Vegetable poha (flattened rice)

This a wholesome meal which goes well at any time of the day, be it breakfast, quick lunch, evening snack or dinner. It originates in India and is eaten in a wide part of the country. Traditionally made as aloo poha (with potatoes) or as kanda poha (with onions), or as chura poha (with green peas tempered with clarified butter), poha takes many forms depending on the part of the country which we are talking about. They all taste unique and great and can be eaten as a nutritious healthy food. Moreover, it is very easy to make. The inspiration of my dish comes from my sister in law, who can put all the available vegetables in the her poha, and typically makes it with a base of schezwan sauce. Although for this particular one, I have used simple chilli garlic paste, schezwan sauce gives it altogether a different taste .

Ingredients:
Serves 2

Thick flattened Rice – about 200 grams (3 fistful for one person suffices)
Onion – one small, finely chopped
Chilli garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
Cut vegetables about 120 grams – I used here cabbage, carrots, bell peppers, cucumber
Fresh cilantro and pomegranate seeds for garnishing
Lemon

For tempering:
Oil – 10-15 ml (2-3 teaspoon)
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 teaspoon
Split green gram 1 teaspoon
Grated ginger

Spices : Turmeric, chilli powder.

Method:

  1. Keep all ingredients ready on hand.
  2. In a large strainer, wash and soak poha in cold water. Drain any access water. (If the poha are soaked for too long or in large water quantity, they become soggy and stick to each other.
  3. In a pan heat oil. Put in mustard seeds. Let them sputter. Add split green grams and cook till they become light brown. Add cumin seeds. Once they come up the oil, add onions. Cook till the edges of the onion turn brown.
  4. Reduce the stove to medium heat. Add chilli garlic paste, grated ginger at this time. Add 1 teaspoon turmeric powder. Add cut vegetables and mix well. Add salt just enough for the vegetables. Saute the vegetables for about 30 seconds (do not overcook).
  5. Finally add poha.(You might need to move the poha a bit with your hands before adding, as they might have stick to each other.
  6. Now add salt sufficient only for poha, chilli powder depending on how much spicy you like. Mix well with a wooden spatula. Put the stove on medium low, cover the pan and let it cook in its own moisture for atleast 3-4 minutes. (You can sprinkle some water on top if you find that poha are looking very dry).
  7. Open it. Squeeze lemon on top and mix well. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds.
  8. You can add curry leaves and green chillies in tempering if you want based on your taste.

Note: Any Indian store will have poha. Remember to buy only the thick poha. (A thin variety is available which is used for making dry snacks (chivda).

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