Tamarind Poha

Tamarind Poha/Huli Avalakki (Udupi style)

What is Tamarind Poha?

Tamarind Poha, is a sweet and tangy simple breakfast dish made in the coastal regions of South India, specially in the temple town of Udupi in the state of Karnataka. Sri Krishna, the ruling deity of the temple town is believed to be fond of everything Poha/flattened rice.

An easy, kid friendly evening snack, a family favorite dish that can be made with many vegetables specially potatoes.

It is gluten free and a great choice when it comes to meal planning for weight loss .

Tamarind Poha
Tamarind Poha/Huli Avalakki

What is Udupi cuisine?

Udupi cuisine comprises of dishes made primarily from grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits. The hallmark of the cuisine involves the use of locally available vegetables and spices leading to a wide wide variety of recipes that many cherish and hold dear to their hearts to this day.

Globally, Udupi is best known for restaurants that churn out “South Indian food” and are super efficient and easy on the pocket!

Where is Udupi?

The temple town of Udupi situated in the West coast of Southern India, is famously known for two things,

Udupi situated in the West coast of Southern India

The Back Story

My first encounter with the temple town of  Udupi :

Amar Chitra Katha’, India’s largest selling comic book series, published in more than 20 different languages, that retell stories from the great Indian epics, mythology, history, folklore, and fables in a comic book format is in every Indian kid’s library collection. I too grew up devouring these comic books.

Train journeys to my native place, Mangalore, during summer holidays to spend time with my grand mom’s were filled withAmar Chitra Katha’ overloads. It was in one of these comics, that I first read about Kanakadasa, a man who was not allowed to enter the Sri Krishna temple in Udupi because he was considered to be of a lower birth ( caste system and it’s atrocities are still prevalent in India, though to a lesser degree now than in the earlier days!)

Amar Chitra Katha
Kanakadasa Story

This story piqued my curiosity and I so wanted to visit the temple, where the deity of Sri Krishna is believed to have turned around to give ‘darshan’/blessings to his devotee who was not allowed to enter the temple, and I, for one loved such stories.

Udupi Sri Krishna Temple
Udupi Sri Krishna Temple

The Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad Gita/The song of the Lord is the holy scripture of the Hindu’s and is set in a narrative framework between the Sri Krishna giving practical advice to a common man (the Pandava Prince, Arjuna) to live life amidst all it’s tribulations.

Sri Krishna deity
Udupi Sri Krishna Deity

The setting of the Bhagavad Gita in a battlefield has been interpreted as an allegory for the ethical and moral struggles of the human life.


My fascination for Sri Krishna and his wise teachings started much early in life and I have always held him in deep regard. This story of the deity of Sri Krishna turning around to bless his devotee, was yet another one to hold my fascination for this eight avatar of Lord Vishnu in Hinduism, and his ‘leela’s’/miracles.

Sri Krishna
Sri Krishna deity

Needless to say, I visited the Udupi temple many times, since then and remember looking through the “Kanakana Kindi”/Kanaka’s window (the west side window from which Kanaka the devotee viewed Sri Krishna) and wondered what might have gone through the devotees mind to have been blessed by the loving Lord himself.

Childhood innocence painted all vivid forms of Sri Krishna and that is the way I would remember the temple town always.

Tamarind Poha/Huli Avalakki (Udupi style)

Tamarind Poha/Huli Avalakki (Udupi style)

Recipe by Maya Shetty
5.0 from 1 vote


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

  • 1 tsp Jeera/Cumin seeds

  • 1/2 tsp Urad Dhal

  • a few Curry leaves

  • 3 tbsp Peanuts

  • 1 cup Coconut Flakes

  • 3 -4 Dry red Chilies

  • 1/4 tsp Tamarind paste diluted with 5-6 tbsp of water

  • 1 tbsp Powdered Jaggery

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 cups Poha/Flattened Rice

  • Cilantro/Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Take 2 cups of Rice flakes/Poha/Bajeel and sprinkle water on them enough to soak them & drain the water & set aside..
  • Next, warm the coconut oil in a wok/thick bottomed vessel , to this add the mustard seeds, Urad dhal and cumin seeds.When they splutter add the curry leaves
  • When the curry leaves start to brown add the peanuts and roast them for a few minutes .
  • Now add the tamarind water, jaggery and salt to the above & stir a bit until the aroma of the mixture wafts through the air
  • Meanwhile make a coarse mix of the coconut flakes ( I used desiccated coconut flakes) and dry chillies & set aside, to add to the above, when the solution turns thick
  • Keep stirring while on simmer and slowly add the soaked Rice flakes/Poha/Bajeel and gentle mix all the ingredients
  • Remove from the stove top, serve hot garnished with Cilantro leaves.


  • Adding a bit of jaggery in all it’s recipes, is a speciality of  Udupi cuisine giving the dish a tinge of sweetness  however spicy the dish.

Nutrition Facts

4 servings per container

  • Amount Per ServingCalories858
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 84g 130%
    • Saturated Fat 63g 315%
  • Sodium 39mg 2%
  • Potassium 685mg 20%
  • Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
    • Dietary Fiber 17g 68%
    • Sugars 7g
  • Protein 14g 29%

  • Vitamin C 1%
  • Calcium 5%
  • Iron 22%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

My list of Poha recipes

My published posts using Beaten Rice/Poha/Aval/Bajeel are listed below for your interest.

The Bottom Line

Tamarind Poha, makes for a quick, yummy and light breakfast or an evening snack ! Now that it is the Gokulashtami /Sri Krishna festival season, would you plan to try making this quick and easy poha recipe at home?

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Vanita R. Amin
Vanita R. Amin
5 years ago

Wow so beautifully explained. Loved reading. Super clicks. Thks for sharing the recipe. Have a wonderful day. Stay blessed 🙂