Aloo Poha
Serves 3

  • 1 and a half cups poha (flattened rice/parched rice), thick variety
  • 1 large potato/aloo, cubed
  • 1 small to medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small green chili, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1½ to 2 cups roasted peanuts
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or more if you want the poha to be more sweet
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grated fresh coconut (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
  • A few pieces of lemon or 1 teaspoon lemon juice or as required
  • 2 to 2½ tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste

Pick the poha. Rinse the poha in clean running water, then use a strainer to rinse the poha. Keep the poha in the strainer and rinse it in running water. Make sure that you do not rinse it too much or else it breaks and gets mushy. While rinsing, the poha absorbs water and it becomes soft. The poha must become soft but remain intact, whole and separate. If the poha does not become soft, sprinkle a few drops of water on the poha in the strainer. Sprinkle the turmeric powder, sugar, and salt on the poha, then gently mix. Roast the peanuts in a small pan till they become crunchy and keep aside. Then, peel the potatoes/aloos and chop them into small cubes. In a kadai, heat oil. Before sautéing the potatoes, just sprinkle some salt and mix it well with the potatoes. Immediately put the potatoes in the hot oil. By using this technique, the potatoes have salt in them and yet do not lose water and become moist before sautéing. Sauté the potatoes till light golden and crisp. Keep aside. In the same kadai, we can now cook. Add the mustard seeds to the hot oil. When they splutter, add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds sizzle, add the onions. Sauté the onions till they become translucent and soften. Now add the curry leaves, green chili, and roasted peanuts. Sauté for a minute. Add the fried potatoes and then the poha. Mix gently with the rest of the mixture. Sauté the entire poha mixture for 2–3 minutes on a low flame, stirring gently in between. Switch off the flame and cover the pan tightly with a lid for the poha to get steamed for a few minutes. Remove the lid and garnish the poha with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and grated fresh coconut. Serve aloo poha hot with chopped lemon pieces. The lemon juice has to be squeezed onto the poha before eating it.-Alternatively, once the poha is done, sprinkle approximately 1 teaspoon lime juice on the poha. Mix it with the poha and then garnish the poha with coconut and cilantro leaves. Notes: Adding sugar is optional. You can skip it completely if you prefer a less sweet taste in the aloo poha.
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