Poha recipe – Poha or pohe is a quick Indian breakfast & snack made with beaten rice or flattened rice, spices, peanuts and onions. It is not only popular in Maharashtrian and Gujarati cuisines but also in many other regions of India. Poha is prepared in a similar way in most regions. This post will teach you how to make poha in just 20 minutes.
It can be eaten not only as a breakfast but also for a snack or quick dinner. It can also be taken to school or work in lunch box.
Poha is usually eaten without any side. But they are garnished or topped with different ingredients like sev, raw onions or even with fresh grated coconut.
We make the Maharashtrian Kanda batata poha very often for our breakfast as it gets done fast. Here kanda translates to onion and batata to Potato. Adding potatoes makes it a kids’ friendly dish. I always use them as my kids’ like it that way.
To make poha, you can also skip the potatoes or just replace them with some green peas. You can either use boiled/ steamed potatoes or use them raw directly and cook in the pan itself.
I have followed the later method here. But if you have trouble cooking your potatoes quickly, then it is good to use them boiled.
Another popular version is the Indori poha. The use of fennel seeds make it very distinct in flavor from the Maharashtrian version. It is garnished with sev & raw onions.
1. Clean poha and add them to a large colander, strainer or bowl or pot. Please note that to make non sticky poha, you will need to use thick or medium flakes. If you use thin flakes then the poha will turn mushy.
2. Rinse them well a few times. Drain the water completely and set aside. I usually rinse them twice but if you feel they turn too mushy after the first rinse then stop rinsing further.
3. Meanwhile chop onions, green chilies and potatoes. Poha would have absorbed water and softened in about 5 to 7 mins. Run your finger across the flattened rice to break lumps if any.
If they do not turn soft, then sprinkle some water and set aside. Make sure they do not turn mushy. Add salt and sugar (optional). Mix and set aside.
How to make poha recipe
4. Heat oil and fry the peanuts until golden and crunchy. Set them aside. This way the peanuts remain crunchy.
5. Heat the same pan with oil and allow the mustard and cumin to crackle.
6. Add chopped onions, green chilies and curry leaves.
7. Saute until the onions turn pink. Optionally add potatoes or mix veggies and saute for a min.
8. Cover and cook on a low heat until the potatoes are soft cooked. If you have used boiled potatoes, you can skip this step.
9. Once the potatoes are cooked thoroughly, you can saute them on a high flame for 1 to 2 mins. Add turmeric.
10. Add poha and mix well.
11. Cover and cook on a low heat until it becomes hot. Stir in between to prevent burning. If you feel your poha is too dry, then you may sprinkle some water in between. When done it should be soft and not mushy. Sprinkle coriander leaves and roasted peanuts.
12. Take it off the heat. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add lemon juice and keep it covered until served.
Serve kanda batata poha with coriander leaves and roasted peanuts garnished.
Choose the right kind of poha: Always choose medium to thick poha and avoid the thin ones. The thin kind are not suitable to make breakfast poha as they turn mushy when rinsed.
If you are a newbie, you can check simply by rinsing a spoonful of poha in little water and drain it. They should not turn mushy.
Rinsing poha: Do not over rinse or over soak the poha otherwise they may turn mushy. I generally rinse them twice and drain the water completely. Cover and set aside until the tempering is ready.
After chopping the onions, check if the poha is soft by pressing a few flakes in between the thumb and the fore finger. They should break easily. If not then sprinkle some water. Mix and cover it till needed.
Veggies: To make it healthier and balanced you may add in different kinds of veggies like carrots, peas & capsicum. You can also skip the onions and use fine chopped cabbage. Use what ever you like in your poha.
Toppings : Poha is generally topped with fresh grated coconut, crunchy peanuts, sev or farsan. It tastes pretty much delicious even with peanuts alone.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- 1 ½ cups poha (beaten rice flakes )(thick to medium flakes)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 to 3 green chilies slit or chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 1 medium potato (optional) cubed to ½ inch (or ½ cup mix veggies)
- 1½ tablespoons oil
- 3 to 4 tablespoons peanuts or cashews
- ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric (add more if needed for color)
- ⅓ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
- ½ to 1 tsp sugar (optional)
- Lemon juice as needed
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves chopped
How to make the recipe
- To make poha, choose medium to thick flakes. Avoid thin flakes. Add them to a bowl or a strainer or colander.
- Pour 4 to 5 cups of water and rinse them quickly. Drain the water completely. I rinse them twice.
- Cover and set aside to soften. Meanwhile prepare the veggies.
- Press a few flakes of poha in between your thumb and forefinger, they should be soft & break easily. If they don't then sprinkle little water mix and cover.
- When they turn soft enough, add some sugar and salt. Run your fingers through the poha to break the lumps & spread salt.
How to make poha
- Heat a pan with oil and fry the peanuts on a medium heat until golden and crunchy.
- Remove the peanuts to a plate and set aside.
- To the same pan add mustard and cumin.
- When they begin to pop, add hing, onions, curry leaves and green chilies.
- Saute until the onions turn lightly pink.
- Optional – Add cubed potatoes or mix veggies and saute for a min. Cover and cook on a low heat until soft and cooked completely. If needed can sprinkle some water and cook. Once done, saute for another minute.
- Add turmeric and poha. Mix well and cover the pan.
- Cook on a very low heat until it turns hot. If you feel poha is too dry, you may sprinkle some water and continue to steam.
- Turn off the heat when poha has softened & become hot. Remove from heat. Taste test and add more salt if needed & squeeze lemon juice.
- Garnish poha with coriander leaves & roasted peanuts. You may top with sev or farsan or fresh coconut.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Always choose thick to medium variety poha. Thin poha is not suitable to make this recipe as they turn mushy when rinsed.
- If you are running short of time, just skip potatoes. You can also use boiled potatoes.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips.