Poha--Indian DelicacyThe saga of rice continues. Only this time, it's a different version -- flattened rice known as Chirva, Chira or Poha in different parts of India. This beaten rice is a versatile snack item in the eastern, western and southern regions of India. For the purpose of this entry let's call it poha.
Mainly a breakfast feature, poha can be had in different ways. One way is to soak it in water (becomes mushy), add milk, sugar and fruits to it (mainly bananas or mangoes). Or you can use yogurt in place of milk.
Deep fried poha, with a generous dose of peanuts and a dash of salt and pepper is one of my favourtie tea-time snacks. This can also be preserved in jars over a brief period of time.
However, the dish I like the most made of this grain is itself called Poha. It belongs to the western Indian state of Maharashtra and has become a highly popular snack all over India. It's simple to make and there are a few variations. Here's one my mother makes at home to delight my tastebuds every now and then.
Wash the uncooked poha and let it dry. Heat oil in a pan and add some mustard seeds. When they begin to splutter, add vegetables like peas, beans, carrots, green chillies, a bit of ginger, chopped tomatoes and shredded coconut. Add salt and turmeric. Mix well and cook on low heat. When you see the water drying, add the poha and stir it to mix with the rest of the ingredients for about 2-3 minutes. Take it out on a plate and garnish with more chooped green chillies, shredded coconut and curry leaves.
Serve hot, and if you're hosting me, I would prefer a cup of tea with it.