Spiced, flattened rice with potato

Spiced, flattened rice with potato

By
From
I Love India
Serves
1 with leftovers, or 2 as a light meal
Photographer
Martin Poole

Flattened beaten rice, or poha, is eaten in so many parts of India, mostly for breakfast. I rarely have a savoury breakfast, but I love this as a light lunch. The rice is cooked and then beaten, so it is flat but with a soft, slightly chewy texture which is really lovely. This is fantastic: full of lovely textures and really easy to make. Potatoes are typical, but you can leave them out if you are in a hurry, or add another vegetable instead. At home, I often add some chopped beans, peas and cauliflower florets so that I have had my vegetables. Unlike a lot of other poha dishes, this one is more characteristic of streetfood because it has a lot of garnishes. You can add as many or as few as you like, although the more you add, the tastier it will be.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
11/2 - 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1-2 small indian finger green chillies, stalks removed, halved lengthways
10 fresh curry leaves
1 small red onion, finely chopped
salt
180g flattened rice (poha), ideally a thick variety, (they come in different thicknesses)
1 small waxy potato, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons roasted peanuts
1/2 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste (optional but traditional)

For the typical garnishes

Quantity Ingredient
some chopped coriander
good handful sev, (small crispy vermicelli)
freshly grated coconut
pomegranate seeds, (optional)

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the mustard and fennel seeds and reduce the heat. Cook until they are popping, then throw in the chillies and curry leaves and cook for a further 20–30 seconds. Add most of the onion, leaving 1 rounded tbsp to serve, add some seasoning and cook until the onion is golden on the edges.
  2. Meanwhile, place the poha in a sieve and wash in water for about 1 minute. Leave it in the sieve to soften.
  3. Add the potato, turmeric and some more salt to the onion and sauté for a few minutes, then splash a little water into the pan, bring to a simmer, cover and cook for 5–7 minutes, stirring often, or until the potatoes are just cooked through.
  4. Add the peanuts and poha and stir well to incorporate. Add a good squeeze of lemon juice – around 2 tsp or to taste – and the coriander leaves, if using. Taste and adjust the salt, adding the sugar, and serve sprinkled with the sev, the remaining chopped onion, coconut and/or pomegranates, if using.
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