KANDA POHA/ BEATEN RICE WITH POTATO & ONION
Winters drive you to sharpen your culinary skills,since there is no where else you’d love to be than at home.”Kanda Poha” or Bombay Poha as its fondly called is a light morning breakfast/ snack or one can have it with your evening tea.”Poha” means beaten /Flattened rice, while” kanda” means Onions in Marati, a language spoken by the western regions of India, in the state of Maharastra.Each state in India has its own cultural richness,its tradional attire & foods.My first brush with this” Kanda Poha” which is an authentic Maharastrian dish, came when I visited a friend whose wife made it for me with all her traditional attire & the Marati love for feeding a guest.To this day I’m not sure which I liked more,the” Kanda Poha” she made for me with all the affection or her traditional “Nauvari sadi”( nine yard saree) & her traditional nath/nosering with pearls hanging from them.Food is all about memories, while I relished my food, she explained to me the reason that the Marati women wear such big beautiful noserings,saying it had seductive powers…while I teased my friend about this, I truly enjoyed their warmth & hospitality.
This is a typical Marati preparation, though Poha/Beaten rice is used all over India , in different forms, this was the best recipe I tasted & carried the memories & the recipe all along.This morning, though the sun was out, the temperature was still in the teens, was in a moood for something quick & spicy,at the same time that reminds me of my motherland,hence this recipe.Enjoy.
Poha/Beaten/Flattened Rice- 2 cups(Thick variety is better)
Oil- 2 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Peanuts- 1/2 cup
Potato-1 (skinned & cubed)
Onions- 1 (finely sliced)
Green chillis-4-5 ( finely sliced)
Garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Brown sugar 1 tsp (optional)
Salt- to taste
Lime juice- 2-3 tsp
Water- 2-3 tbsp to sprinkle
Cilantro/Coriander leaves- a few (finely cut for seasoning)
1.Wash the Poha/Beaten rice gently with cold water while placing it in a colander & let the water drain , set it aside for 10 minutes.( The thick variety is preferred coz’ the thin one becomes lumpy & sticky when cooked).
2.In a separate wok, warm little oil,then add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the cumin seeds/jeera.
3.Now add the peanuts & gently saute it till they become light brown.
4.Now add the green chillies , followed by onions & saute for a few minutes, after which gently add the turmeric powder & stir a while.
5.Next add the potato which has been cubed into tiny little squares & saute it for a while, now to this add the garam masala powder & sugar & stir it all together & after sprinkling with a little water, keep the lid covered for a few minutes until the potato turns soft.
6.Now lift the lid up & then pour in the drained poha & stir it all together adding salt & lemon juice for taste.Stir for a few minutes.
7.Then garnish with Cilantro/coriander leaves & serve hot.Makes a yummy breakfast or tea time snack.