Indori Poha

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Poha or flattened rice is very commonly consumed in Indian households. The Poha, also a recipe by the same name as that of the ingredient in Hindi, is a popular dish in Maharashtrian cuisine. Primarily, one with onion and the other with onion and potato. However, there’s another classic variation, the Indori Poha which is made in a different style with a typical spice powder. This, along with the Jalebi, is a quintessential street food in cities of Madhya Pradesh, especially Indore. Here’s my recipe for the same. It is vegan too.

indori poha served on white plate with small bowls of chopped onions and sev kept in the top right side and text layovers.

About Indori Poha

Poha (plural: pohe) essentially refers to 2 things – one, an ingredient, referred to as ‘flattened rice’ in English. Other, a dish made with this particular ingredient. In this post, I have shared the version which is famous in Indore, Madhya Pradesh in central India. Thus, rightly named as Indori Poha.

The Indori Poha is quite distinct than its Maharashtrian onion counterpart. One thing that differentiates it is the fact that in the Indore-style poha, onions are added as a topping and not sautéed. Along with onions, fresh pomegranate pearls, coriander leaves and some more special ingredients are added as toppings.

The taste of Indori Poha is khatta-meetha, meaning sour and sweet. For a sweet and floral undertone in the poha, fennel seeds are added too. Making this variation of poha is very easy. But you do need to have the unique ingredients – like jeeravan masala, nukti (masala boondi) and Indori or Ratlami sev – for the authentic taste.

Flattened rice, beaten rice or parched rice – all mean the same ingredient poha. It is made by first parboiling and then flattening the rice grains. This results in papery thin, crisp and dry rice flakes that can be easily broken or crumbled. However, there is a thicker variety of poha too, which I have also used in this Indori Poha.

indori poha served on a white plate with small bowls of sev, fresh pomegranate arils and masala boondi kept in the background.

More on this recipe

The most traditional recipe of an Indori Poha will always have the spicy spice blend called ‘jeeravan masala’ in it. It has a different taste altogether and cannot be compared to chaat masala or Garam Masala.

In addition to using this special spice mix for the Indori Poha, you can even add it to snacks like Dahi Vada, Samosa, Batata Vada, Kachori, fruit salad, sprouts salad, upma, potato chips or sandwiches. This will only enhance the flavors and make the dishes even more delish.

You might have difficulties in getting this masala in your area or locality. However, you can always rely on the world wide web for this. Just like I ordered it online, you can also to buy this spice mix online and use it for the recipe.

Since the time I had tried the Indori Poha, I had been wanting to make it at my home too and share the recipe. For the same, some recipe videos on YouTube were also referred by me. Later, using my own approximation for the ingredients, I finally created my own recipe.

It was a big hit at my place and thereafter, I kept making the Indori Poha gain and again. With this, I would also like you to try another iconic street food recipe from Indore – the Bhutte Ka Kees.

Like I said earlier, Indori Poha has a sweet, sour and spicy taste. The textures in this dish also range from soft to crispy to crunchy. So, in one plate you literally get a tsunami of flavors and textures.

Some more personal poha recipes that are a common at my place are this South Indian style Poha Upma and Chooda Matar from Uttar Pradesh in North India.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Indori Poha

Preparation

1. First, get all the ingredients ready for Indori Poha. You will need 2 cups thick poha, 1 chopped green chili, 1 lemon, ¼ to ⅓ cup chopped onions, ¼ cup Indori sev, ¼ cup masala boondi or khara boondi (nukti), ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves, jeeravan masala and ¼ cup pomegranate arils (optional).

ingredients for making indori poha.

2. Jeeravan masala is one of the special ingredient masala that is added in Indori Poha. If you do not have it, then mix ¼ teaspoon coriander powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 pinch black salt and 1 to 2 pinches ginger powder (saunth). Use this spice mix instead of jeeravan masala.

jeeravan masala for making indori poha.

Rinsing poha

3. Take the thick poha in a colander or strainer.

thick poha added to a strainer.

4. Begin to rinse the poha in clean running water.

rinsing poha under running water.

5. Gently mix and swirl with your hands while rinsing poha. Make sure that you do not rinse it too much or else it breaks and gets mushy. While rinsing, the poha absorbs enough water and it becomes soft.

mixing and swirling poha while rinsing.

6. Drain the water. The poha must become soft but remain intact, whole and separate. If the poha does not become soft, sprinkle few drops of water on the poha in the strainer till they get softened.

drained softened poha.

7. Take the poha in a mixing bowl.

poha added in a mixing bowl.

8. Sprinkle ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar and salt as required. You can add less or more sugar, as per your taste preferences.

turmeric powder, sugar and salt added to poha in bowl.

9. Lightly mix with a spoon or with clean hands.

ingredients mixed well in the poha.

Making Indori Poha

10. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy kadai or pan. Keep flame to low or medium-low, add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let it crackle.

crackling mustard seeds in hot oil in heavy pan.

11. Then, add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (saunf).

fennel seeds added to hot oil.

12. Let the fennel seeds splutter.

fennel seeds spluttering in hot oil.

13. Add chopped green chili. At this step, you can add curry leaves if you want. For small kids, you can skip green chilies.

chopped green chilies added to the pan.

14. Stir and sauté for a few seconds.

sautéing green chilies.

15. Keep the heat to low and add the poha.

poha added to the pan.

16. Gently mix poha with the tempering till the color of poha changes to a light yellow.

poha mixed gently with the tempering.

17. Cover kadai or pan with lid and steam the poha on low heat for about 1 to 2 minutes.

steaming indori poha in the covered pan.

18. After 1 to 2 minutes, remove the lid and stir again. Switch off the heat.

cooked poha.

19. Now, take the hot poha on a plate.

hot poha added to a plate.

20. Top with some chopped onions and chopped coriander leaves.

poha topped with chopped onions and chopped coriander leaves.

21. Sprinkle jeeravan masala on top. You can add 1 to 2 pinches of jeeravan masala or more. Jeeravan masala is spicy. So, add depending on spicy you like your food to be.

jeeravan masala sprinkled on poha.

22. Add pomegranate arils. You can add the quantity of toppings as per your preferences.

pomegranate arils added on poha.

23. Top with masala boondi or khara boondi (nukti).

masala boondi or nukti added on poha.

24. Now, top with Indori sev or Ratlami sev. You can also use masala sev, laung sev or aloo bhujia.

indori or ratlami sev added on poha.

25. Squeeze some lemon on top.

squeezing lemon on top of poha.

26. Assemble the Indori Poha in a similar way on plates and then serve them straightaway.

indori poha served on a white plate.

Expert Tips

  1. Make sure to use the thick poha variety to make this dish.
  2. While rinsing the poha, gently mix and swirl it with your hands. Ensure not to rinse too much. As then, it gets mushy and breaks. The drained poha should remain intact, whole and separate.
  3. If the poha is not soft, you can sprinkle a few drops of water on it in a strainer till it gets soft.
  4. In case you don’t have jeeravan masala and can’t source it either, mix ¼ teaspoon coriander powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 pinch black salt and 1 to 2 pinches ginger powder (saunth) and use it instead.
  5. Adjust the quantity of sugar in the dish, as per your liking. You can even add curry leaves with green chilies in it. If making for kids, skip adding green chilies.
  6. You can skip adding the pomegranate and use any masala or khara boondi in place of the special nukti. You can also add quantity of toppings as per your preference.

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indori poha recipe

Indori Poha

Khatta meetha (tangy and sweet) poha from Indore. A popular Indori street food. 
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Cuisine Indian Street Food, Indore
Course Breakfast, Snacks
Servings 3
Units

Ingredients

for mixing

  • 2 cups thick poha
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar or add as per taste
  • salt as required

other ingredients for indori poha

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 green chili – chopped
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup indori sev or add as required
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • jeeravan masala as required
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils – optional
  • ¼ cup masala boondi (nukti)

Instructions
 

preparation

  • First get all the ingredients ready for indori poha. 
  • Jeeravan masala is one of the special ingredient masala that is added in indori poha.
  • If you do not have jeeravan masala then mix ¼ teaspoon coriander powder, ¼ teaspoon cumin powder, ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder, ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder, 1 pinch black salt and 1 to 2 pinches of ginger powder. Use this spice mix instead of jeeravan masala.

rinsing poha to make indori poha

  • Take 2 cups thick poha in a colander or strainer.
  • Begin to rinse the poha in clean running water twice or thrice. 
  • Gently mix and swirl with your hands while rinsing poha. Make sure that you do not rinse it too much or else it breaks and gets mushy. While rinsing, the poha absorbs enough water and it becomes soft.
  • Drain the water. The poha must become soft but remain intact, whole and separate. If the poha does not become soft, sprinkle few drops of water on the poha in the strainer till they get softened.
  • Take the poha in a mixing bowl.
  • Sprinkle turmeric powder, 2 to 3 teaspoons sugar and salt as required in the poha. You can add less or more sugar as per your taste preferences.
  • Just lightly mix with a spoon or with clean hands.

making indori poha

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy kadai or pan. Keep flame to low or medium-low and add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  • Then add 1 teaspoon fennel seeds. Let the fennel seeds splutter.
  • Add 1 green chili (chopped). stir and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Keep flame to low and add the poha.
  • Gently mix poha with the tempered ingredients till the color of poha changes to light yellow. 
  • Cover kadai or pan with lid and on a low flame steam poha for about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • After 1 to 2 minutes remove the lid and stir again. Switch off the flame.
  • Now take the hot poha in a plate.
  • Top with some chopped onions and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Sprinkle jeeravan masala on top. You can add 1 to 2 pinches of jeeravan masala or more. Jeeravan masala is spicy so add accordingly depending upon how much spicy food you like.
  • Add pomegranate arils.
  • Top with masala boondi and indori sev. 
  • Squeeze some drops of lemon juice from top.
  • Assemble poha in a similar way in plates and then serve indori poha.
  • Serve indori poha straight away.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Indori Poha
Amount Per Serving
Calories 347 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Fat 10g15%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 443mg19%
Potassium 123mg4%
Carbohydrates 58g19%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 1mg5%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Vitamin E 4mg27%
Vitamin K 7µg7%
Calcium 25mg3%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 14µg4%
Iron 1mg6%
Magnesium 23mg6%
Phosphorus 88mg9%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Indori Poha recipe from the archives was first published in March 2018. It has been updated and republished in April 2024.

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Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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