Poha, a popular breakfast dish in India. (Source: Getty Images)
Poha is flattened rice that is widely eaten in various forms across India. Rice is soaked, sieved, flattened and dried to make poha. When lightly fried with turmeric, curry leaves and peanuts, this becomes what we know to be our standard breakfast food. Some like to eat it as a crunchy snack or what is popularly called chivda or chinde bhaja. In other parts of the country, it is also eaten raw by adding to it dahi or milk and sugar.
Health benefits of eating poha
Poha keeps you full for a long time. It is a rich source of iron, preventing anaemia or iron deficiency in the body. According to TheHealthSite, it is low on gluten and helps in controlling blood sugar levels, making it an ideal food option for diabetics.
How to make poha
Poha can be made easily and in a very short time. Here's a simple recipe you can follow:
3 cups - Poha
2 tbsp - Oil
1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tsp - Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp - Asafoetida
3-4 curry leaves
2 green chillies
1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
3/4 cup - Bean sprouts
2 tbsp - Chopped fresh coriander
1/2 cup - Pomegranate pearls
Salt to taste
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* Put poha in a sieve and pour enough water on it to dampen it properly.
* Take a pan and pour oil in it. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies to the pan. Saute for some time.
* Add chopped onion and salt, according to taste. Cover the pan with a lid and let the onion cook till golden brown.
* Add turmeric powder and little water to the pan. Finally, add poha, some salt and mix well. Plate it and put some pomegranate on top before serving.
Poha is different from muri
Poha should not be confused with muri or laiyya, made by heating rice kennels under high pressure. This puffed rice variety is also a popular snack ingredient in India and is used in making bhel puri or chaat. In fact, it is a staple food in West Bengal and Odisha. In certain states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu, it is also offered to Hindu gods and goddesses in worship.
If you are craving a spicy snack, try this bhel puri recipe: