It was early in the morning in Mumbai after a night bus from Goa and we arrived to meet Sherada who would be our lovely Airbnb Host. She was getting ready for work as she introduced us to her lovely apartment, showed us our room for the next few days and whipped up some poha as a welcome breakfast bite. What a wholesome, flavourful treat and something we’d never seen. It turns out it’s a traditional dish from central and western parts of India. Thank you for introducing it to us, Sherada.
There are many variations with potato, onion, lemon, spinach, chilli and other goodness. You could try it as an accompaniment to a fresh piece of pan-fried white fish loin or a runny fried egg. Oooh! Ours is a simple vegan version with toasted peanut and pea. Play around with your favourite ingredients.
You can get hold of poha from your local Indian supermarket.
Serves 2 as a breakfast
3 cups poha (flattened rice)
1/2 cup unsalted shelled peanuts
1/2 cup garden peas
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seed
1 teaspoon good fresh turmeric powder
1 tbsp rice bran oil
pinch of salt
drop of honey
1. In a large non stick, oil-free frying pan toast the poha so it becomes lightly golden but does not burn. The poha will also harden slightly / crisp. You’ll need to keep it moving.
2. Once golden and slightly harder, switch off the hob and empty the poha into a vessel where you can quickly plunge the poha into cool water before draining immediately.
3. Return the plunged and drained poha back to the warm pan but without heat. This will help to keep to prevent the poha from becoming soggy. You want nice fluffy poha. Agitate the poha slightly so it’s spread evenly over the warm but cooling pan.
4. In a separate sauce pan warm the peanuts to elevate the flavour and lightly colour the surface of the nuts.
5. Once the peanuts have taken some colour add the cumin and heat for 30 seconds too release the flavour but don’t burn.
6. Add the oil, salt and turmeric powder to the peanut and cumin and roll together.
7. Add the peas and warm through gently.
8. Add the pea and peanut mix to the rice. Add the honey and roll it all together.
You’re now ready for breakfast.
We’re enjoying ours this morning in Melbourne with some drumstick pickle and a soothing ginger, lemon and turmeric tea.
We recommend adding a few fresh curry leaves to the mix at stage 6 if you can get them where you are.
After meeting Sherada, the next day we met Sherada’s very inspirational son, Sachin. On his 32nd birthday, Sachin quit a promising career in public relations to start ‘The 12 Project’. 12 countries. 12 months. 12 challenges. See what Sachin is up to here.
We’ll be serving poha as a breakfast treat on our retreats.