Poha is an easy and delicious Indian breakfast recipe popular in western and central Indian. Made with flattened rice, onion, potatoes, and seasoned with mild spices, curry leaves, peanuts and cilantro, this recipe also makes up for a quick mid-day snack.
My mother in law is from Indore, and there poha with jalebi is a tradition for breakfast. It is one of the most popular street food there. The first thing that comes to her mind for breakfast is poha.
I also found the poha there was different than the Kanda Poha I was used to in Mumbai or that my mom made.
Indori Poha is khatta meetha..which means sour and sweet. Fennel seeds are added to the poha which gives a wonderful taste and aroma. Poha when served is toppedt with ratlami sev (now we do it with bhujai) and pomegranate seeds. The most unusual one added as a garnish is chopped onions. But once you have it, you might start enjoying the crunch!
On the other hand, in Maharashtra, peanuts are added to poha, which is a must in authentic Maharashtrain Kanda Batata Poha (kanda means onions, and batata means potato).
I love poha in any way. And it is a weekly ritual in my house. Poha with Masala Chai is like weekend morning well done!
So the poha I am sharing today has the goodness of both Indore and Maharashtra poha. Hope you enjoy it!
What is Poha?
Poha is basically rice flakes that have been parboiled, rolled, and flattened. In English, poha is called flattened rice or beaten rice.
They vary in thickness and have uneven edges. They carry a bland taste and can absorb a large amount of water. The medium and thin variety of poha, can become a bit mushy compared to the thick variety.
Poha is quite easy to cook and can also be a light, delicious, and nutritious mid-afternoon snack. It can be used to make both sweet and savory recipes.
How to make Poha?
Before making poha, you need to wash it well under running water and let it rest in a strainer. Ensure that all the poha flakes are wet.
Then gather the required ingredients - onions, potatoes, peanuts and spices. Dice the onions and potatoes along with fresh green chilies.
- Place a heavy bottom pan on the stovetop, add some oil and let it heat on medium-high flame.
- Then add peanuts to the oil, if you like, and sauté them well. You can skip this step in case you don't like peanuts or are allergic to them.
- Once the peanuts are well roasted, take them out of the pan and set them aside on a dry plate.
- Then add the cumin and mustard seeds to the oil and let them sizzle a bit.
- Add the curry leaves and sliced green chilies, diced onions to the oil and sauté them well.
- Then add the diced potatoes, mix them well with onions and cover the pan for 2-3 minutes.
- Then open the lid, and let the potatoes cook on medium-high heat. Break a potato with a spatula to check if it is cooked well. You want the potatoes to be cooked well before adding the poha.
- Then add turmeric, salt, sugar, and the strained poha to the pan. Keep mixing them all gently till the poha becomes yellow in color.
- Once you add poha to the pan, turn the heat to low so that it doesn't stick to the pan, and also it stays hot until you mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
- You can cover the pan for a few minutes for the flavor to get absorbed in the poha. If the poha seems dry, you can sprinkle some water on it and cover with a lid.
- Finally, turn off the heat and open the lid. Sprinkle some fresh lime juice along with the roasted peanuts (if using) that you set aside.
- Taste the poha and adjust the salt according to your preference. Garnish this delicious breakfast poha with fresh cilantro leaves or any other garnishes like sev or pomegranate seeds.
Tips to make Perfect Fluffy Poha
Follow these tips to make the perfect, moist and fluffy poha:
- I usually use medium or thick (preferred) variety of poha for this recipe. Thin poha will become quite mushy and you won't get the right texture.
- Rinse the poha till it becomes soft and let it rest in the colander while you prep and sauté the onions and potatoes.
- While adding the potatoes to the poha, make sure to dice them up real small so that they cook quickly.
- You can add peanuts for an extra bit of crunch and a touch of sugar will give a wonderful taste. I highly recommend to not skip the sugar, as it balances the flavors very well.
- In case your poha seems a dry bit, just sprinkle some water and mix it once.
- Garnishes are always a must for poha. The popular ones are lime juice, sev, and cilantro. You can also add sev or bhujia and pomegranate seeds.
- Poha is always best enjoyed immediately, but if you are storing it for later use, then keep it in an airtight container.
Maharashtrain Poha: The Maharashtrian poha is also known as Kanda Batata poha, it garnished with grated coconut, and peanuts.
Indori Poha: While the Indori poha is garnished with sev, sliced onions and fennel seeds.
Jain Poha: You can make poha without onions for a jain variation.
Lemon Poha: While I always love to add lime or lemon juice at the end as a garnish for poha, you can add a little extra lemon juice and make Lemon Poha. You might also like Lemon Rice recipe.
Vegetable Poha: You can also add other veggies like diced bell peppers, green peas, corn or grated carrots to make vegetable poha.
Hope you enjoy this easy and delicious breakfast! Don't forget to share how you enjoyed it.
- 2.5 cup Poha (flattened rice) medium or thick
- 2 tablespoon Oil divided
- 2 tablespoon Peanuts raw, optional
- ½ teaspoon Mustard Seeds (Rai) optional
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera) optional
- 10-12 Curry Leaves (Kadi Patta)
- 2 Green Chili Pepper diced, adjust to taste
- ¾ cup Onions diced
- ¾ cup Potato diced into ½-1 centimeter pieces
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- ½ teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- ½ teaspoon Sugar adjust to taste
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- 1 tablespoon Cilantro leaves (Corainder) chopped
Garnishes when serving (optional)
- Sev as needed, or bhujia
- Pomegranate seeds as needed
- Coconut freshly grated
- Add poha to a strainer, and rinse under running water until the water runs clear. Make sure all the poha is wet. Let it rest while you sauté the other ingredients.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan on medium-high heat. Add oil to the pan and let it heat.
- (optional )Add the peanuts and saute for 1-2 minutes while stirring continuously. When they are roasted, take out in a plate and set aside.
- Add cumin seeds, mustard seeds to the oil, and let them sizzle.
- Add the curry leaves and green chili pepper. Then add the diced onions and stir well. Saute for a minute.
- Add the diced potatoes. Mix well with the onions. Now cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium-low heat until the potatoes are cooked completely. Open lid and stir. Break a potato piece with the spatula to make sure it is cooked well. (It is important to cut the potatoes to small pieces so they cook quickly in 3-4 minutes)
- Add turmeric, salt, sugar and poha to the pan. Mix gently, until all the poha gets the yellow turmeric color. Change to low heat and cover the pan for 2 minutes. This helps to heat the poha.
- Turn off heat and open the lid. Sprinkle lime juice, add back the roasted peanuts (if using).
- You can taste test, and adjust salt as needed. Garnish with cilantro leaves and any optional garnishes.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.