Poha: Tasty & Nutritious

Sujata Shukla
Sujata Shukla|
Last updated on Jan 12th
Well prepared poha can indeed be tasty enough to be anyones favourite! Nutrition wise, Poha is chockfull of iron (20mg of iron in every 100 raw flakes). It is rich in carbohydrates and in fibre, low in gluten and is easy to digest. And its low on fat (except for the oil we use in making the poha dish). As it is not high on protein content, adding vegetables to the poha can improve on this aspect. I add peanuts and fresh green peas to the poha to make up for the low protein quotient.
  • Prep Time0Minutes
  • Cooking Time20Minutes
  • Serves3people

Recipe Ingredients

  • Thick Beaten rice ( Poha/ Aval) 2 cups
  • Sesame Oil 2 tbsps
  • Peanuts 1/4 cup
  • Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds  1/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida 1 pinch
  • Split Bengal gram   1/4 tsp
  • Green chilli 1
  • Curry leaves a few
  • Onion 1
  • Tomato 1
  • Shelled  green peas 1 tbsp
  • Ginger 1/2
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric  powder 1/4 tsp
  • Cilantro leaves for garnish
  • Lemon 1

Recipe Preparation

  1. Wash the poha flakes gently in a colander, drain, sprinkle salt and soak for 2-3 minutes in water. Drain and set aside.
  2. Chop the onions, green chilli and tomatoes and mince ginger and curry leaves. Set aside.
  3. Soak the peas in a bowl of water and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a heated pan. Fry the peanuts for 2 minutes or till they begin to split. Using a slotted ladle, remove the peanuts draining the oil at the side of the pan. Transfer the peanuts to a dry bowl and keep aside.
  5. In the remaining oil, burst the mustard seeds and then fenugreek (methi), add cumin (jeera) and sauté for 10 seconds. Add the hing (asafoetida) and the split gram dhal( split chickpea lentils/ split Bengal gram dhal), sauté for 10 secs.
  6. Add the green chilli, turning it over so that it scalds on all sides. Add curry leaves and let them sputter.
  7. Sauté onions till they are translucent (about 2-3 minutes). Add ginger, sauté for 10 seconds.
  8. Strain the green peas, add to the pan and sauté for 2 -3 minutes on high flame, stirring till the peas are cooked. Add 3/4 of the fried peanuts and keep the rest aside for the garnish.
  9. Add tomatoes and turmeric, sauté for 20 seconds.
  10. Squeeze out any left over water from the poha flakes, add them to the pan and stir briskly so all the ingredients mix well.
  11. Taste for salt and add more salt if required.
  12. Cook the poha for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently so that the rice flakes do not stick to the pan.
  13. Turn off the stove and transfer the poha to a serving dish. Squeeze and add the juice of one lemon and the reserved fried peanuts to the poha, mix gently. Lemon juice is said to help the body to absorb the iron from the poha flakes.
  14. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
My Tip: Select the thicker variety of Poha (Aval, Beaten or Pressed rice) so they do not get easily mashed or soggy, as you want them whole and separate when you finish making the Poha.