This is officially my first post with a new name – “The Veggie Indian”. For those who have landed here at the first time, I have recently moved from Blogger to wordpress and this site was previously known as “UK Rasoi”. I am so intrigued to write the story of my little “move” but will talk about that later.
So! New site, new look and a new post. About our good old Kanda-Poha. Poha/Pava/Chivda is a staple breakfast in the state of Maharashtra. A similar dish is very popular in Bihar by the name of Choorha Matar, which is basically the same thing but with different spices. I have posted the recipe on Choorha Matar and its one of most popular recipe on my blog.
Coming back to the Maharashtrian style of Poha- Kande Pohe literally means Onion-ed flattened rice. Pohe are flattened/ beaten rice that can be bought in Indian grocery stores. Since they are dried, they can be stored for long periods. They easily absorb liquids and become instantly edible. They come as thick and thin, and for this recipe you need the THICK ones. (Else you will end up with Pohe lumps).
As I have always said- every household has a different recipe. Every dish is made in an “authentic” way dedicated to the region it belongs to. So I wouldn’t say this is THE authentic recipe for Kanda-Poha, considering I haven’t even lived in the state. But yes, this is by far what I feel closest to the traditional recipe. And of course, any exceptions are always appreciated! 🙂
When I started making Poha initially on my own, I couldn’t get it right for the initial 10 times at least. There are disasters and then there are DISASTERS!! Mine was the later one. It was always lumpy and soggy by default and I never could get the taste right. Of course, I was following the method stated at the back of the Poha packet. Which was to soak Pohe into a big bowl of water for 10-15 minutes and then strain, and use them. I also asked one of our distant aunts who lives in Maharshtra for 20 years, And she also stated the same method. I was even more disappointed in myself, especially after I had it at so many of my Marathi friends’ homes. And it was always so khila khila (fresh and fluffy). And if I asked them the secret, they were like “ohh! It’s so easy peasy”, leaving me sulking aside.
So when did I get it right? – At a friend’s place, she made Poha for our tea session. And the first time I saw somebody actually making it from scratch in front of me. I was waiting for her to soak the lot and then wash it several times. But instead what she did was just rinse Pohe well and then leave it in a colander ( strainer/chalni) aside while the potatoes were getting cooked. And added them towards the end and switched off. I was like “ whattt!!!”; that’s it???!!
So anyway, that’s how I got to know the secret behind making good Poha. I am summing that up in some tips below:
Tips for making perfect Poha each time:
- Always use thick variety of Poha. If you use the thin one, it will immediately go all lumpy and mushy. You don’t want that, right?
- When making poha, after rinsing them well, press a grain and if it gets crushed/mashed easily then it is be soft enough to be cooked. Otherwise, if it is dry and does not get mashed easily then sprinkle little water over it and mix well.
- Once added to the Pan, do not stir the mix rigorously. Stir it very gently so the Poha grains don’t break off.
- Squeeze some lemon juice at the end and immediately cover it with a lid, this helps ion retaining the moisture and taste. Again, we are making Maharashtrian poha here, and not the U.P. style Choorha hence the procedure is a bit different.
Let’s move on to the recipe now-
What you need?
- 1 ½ cups of THICK Poha / Pohe / Pava
- 1 medium sized onion- sliced
- 1 medium hard boiled potato- cubed (with or without skin)
- 2-3green chillies (depending on how much heat you can handle, add another).
- A handful of fresh curry leaves
- ½ cup peas,. thawed if frozen
- A handful of peanuts
- 1 ½ tbsp oil
- Salt to taste
- ½ tsp sugar, – optional
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp lemon juice (or adjust to taste)
- A handful of fresh coriander leaves (Cilantro)
- 1 tbsp of grated coconut (preferably fresh)
How to make?
Preparation:- Make sure you have chopped the boiled potato, thawed the green peas if required and chopped off onion and green chilies.
- Now- Wash Pohe thoroughly under running water, drain it well and leave it in the strainer/colander while you do the other preps. Make sure no residual water is left out, yet all Pohe flakes are wet
- Heat oil in a wide and deep pan (preferably a wok/kadhai) , add peanuts and fry for a minute, take out and keep aside.
- Once the oil is hot again, add curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds. Add chillies and fry for a minute. Add onions and fry until translucent.
- Add turmeric followed by cubed potatoes. Stir until they are all yellow and lightly fried (1 minute). Add salt and stir in peas. Cook everything together for like 5 minutes, all covered by a lid.
- Finally, add in the Pohe and stir well without crushing until they are all yellow. Reduce the heat to minimum and cover for 3-5 minutes. If it looks too dry, add 1 tbsp water along the edge of the pan to generate steam.
- At last, add the lemon juice, stir gently and check/adjust seasoning. Stir in the fried peanuts.
- Garnish with cilantro and grated coconut. Serve HOT and fresh!
Notes and tips:
- In the Kande Pohe recipe, the fried onions add the sweetness, the peanuts give the crunch and protein, along with the peas to the savoury soft Pohe. Lemon juice gives a dash of tanginess. You may play with the ingredients as per your preference.
- I have seen some people adding yoghurt or sour cream to Pohe just after rinsing them. This gives them a nice fluffy and airy texture
- Adding sugar is also totally optional, it doesn’t make Pohe sweet in case you are wondering. It only imparts a subtle sweet-ish flavour which is nice as an add on.
- I don’t fry the peanuts for making Poha. I usually keep a container full of roasted Pohe, to make Chutneys, Sabudana Khichdi or Pohe etc. in a jiffy. So I simply use those roasted peanuts just before I drop in Pohe. So I mix peanuts well with potatoes and masala and then add Pohe at the end.
- You may totally skip Potatoes and/or peas, if required. I usually don’t add peas to this and very less potatoes. There is another version of Maharashtrian Poha, which doesn’t require potato, peas etc. will post that very soon.