Mid week food inspiration anybody??
For a quick snack any time of the day, flattened rice or Poha has been a go to recipe at home. Ma always made this for us usually for breakfast or as a quick high tea accompaniment when we entertained guests at home. It's quick, easy & healthy. Most homes in Maharashtra have their own style of preparing the Poha. It's a state in the western part of India-can I call it a West Indian state?? :)
Here's my version(obviously Ma's :) with a little tweaking here and there) of it:
1. While I soak the Poha in water-enough to just lightly cover the top, I boil some peas and potatoes.(I am a multitasker so I am also chopping, taking pics and preparing something else at the same time! )
(I usually use medium Poha available at Indian stores(Bharat Bazaar in the bay area) and soak it in water for about 10 mins since I like it soft. If you're using thicker poha, the time might have to be extended to about 15-20 mins and of course for thin poha, just a 5 minute soak is more than enough).
|Boiled peas and potatoes(a little overdone!)|
2. I then heat a non stick pan and add some olive oil(Ma uses simple sunflower oil). I don't use too much oil however I've seen the difference is flavor with more added oil-it's tastier-your choice of course.I don't heat the olive oil too much. I fry some raw unsalted peanuts in it for a bit-make sure it doesn't burn. I realize I have to keep stirring continuously else they tend to burn very easily. I then remove the peanuts from the pan and drain the oil from them by placing them on kitchen towels. After, I add some mustard seeds to the same remaining oil and wait for the crackling noise to settle. Then add a generous pinch of asafetida, some curry leaves, and fry with sliced onions and sliced green chillies.
3. I usually add the turmeric and salt once the onions are translucent just to blend them well with the onions and for other ingredients to come. After about 5 mins, I add the peas and potatoes. I have tried adding grated carrots too and love it!
4. Finally I stir in the soaked Poha and blend it with the rest of the mix, gently but well. Poha cooks really quickly so I just cover the pan for about 5 minutes while blending in intervals and that's it! Sprinkle some freshly chopped cilantro over it, top with some fried peanuts, bhujia(baked chickpea strips- also available in Indian stores) and slices of lemon and there you have it! A perfect hot yummy snack!
The best part about this humble dish is that one can experiment with ingredients!I introduced this to a neighbor and she's been serving this to her own guests too! Her version includes beans too!
|Poha-hot n ready to eat!|
Enjoy with a big cuppa of tea!
P.S-Like I mentioned before, though I am not an expert at cooking at all, I still don't measure anything..(Except while baking of course!). For e.g., to measure the poha, I now know through practice that just 2 of my handfuls are enough for one person(that comes to about a little bowlful). Everything else I have arrived at through practice so please don't ask me for portion sizes, teaspoons and cupfuls! :)