Clean and rinse 2 cups aval thoroughly in enough water. Drain off the water completely and rinse again. Drain them again.
Cover and set aside to soften until the onion,chilies and tomatoes are chopped.
Check by pressing down a few grains of aval in between your fingers. They should be softened and get mashed easily. If they are still hard, then sprinkle little water and keep covered until the tempering is done.
Making poha upma
Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a pan. Then add 3 tablespoons peanuts, 1 teaspoon chana dal & 1 teaspoon urad dal.
Fry till they turn golden and aromatic. Then add ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds and ⅛ teaspoon hing.
When the seeds pop, add 1 medium sliced onions, 2 slit green chilies and 1 sprig curry leaves. Fry till the onions become transparent.
Add 1 medium chopped tomatoes, ¼ teaspoon turmeric and ¼ teaspoon salt.
Fry till the tomatoes turn mushy and the raw smell of the tomatoes disappear.
Add softened poha,¼ teaspoon more salt and 2 tablespoons coconut (optional). If the aval is too dry, then sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons water and mix. Mix and cover it.
Steam cook them on a lowest heat until slightly hot. It takes about two minutes. Give a good mix in between.
Turn off the stove and taste test it. Add more salt if needed. Also add some lemon juice and 2 tbsps coriander leaves.