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Kanda Poha - Rice flakes with onions




Kanda Poha is a delicious and filling breakfast. This popular dish comes from the kitchen of Maharashtra. Poha is a secret weapon in Indian cuisine. It is rice that is ready in just 5 minutes!

Poha is rice that has been dehusked, cleaned, soaked, pressed into more or less large flakes and dried again.

Kanda Poha is a delicious, easy to prepare savory dish that is enjoyed as a healthy breakfast or appetizer. It is a light and fluffy dish of flattened rice flavored with onions, potatoes and warming spices. The earthy turmeric gives poha a bright yellow hue and the fresh green chilies add just the right amount of spice to the dish.

It is most often served with Masala Chai and is probably the most popular dish to offer guests in Maharashtra. For example, when the potential groom-to-be and his chosen bride as well as the two families meet for the first time, Kanda Poha (literally translated as Poha prepared with onions) is most likely to be the dish served in Maharashtra. According to popular belief, an expectant bride who cooks a tasty Kanda Poha will rule her kitchen. It is sometimes common that even the arranged marriage itself, is colloquially referred to as "Kanda Poha".

I have tried many versions of this wonderful vegan and gluten-free dish. My North Indian friends season it with peanuts, while some of my friends from Maharashtra add fresh green peas to their Kanda Poha. Either way, the end product is always super delicious


Ingredients for 4 Portions

  • 200 g thick Poha (from the organic or Asian store)

  • 2 tablespoons Canola oil

  • 1 tsp. Mustard seeds

  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds

  • ½ tsp ground Turmeric

  • 8 Curry leaves

  • 1 large red Onion, chopped

  • 1 green Chili, cut in half lengthwise (deseeded if you want it milder)

  • 1 Potato, peeled and diced into 1 cm pieces

  • 1 tsp. Salt

  • 1 ½ tsp. Sugar (optional but highly recommended)

  • juice of ½ Lime

  • 1 large bunch of Coriander leaves, chopped

  • 80 g Sev (thin noodles made with Chickpea flour from the Asian grocery store) or Bombay Mix (from the Asian grocery store)

Instructions

Place Poha in a colander and rinse under cold water for a few minutes until the water remains clear, then drain and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat, then add the Mustard seeds and toast briefly. Once the grains begin to pop, reduce the heat to medium.

Add the Cumin seeds and toast until they begin to sizzle (takes about 10 seconds).

Next add Curry leaves, green Chilies, Turmeric and stir well.

Add in the chopped onions, stir and cook covered for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until they start to soften. Add in the diced potatoes and salt and stir through, cover and cook for another 5 minutes until potatoes are done.

Then mix in Poha and sugar and simmer, covered, on low heat for another 5 minutes until your Poha is cooked (soft but with bite, like pasta).

Remove the pan from the heat and finish by drizzling the dish with lime juice and seasoning with salt.

Arrange on a plate and garnish with Sev and chopped Coriander leaves and serve.


Tips

  • Rinse Poha in a colander under cold running water, draining all the water. Squeeze a flake or two between your fingers. It should break easily. Set aside for seasoning.

  • If your Poha seems too dry after cooking, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water, cover with a lid and let it steam well.

  • Poha tends to get dry as it cools, so it's best to enjoy immediately.

  • Garnish with either roasted peanuts or Sev as desired.




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