During my masters degree, I did a three-month internship in a bank in Mumbai, India. Every morning, around 10.30am, the office boy will bring tea for everyone. We had the option of ordering a snack too. For whatever reason, there was only one snack option: Poha 😍. I didn’t mind it as it was delicious and I had it every day. Plus, getting tea and snacks served at your table in office. Whoever heard of that? I wasn’t going to say no to that!
Well to answer the question, the poha is not from Mumbai. It’s a South Indian snack made from pressed rice, bay leaves, mustard seeds, peanuts and coconut (along with few other things! Why is that Indian recipes always end up with a minimum of ten ingredients, even the simplest ones!). It’s really easy to make and is a delightful combination of flavours: citrusy, sweet, salty and spicy, nutty all rolled in one perfect bite. It’s made in few different ways but this particular recipe is a replica of what I had in Mumbai.
I hope you will give it a try .
Course Appetisers, Snacks
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 30minutes
1.5cupsricepressed rice, easily available in any Indian store
3shallots or one small onion1-2 inch in diameter, thinly sliced
1-2tbspcoconut oil you can use other cooking oils but I prefer coconut oil for this recipe
10-15fresh green curry leaves (kadi patta)
1large potatoboiled and chopped
1green chillithinly sliced (bird eye kind)
2-3tbspraw peanutsI prefer them with skin on but you can use shelled ones
1tbspdry coconut flakes or grated coconut
1/2fresh green lime
handful of cilantrochopped
salt to taste
Roast the peanuts in a shallow pan on low heat, about 5-10 minutes. Stir the peanuts while roasting to make sure they don't burn. Set them aside.
Toast coconuts chips on low heat until the edges are slightly brown. Set them aside.
Heat the pan and add coconut oil. Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and immediately afterwards add the bay leaves.
Once the mustard seeds start to sputter (in few seconds), add the onion and green chillies.
After few minutes, push aside the onions in the pan and tip the plan slightly so that the oil collects on one side. Put turmeric in that oil and stir it so that turmeric cooks in the oil (about one minute).
Turn the heat to low and sauté until the onions are translucent.
While the onions are cooking, soak the pressed rice in water. Water should just barely cover the rice. The rice will soak the water very quickly, in about 2-3 minutes. So do this step closer to when the onions are almost done.
Once the onions are cooked, add the salt, raisins, peanuts, potato and coconut chips. Cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the pressed rice and mix it in gently so that the rice doesn't break too much. Cook for 1-2 minutes and then turn off the heat.
Squeeze lime on top and garnish with cilantro.
Serve with hot masala chai!
I dry the curry leaves and keep them in a container as I can't always find the fresh leaves it my local Indian store. You can also freeze them.