Where is it from?
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 .
- 1.5 cups pressed rice pressed rice is called poha and is easily available in any Indian store
- 1 medium size onion 2 inch in diameter, peeled thinly sliced
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil you can use other cooking oils but I prefer coconut oil for this recipe
- 10-15 fresh green curry leaves (kadi patta)
- 1 large potato boiled, peeled and chopped into cubes
- 1-2 green chilli finely chopped
- 2-3 tbsp raw peanuts I prefer the peanuts with skin on but you can use shelled ones
- 1 tbsp dry coconut flakes or grated coconut
- 2-3 tbsp raisins
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 fresh green lime or lemon
- handful of cilantro finely chopped
- handful fresh pomegranate seeds optional
- 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 bay leaves
Once the mustard seeds start stop sputtering (You can cover the pan to prevent mustard seeds from spilling out of the pan), add the onion and green chillies
Saute's the onions by alternating between low and high heat. Once the onions are translucent and slightly browned, 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 15-20 seconds)
Once the onions are cooked, add raisins, peanuts, coconut chips and potatoes. Cook for 1-2 minutes
Put the poha in a large pan and add couple of cups of water so that poha is complelty covered in water. Soak for 10-15 seconds and then drain all the water out. Do not soak the poha for longer as it will quickly become lumpy and stick together
Add the wet poha to the onion mix and mix in salt and half of coriander leaves
Cover the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on low heat. Stir it gently to make sure poha doesn't break. If you notice that poha is too dry, add a few tablespoons of water
Garnish with fresh lime juice, coriander leaves, and pomegrenat seeds