Poha / Avalakki
I have come to realize that some of my last few posts were simply boring. And I hate to post just for the heck of it. Even though the intent of the posts on this blog is to highlight recipes, methods of Indian cooking, and food pictures, I do like to chirp a bit in my posts to make it feel alive and kicking. And since, I firmly believe, that every chef has a story to tell about choice, intent, desire, taste and praise with regards to her/his recipe, it wouldn’t be fair if I don’t share my thoughts while churning these out.
So today, I decided to prepare one of the most popular Indian breakfast called Poha (Avalakki in Kannada). You could compare it against Corn flakes except that the Poha (rice flakes or flattened rice) is a cooked version with an Indian twist. Simply put, Poha is health and taste in a bowl.
And now here comes my story. While chopping potato, tomato and onions for poha, I couldn’t help but draw parallels between the Trimurti Trio of Hindu Gods and the Triad of the Kitchen Vegetable World. As Brahma-Vishnu-Maheshwara are responsible for Cosmic functioning of creation, sustenance and destruction, and form the bases of any life form, aloo, tamtar and pyaaj are the fundamentals of Vegetarianism and basics of Indian cooking – though not necessarily in the same order. While comparing Mythology with Culinary might sound really silly, but what the heck? It seems to be a new perspective, well then atleast to me. And then mind is real strange thing. With all the recent festivals, worshipping and food recipes popping up in my head, it put the two worlds against each other and connected dots together. And may be kitchen – cutting, chopping and cooking is my way of connecting to the cosmos?
I happen to pick the roasted Poha from the Indian store instead of the usual thick variety that needs 10 – 15 min of more soaking time. Nevertheless, the roasted version tasted great and the remaining could be used up easily for making Chiwda namkeen. May be that’s for some other day. For now, have a yummy breakfast!
Chop ingredients to be mixed with Poha
- Preparation Time: 10 min
- Cooking Time: 0 – 5 min
- Recipe Level: Easy
- Serves 4
- Cuisine: Indian
- 3 medium cup or 300 gm of Thick or roasted Poha
- 1 medium potato
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 medium onion
- 2 – 3 green chillies
- 1 tsp red chilly powder
- 1 small cup of peanuts
- 1 – 2 strings of Kadi Patta or Curry leaves
- 3 – 4 strings of cilantro
- Pinch of turmeric
- 2 tbsp of oil
- 1 tsp of mustard seeds
- Half cut lemon
- Salt to taste
- Soak Poha in a bowl for 10 minutes. Drain out water and keep aside.
- Meanwhile, chop all the vegetables into small size.
- Now in a kadhai, heat some oil.
- After oil is a bit hot, add mustard seeds. When mustard spurts, add green chillies, curry leaves and peanuts. Saute for a minute or two.
- Now add onions and saute for another minute until transparent. Follow by cut tomatoes and potatoes.
- After potatoes are a bit cooked, add drained poha.
- Stir until poha is mixed well with rest of the ingredients.
- Add salt and cilantro. Now lid the kadhai and let it cook for another min.
- Turn off the gas. Squeeze lemon and mix well.
- Serve Poha.
Serve Poha with a dash of lemon
- For thick variety of poha, soak it under for for atleast 20 min. And then drain the water.
- Extra soaking will make poha mushy and pasty.
- Don’t saute vegetable for too long.
- Peanuts are optional. I have added them to make Poha a bit crunchy.