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Sunday, October 3, 2010

Pohe - The Perfect Breakfast Food

This is possibly one of the most popular breakfast items made in India. It is made quite frequently back home and we enjoy it a lot. There are many different recipe variations to make pohe found in various regions in India. Its probably as diverse as the different number of dialects, which is a very large number. The few names that its referred to are "batata poha", "bataka poha", "kanda pohe" and oh so many more. I remember getting off a bus once and seeing a small crowd of people enjoying a hot plate of pohe with some hot chai. Truly there is nothing more appetizing than a hot plate of pohe for breakfast.

The recipe below is inspired by my sister-in-law's preparation method. The use of fennel seeds and peanuts makes it delicious. Pair it with a cup of hot tea and enjoy your breakfast.

2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp fennel/saunf/badishep seeds
pinch of asafoetida
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 green chillies (to taste)
1 medium onion, diced
5-6 curry leaves (optional)
1/4 cup peas, shelled (frozen or fresh). If frozen, rinse them and set aside
2-3 tbsp peanuts
1.5 cups pohe (pressed rice)
salt to taste
cilantro for garnish
lemon/lime slices to serve with

Wash the pohe and set aside. The easiest way to do this is to take the pohe in a sieve or a colander, pour some water and let it drain away. Stir the pohe around to ensure that some of it doesn't remain dry. In a big pan, heat the oil. To this add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the fennel seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder, curry leaves, green chillies and onions. Cook the onions till the onion is cooked through. You can cook it till its transluscent or a little browned. The taste will vary a bit based on how long the onion has been cooked for. Do not brown it though. Then add the peanuts, stir for a couple of minutes. Then add the peas, cook for a minute. Add the pohe, stir and cook for a few minutes. The pohe should be damp when you add them to the pan. If they have dried out, add a little water to the pohe. Serve hot. Garnish with cilantro and serve a slice of lemon with the pohe. Addition of a little lime/lemon juice enhances the taste.

Add the salt and mix it into the pohe, itself before adding into the pan. This will ensure that the salt is mixed well throughout and some parts of it don't remain unseasoned.


  1. Wow! Simple yet effective! The photos are making me drool already. I got to have a serving soon enough now!

  2. Thanks Atul! Guess what, am making it for dinner tonight. After your comment, I went back to the post and it made my mouth water too. So today we will have pohe for dinner!

  3. What about turmeric powder?

    1. Oh! good catch. Looks like I forgot it in the ingredients list. I will update it. Thanks for bringing it to my notice.