Am I the only person who didn’t know about poha? How did I miss this?
I feel like I have a basic knowledge of most cuisines, but as much as I enjoy Indian cuisine, poha completely slipped passed my radar. I first discovered it a little while back through Liana Krissoff’s Vegetarian for a New Generation. Her book contains a poha recipe and I was hooked immediately.
Poha is a flattened white rice and when combined with spices, veggies, and eggs it’s like an Indian-inspired fried rice! There is something about it that I enjoy so much more than regular rice. Internet rumor has it that it’s easier to digest as well. But don’t take my word for that. I’ve just seen it around the web.
This is a recipe that I’ve modified a bit from the one I originally tried from that book. I eat this for any meal of the day. You can pile on any fresh or crunchy topping as well. The sev I mention below is a thin crispy string made of chickpea flour. You can find it in international grocery stores. It’s not a necessity, but it adds a tasty bite to the soft poha.
One of the changes I make with mine is that I use whole spices, but I like to grind them before adding them to the pan. I find whole spices popping around in the pan to be a bit of a pain. I have a coffee grinder that I reserve for a spice grinder. A few whirls in that and the spices are ready to heat in the oil.
I usually give mine a good dash of hot sauce before serving as well, but feel free to add or take away any ingredients. It’s really more about the method and how it all comes together. You’ll enjoy any of your favorite veggies and spices prepared with the poha.
Poha with Veggies and Eggs
Makes 2 servings
What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups poha
4 black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole coriander
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup shredded carrot
3 large eggs, beaten
2 1/2 cups spinach, chopped
1 plum or Roma tomato, chopped
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
Black sesame seeds
Sliced green onions
How to make it:
Place the poha in a colander and rinse well with cool water. Let sit in the sink to drain.
Grind the peppercorns, mustard seeds, and coriander until fine. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the spices and cook about 1 minute, until fragrant. Stir in the ginger and cook 1 more minute.
Add the onions, cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Next, add the carrot. Stir to mix all ingredients. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the poha and mix well.
Push all the ingredients to one side of the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Pour in the eggs and let cook undisturbed until they begin to cook through, about 1 minute. Stir the eggs into the rest of the ingredients, breaking them up into small pieces.
Increase the heat to medium and stir in the spinach and tomato. Cook just until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Add salt to taste.
Transfer to two bowls and add your toppings before serving warm.