Poha is made from flattened dried rice, or rice flakes, and is often served in India as a breakfast meal from street vendors. During my travels up in Pushkar, Rajasthan, I start every day with a serving of fresh and healthy poha from a lovely, hard working young man. His poha is always served with fresh coriander, a variety of masala (spices), a little salt and pepper, chopped green chilli, a little freshly diced tomato, a squeeze of lemon, and a sprinkling of sev (small crunchy dry noodles made from chickpea flour, cayenne, ajwain, and turmeric). All for only 10 rupees – that’s 20 cents!
There are many variations of poha in India, depending on the region. And, they are all delicious! A common theme between them is not only the use of poha itself (the rice flakes), but the addition of turmeric and other spices. Your poha should always look yellow, thanks to the ‘god of spices’, turmeric. This recipe has been handed down by my teacher, and is an Ayurvedic twist on the vibrant meal.
Good for all doshas & best eaten in Winter, Spring, Summer.
- 3/4 rice flakes
- Water 1 cup
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (omit in Summer)
- 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- salt to taste
- Approx 8 curry leaves
- 1 onion chopped finely
- 2 small-medium carrots, chopped into small peices
- 2 small potatoes – chopped into small pieces
- 1/3 cup peas (fresh is best, but frozen is fine)
- 1/2 tbsp white sesame seeds
- Handful of cashews
- Handful of fresh coriander leaves
- Fresh lemon
- Ghee or Coconut Oil (Ghee is much more preferable here)
- Toast cashews and sesame seeds lightly in a small pan in some ghee or coconut oil
- Heat another larger saucepan on medium, add ghee
- Add cumin, mustard seeds, and curry leaves
- Once seeds are popping and/or simmering add the onion and cook until lightly golden
- Add carrot, potato, and peas (if using fresh not frozen)
- Add salt and turmeric, stir through, then cover with a lid
- In a small bowl, soak rice flakes in 1 cup of hot water
- When vegetables seem to be soft and tender, add the soaked rice flakes and stir though (add frozen peas just before this if using them)
- Cook for another couple of minutes on a low heat, stirring the toasted cashews and sesame seeds through
- Take off the heat to rest for a couple of minutes, and then serve up poha with a garnish of coriander and a squeeze of lemon
Note: This recipe is excellent for those with celiac, wheat allergies, IBS, and also chronic diarrhoea.
Enjoy this recipe? Let me know in the comments below – or share the deliciousness with your friends and family!