Friday, July 04, 2014

Kanda Poha

An amazingly light and aromatic vegetarian breakfast/ tiffin dish from Maharashtra in Western India. Cooking this for the first time, from memory.

OK, we Indians eat a lot of rice. We even have rice for breakfast, in this case flattened rice or rice flakes. Think of it more like a convenience food- you could use it as a breakfast cereal in place of bran/ corn flakes/ etc. In fact historically, flattened rice was the dry food of choice for travelers. Light to carry, easily digestible it can be reconstituted by adding water or milk.

Anyway, during engineering college, this was a major breakfast draw and so here goes.

Ingredients (Breakfast for 2):

  • Flattened rice (Poha)- 1 cup
  • Onion (Kanda in Marathi)- 1 small
  • Roasted Peanuts: 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
  • Fresh Coriander- 4 sprigs
  • Green chili- 2 chopped
  • Cumin- 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Lime- Half a lime
  • Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
  • Cayenne- 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard Oil- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- To taste

Preparation (Pre-process 20 mins+ 10 mins to cook=30 mins):

Wash the flattened rice, strain. Add a little salt and soak for 20 mins. Drain of excess water. 

Soak flattened rice for 20 mins with water and salt
The trick to a good Poha is to strain all excess water but keep the rice moist.
Trick to a great Poha is to strain all excess water but make sure that the rice is moist.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, cumin and curry leaves. Once the mustard starts to pop, add the diced onion. Stir till translucent. Add in the roasted peanuts (I forgot this time round).

Stir on medium for a couple of minutes and add in the pre-soaked 'poha'. Add turmeric, cayenne and salt. Cooking on medium for five minutes. Work in the chopped green chilli, cover, and cook on low for five mins.

Fluff the rice, turn off heat, garnish with chopped coriander and drizzle the lime juice on top. Cover and serve hot.


  • For breakfast I recommend pairing this with a cuppa of hot 'kadak' milky Indian tea. 

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