Poha recipe is a popular Maharashtrian breakfast made from flattened rice, herbs and spices. It is a staple breakfast in our home which we all love. In this post, I share two tasty recipes that are vegan and gluten-free.
The two popular variations of poha recipe are made with either potato or onion or both potatoes and onion. I am sharing 2 such popular variations in this post.
- Kanda Poha (With Onions)
- Kanda Batata Poha (With Onions & Potatoes)
Both the recipes are easy and taste good. You can make any recipe as per your taste buds.
Table of Contents
What is Poha
The word Poha (plural pohe) is used for two things. One is the ingredient which is flattened rice and second is this recipe or dish which I have shared here.
1. Flattened rice or beaten rice
Beaten rice, flattened rice or parched rice are the different words to denote Poha. To make beaten rice, the rice grains are parboiled and then flattened.
These are like dry, crisp, thin flakes that can be crumbled or broken easily. Recipes made with flattened rice requires little to no cooking.
In some regional Indian languages, poha is known as phov (konkani), avalakki (karnataka), aval (tamil & malayalam), atukulu (telugu), chira (bengali), paunva (gujarati) and as pauwa in hindi.
Poha absorbs any liquids (water or milk) that they are soaked in and soften. So they can be eaten raw after soaking or cooked a bit.
They are also fried or roasted and made into quick snacks like Poha Chiwda.
In India, we get flattened rice easily. Making any dish with them is a breeze.
If you live outside India, then you can buy flattened rice in an Indian or asian grocery store or online.
There are basically two types of poha available in the market depending on their thickness. One is a papery thin version and the other is a thicker variety.
While in some recipes they can be used interchangeably, but in this poha recipe, always use the thicker poha.
We also get red poha or brown poha (made from red or brown rice). You can even use these to make this breakfast dish.
2. Poha Recipe
Poha recipe is a light breakfast dish. Basically pohe is made by mixing flattened rice in a mix of seasoned spices and onions.
It is ridiculously easy to make poha recipe. To make it more nutritious you can add boiled peas, grated carrots, roasted peanuts, cashews and garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro leaves) and grated coconut.
There are many variations of the recipe. Example: If you are adding potatoes then you can either fry them or steam them. One more tasty version is Indori Poha which has fennel seeds as one of the spices.
About Kanda Poha
In Marathi language, the word “Kanda” means onions. By now you know that the Maharashtrian word for flattened or beaten rice is Poha. Hence the term Kanda Poha or Kanda Pohe.
In some variations of poha recipe, potato is added instead of onions. Some people like to add both onions and potatoes.
I always add red onions that give a nice sweetish taste. If you are not a fan of red onions, you can try making the recipe with white onions or yellow onions.
How to make Poha
1. Rinse 1.5 cups thick poha (flattened rice) in water until they soften. Use a strainer or colander to rinse these light rice flakes.
Remember not too rinse them too much or else they will break and become mushy. During rinsing, they will absorb water and soften.
The poha flakes ideally should soften but remain in shape and intact. If the they do not become soft, sprinkle some splashes of water on them so that they absorb some extra water.
2. Drain all of the water. The pohe should loose their crunchiness, crispiness and when you break them between your finger, they should easily get crushed or mashed. Set aside.
3. Now add 1 teaspoon sugar (or as required), salt as per taste, and ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder to the pohe and gently mix with a spoon or with clean hands.
4. Dry roast 2 to 2.5 tablespoons peanuts in a heavy pan until they become crunchy.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in the same pan. Crackle the mustard seeds first. Use peanut oil or sunflower oil or any neutral flavored oil.
6. Then add ½ cup finely chopped onions. Sauté them until they become translucent and soften.
7. Add 10 to 12 curry leaves and 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies. Sauté for some seconds.
8. Add the roasted peanuts and stir.
9. Add poha and mix gently.
10. Cover and steam for about 2 minutes on a low heat.
11. Switch off the heat and let poha remain covered for 1 to 2 minutes.
12. Remove the lid and sprinkle 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves and 2 to 3 tablespoons grated coconut.
13. Mix gently and serve.
14. Serve kanda poha hot or warm with ginger chai or hot coffee. You can also sprinkle some sev (fried gram flour vermicelli) while serving.
- Texture of soaked poha: After rinsing them well, press a flake and if it gets crushed/mashed easily then it is soft enough to be cooked. Otherwise, if it is dry and does not get mashed easily then sprinkle little water over it and gently mix well.
- Rinsing: I usually rinse these flakes in a strainer or colander under running water and don’t soak them in water. Rinsing these softens them easily.
- Veggies: You can also add boiled peas or grated carrots. This makes this dish more healthy and nutritious.
- Garnish: I also like to add grated fresh coconut in my poha recipe but you can skip if you do not have coconut.
- Type of poha: I use both red and white poha to make kanda poha. I have updated this post with step by step photos, where the dish is made with white poha but the final photos has the dish made with red poha.
North Indian Food
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- 1.5 cups poha (thick variety) – red or white beaten rice or flattened rice
- ½ cup finely chopped onions or 1 medium-sized onion
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 2 to 2.5 tablespoon peanuts
- 10 to 12 curry leaves
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chillies or serrano peppers or 1 to 2 green chillies
- 1 teaspoon sugar or add as required
- 2 tablespoons oil – sunflower, peanut or any neutral tasting oil
- salt as required
- 2 to 3 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice or add as required
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grated coconut or add as required
- Rinse the poha in water till they soften.
- They should loose their crunchiness and when you break them between your finger, they should easily get crushed or mashed.
- Now add sugar, salt and turmeric powder to the poha and gently mix.
- Dry roast the peanuts in a heavy pan till they become crunchy.
- Heat oil in the same pan.
- Crackle the mustard seeds first.
- Then add onions and saute them till they become translucent.
- Add curry leaves and green chilies. Saute for half a minute.
- Add the roasted peanuts and stir.
- Add the poha and stir.
- Cover and steam the poha for 2 minutes on a low flame.
- Switch off the fire and let the kanda poha remain covered for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Remove the lid and sprinkle some lemon juice, coriander leaves and grated coconut on poha.
- Give a gentle stir and serve kanda poha hot with tea.
- Texture: After rinsing the poha flakes, press a few flakes and if they get crushed or mashed easily then they are soft enough to be cooked. If they are dry or crunchy, sprinkle some splashes of water on them and gently mix.
- Rinsing: I always rinse these flakes in a strainer or colander under running water and don’t soak them in water. Rinsing softens them easily.
- Veggies: To make poha recipe more nutritious, add add boiled peas or grated carrots.
- Garnish: I like to add grated fresh coconut but it is optional. Do add coriander leaves and do not skip them.
- Type of poha: Both white and red poha can be added in the recipe.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
About Kanda Batata Poha
Kanda batata poha is one of the staple breakfast recipe from Maharashtra made with onions (kanda), potato (batata) and flattened rice. Gluten-free and vegan.
It is an easy, quick and healthy option for breakfast or brunch or as a snack. There are many recipes for making poha and each family has its own way of making it. But in most variations, either we add potatoes or onions or both.
In this recipe like the way we usually do at home, I have sautéed the potatoes in oil but you can also boil/steam them separately before adding to poha.
Usually, I love to add roasted peanuts and top poha with grated coconut – which adds a lot of flavor and makes it more healthy. I like to have a cup of hot tea with it and I have my satisfied morning breakfast meal.
The best thing which I like about this dish is that it is light on the stomach and easy to digest and yet nutritious.
How to make Kanda Batata Poha
1. Pick 1.5 cups thick poha first. Rinse them in clean running water in a strainer or colander. Make sure not to overdo the rinsing. This will make them mushy and pasty.
Rinsing in fresh clean water, softens them as they absorb water.
2. Sprinkle ¼ to ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon sugar and salt as required in poha.
3. Gently mix with your hands or with a spoon.
4. Roast 2 tablespoons peanuts in a heavy pan until they become crunchy. Set aside.
5. Peel 1 medium-sized to large potato and chop them into small cubes. In the same heavy kadai or pan heat 2 to 2.5 tablespoons oil. Sauté the potatoes in medium hot oil.
6. Sauté them until light golden and crisp.
7. Once the potatoes become light golden and crisp then remove them with a slotted spoon draining the extra oil. Set aside with the roasted peanuts.
8. In the same kadai, there will be some oil left. Add ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds to the hot oil. If there is no oil, then add 1 tablespoon oil and heat it gently.
9. When the mustard seeds splutter, add ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds.
10. When the cumin seeds splutter, add ⅓ cup finely chopped onions. Sauté the onions until they become translucent and soften.
11. Now add 8 to 9 curry leaves (medium to large sized), 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies and roasted peanuts. Mix well.
12. Add poha.
13. Mix gently with the rest of the mixture.
14. Add the potatoes. Mix very well. Cover the pan tightly with a lid for poha to get steamed for about 2 minutes on low heat. Remove the lid and check the taste and if required add more salt and sugar.
15. Garnish with 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) and 2 to 3 tablespoons grated fresh coconut.
16. Mix gently.
17. Serve kanda batata poha hot or warm with chopped lemon pieces. The lemon juice has to be squeezed on poha before eating it.
Alternatively, you could also follow this method. When the poha recipe is cooked, sprinkle about 1 to 2 teaspoons lime juice on it. Mix it with the kanda batata poha and then garnish with grated coconut and coriander leaves.
Kanda Batata Poha
For prepping poha
- 1.5 cups poha – thick variety (flattened or parched rice)
- 1 teaspoon sugar or as required
- salt as required
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 2 tablespoon peanuts
- 2 to 2.5 tablespoon oil – peanut, sunflower or any neutral oil
- 1 medium potato – chopped into small cubes
- ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ⅓ cup finely chopped onions or 1 medium-sized onion
- 1 teaspoon chopped green chilies or 1 to 2 green chillies
- 8 to 9 curry leaves (medium to large sized)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grated coconut
- 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
- Pick the poha first. Rinse them in clean running water in a strainer or colander.
- Make sure that you do not rinse it too much or else it breaks and gets mushy. While rinsing, the poha flakes absorb enough water and they become soft.
- The poha flakes must become soft but remain intact, whole and separate. If they do not become soft, sprinkle few drops of water on them in the strainer till they get softened.
- Sprinkle the turmeric powder, sugar and salt in the poha. Gently mix.
- Roast the peanuts in a small pan till they become crunchy and keep aside.
- Also peel the potatoes and chop them into small cubes.
Making kanda batata poha
- In a heavy kadai, heat oil. Sauté the potatoes in medium hot oil till light golden and crisp. Keep aside.
- In the same kadai, there will be some oil left. Add ¾ teaspoon mustard seeds to the hot oil. If there is no oil, then add 1 tablespoon oil and heat it gently.
- When the mustard seeds splutter, add the cumin seeds.
- When the cumin seeds crackle, add the onions. Sauté the onions till they become translucent and soften.
- Now add the curry leaves, green chili and roasted peanuts. Saute for a minute.
- Add the fried potatoes and then the poha. Mix gently with the rest of the mixture.
- Cover the pan tightly with a lid for the poha to get steamed for about 2 minutes on low heat. Remove the lid and check the taste and if required add more salt and sugar.
- Switch off the flame and cover the pan tightly with a lid for the poha to get steamed for a few minutes.
- Remove the lid and garnish with chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and grated fresh coconut.
- Serve kanda batata poha hot with chopped lemon pieces. The lemon juice has to be squeezed on the poha before eating it.
- Alternatively, you could also follow this method. Once the poha is done, sprinkle about 1 to 2 teaspoons lime juice on it.
- Mix and then garnish it with coconut and coriander leaves.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This poha recipe post from the archives (August 2013) has been republished and updated on 16 December 2020.