minute. Add the powdered poha. Stir and cook for about two minutes. Add coriander leaves. Tangy poha is ready.

An extremely easy alternative is to use ready-made Puliyodarai mix for this recipe. Coarsely grind the rice flakes using a mixer. Add sufficient salt and water to this coarsely ground powder and moisten the powdered rice flakes. In a kadai, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add sufficient puliyodarai paste to this oil and mix well. Cook for a minute. Add the moistened rice flakes powder to this. Mix well and serve.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Festival Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Snacks, South Indian, Sweets, Tiffin

Sweet Beaten Rice Flakes (Aval Vilayichathu)

Most South Indian households stock up on beaten rice. When an unexpected guest arrives, beaten rice flakes come to your rescue. You can make delicious items out of this inexpensive item, like upma, cutlet, a sweet, or even payasam (kheer). Kanda (onion) poha and batata (potato) poha are favorite Maharashtrian breakfast items made using beaten rice flakes. Kanda poha is moistened poha cooked in a tadka of sauteed onion sprinkled with coriander leaves, some lemon juice, and a few peanuts – definitely a wholesome breakfast.

aval vilayichathu

When my friend came to visit, she brought along with her some organic beaten rice flakes. My mother makes sweet beaten rice flakes often and it is a favorite in our household. It is a common neivedyam (offering to God) and a favorite of Lord Krishna. I suggested to my friend that we use the organic variety to make the sweet beaten rice. I shared with her my mother’s method of making aval nanachathu. Though Kerala is a small state as compared to other states in India, you will find difference in taste of food every 100 kms or so. Right from the chutney, sambar, and the type of rice served, to the kind of items served in a sadya, recipes and tastes differ across the length and breadth of this blessed little state. My friend’s sweetened beaten rice recipe differed from my mother’s. I told her to teach me her version which is called Aval Vilayichathu. Does anyone know the difference between aval vilayichathu and aval nanachathu? Here is the recipe to her version.

Ingredients:

Beaten rice (brown/white) flakes – 3 cups
Jaggery – 1 cup (you can alter this quantity to suit your taste)
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Chana dal/split chick peas/kadala paruppu – 2 tbsp
Ghee/clarified butter – 2 tsp
Water – 1 cup

Method:

Put the jaggery pieces in water and melt it on low flame. Strain the solution into a wide pan. Keep this pan on medium fire and let the jaggery solution thicken. When the jaggery solution thickens to a syrup. Check for one-thread consistency (take a drop of the jaggery solution in a spoon. Let it cool a bit and then touch it with a clean forefinger and then touch your forefinger and your thumb together and pull them apart gently. If the solution forms a thread between your two fingers, then it has reached thread consistency). Add grated coconut and stir. Add the beaten rice flakes, mix, and cook over a low flame, stirring constantly to coat the beaten rice with jaggery and coconut. Add cardamom powder. When the mixture thickens, turn off the fire.

In a small pan, heat ghee. When it is hot, add chana dal and roast them golden brown. Remove the chana dal from ghee and add to the sweetened beaten rice flakes mixture. Add sesame seeds to the hot ghee and roast lightly. Be careful not to burn the seeds. Pour the ghee and sesame seeds on to the sweetened beaten rice flakes mixture. Mix well.

This can be stored in the refrigerator for a month. You can take out required quantities and steam or warm in a microwave and use.

Below is my mother’s version, which is simpler. This one stays good only for a day.

Ingredients:

Beaten rice (brown/white) flakes – 3 cups
Jaggery – 1 cup
Grated coconut – 1 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
Ghee (optional) – 1 tsp
Water – 1-1/2 cup

Method:

Sprinkle small quantities of water on the beaten rice and use your hand to mix well and moisten the beaten rice. Close with a lid and keep aside. Put the jaggery pieces in water and melt it on low flame. Strain the solution into a wide pan. Keep this solution in the pan on medium fire and let the jaggery solution thicken. When the jaggery solution thickens to a syrup. Check for one-thread consistency (as mentioned earlier). When the jaggery solution reaches thread consistency, add the moistened beaten rice flakes and stir well to coat the beaten rice flakes with the jaggery syrup. Add grated coconut and cardamom powder and mix well. You can add ghee if you choose to as this tastes good even without the ghee.

Yet another method of making sweet beaten rice is to just scrape/powder the jaggery pieces and mix it well with the poha. Use some amount of warm milk or water to moisten this mixture. Add grated coconut and a quick and yummy snack is ready.

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks

Poha Cutlet

Ingredients:

Poha (beaten rice/aval) – 3 fistfuls
Boiled potato – 1 medium sized
Bread – 1 slice (optional)
Onion – 1 medium sized
Coriander leaves – 4-5 stalks
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Lemon juice – juice of 1/2 a lime
Green chilies – 2
Asofetida – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Rava – 2 tbsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Water – 1 cup

Method:

Moisten the poha with water and mash it. If the poha is of thicker variety, you will need to soak it in water for a minute and then drain the water. Mash the boiled potato and bread and mix it with the moistened poha. Chop the onions, coriander leaves, and green chilies finely and add it to this mixture. To this, add the lemon juice, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, asofetida, and salt and mix well. Make small balls out of this mixture and flatten the balls into rounds that are 1-cm thick using the palm of your hand. Place the rava on a plate and coat the cutlets with rava.

Heat the oil in a flat non-stick pan and shallow fry the cutlets.

Place the cutlets on a tissue paper to drain excess oil. This is a very tasty snack and easy to prepare too.

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