But this is not from the ones I am being trained at the school, but a very traditional Maharashtrian snack or breakfast. Actually I should confess I never liked Poha (in Hindi) or Cheerer Pulao ( in Bengali) when I was a kid. But as we all mature and our tongue matures too...Poha became one of my "Yum" dishes and of course the best part is also that it is not very oily or spicy too..(Of course depending on individual taste). I just tend to bend towards the healthier version for the family..having said that, when I was younger, I always thought ..Why don't ma add more oil and spice and just make it like of those roadside eatery's yum dishes...nice and bright colour and the zing too? But again as my hair greys out, I now know why she didn't listen to my logic of adding more and more oil. Any one can make the food tasty and look nice with dripping oil and spices ( mind you the word "Tasty" here is objective again- the grey toned hair ones will be probably on my side and of course with Generation Y, things have changed too with healthy eating habits). It takes lot of patience and infusing TLC on the pan to make the food bright and colourful yet tasty with less oil and spice.
I think I had enough blabbering about healthy eating..now for the ones who do not understand the Poha and Cheerer Pulao- this is Flattened Rice ( also called beatened rice) is deshusked rice which is flattened into flat dry rice flakes. If you want to understand more you may read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poha_(rice) .
Here goes how I made it..
Poha or Cheere- 1 and 1/2 cup
Boiled Potato- 2 medium ( I boiled it in the microwave ..super fast for my sudden breakfast ideas)
Onion- 1 chopped very fine
Ginger - Young 1 inch- chopped fine- cut juliennes and fine chop
Curry Leaves- a handful ( I just plucked them fresh from balcony garden)
Green chillies- As much as you want , I used chopped chopped.
Hing ( Asaefotida)- a pinch
White Urad dal and mustard seeds mix - 1 tsp for tempering
Sugar- 2 tsp
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder- 1/2tsp
Salt to taste
Peanuts- 1/4th cup
Peas- Frozen- 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves - to garnish. ( I did not have any in the fridge)
|Pohe with Potato crisps and the sugary watermelon|
How I made-
1. Wash the Poha in a bowl and drain it in a colander and squeeze out the water . Let it dry and then add 2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp salt and mix with your hand. Make sure all the flakes are seasoned well.
2. Fry the Peanuts brown in oil and keep aside. Be alert, they burn very easily.
3.To the hot oil, add the hing, Mustard and urad daal mix and curry leaves. Let the flavour infuse the oil and the seeds crackle. The kitchen just smell heavenly, I throw in the chillies and ginger.
4. To this fragrant oil with so many flavours zinging together, throw the chopped onion and fry till translucent.
5. Now goes the powdered spices- not too many- just turmeric, chilli, some sugar and salt. Wait for the lovely colour. Keep stirring, remember its not simmering but similar to chinese stir frying.
6. Chop the boiled potaotes into small cubes and add to this. Also add the peas and mix nicely.
7. Now goes the main ingredient - the Poha , now its the time to show your hand skills on the ladle and mix the onion mixture well with the poha flakes and see how beautifully the white dull flakes get the lovely bright colour. Mind you , all this I did with quite a less amount of oil and not too many spice. I am sure everyone can do it too.
8. Add the fried peanuts and adjust the seasoning if you need to.
9. Last but not the least , squeeze some fresh lemon juice to bring the tang on to taste. Sprinkle the fresh chopped coriander and serve on a light coloured plate to highlight the bright colour.
10. I like to have some potato crisps, or we bongs say Jhuri bhaja on the top , to give that crunchy. Of course the peanuts make it quite crunchy too.
11. And yes, passed my son's tasting buds too.
P.S. You can go more on the veggies like carrots, but as much of veggies you use, the traditional poha concept will transform to the Upma concept. So I would suggest try to keep it as basic to preserve the authenticity.