I should probably create a special category for the recipes of the things that the girls like most and are happy to eat as often as I’ll make them, such as varan, upma, grilled salmon with pesto, any fish baked with a provencal marinade (made of oil, sun-dried tomatoes and herbs) etc.
And poha surely would be the first among those equals.
This is another dish that I learned to cook from my mother-in-law.
Indira, especially, loves it like she does nothing else. So today, when I wanted to persuade Indira to come home for lunch (Noor was going to eat with me anyway, because she has a bad cold and I wanted her to stay at home after lunch to have a nap) because I was worried she would not eat well in the school cantine due to an aching tooth and a mouth ulcer, I suggested that I could make poha. She was quick to agree after that !
With a very few modifications – such as the addition of ginger – the recipe that follows is faithful to Ma’s.
It is food that soothes the soul 🙂
Potato and Peas Poha
3 big handfuls of poha, washed under cold running water and left to drain in a colander for about 15-25 minutes
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced very fine (alternatively, you could use potatoes that have been boiled till soft)
2 medium sized onions, chopped very fine
1/2 to 3/4 cup of shelled, frozen peas
a handful of fresh green coriander, chopped fine
1/2 or 1 tsp of grated ginger
salt to taste
3/4 tsp of turmeric powder
1 tsp of mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
In a large frying pan, heat 4-5 tablespoons of oil, then add the mustard seeds. When these start to crackle, add the curry leaves and fry these for a few seconds. Now add the potatoes, reduce the heat, cover the pan and cook the potatoes till they are a little more than half done.
Add the onions, and fry with the potatoes till they are very soft and translucent. Now add the grated ginger and peas, and cook for some more time till the peas appear cooked. Add the poha (after sprinkling a little water on it, and salt) and stir everything together. Cover the pan and leave to cook till the poha is quite soft, uncovering the pan periodically (you will need to do this 3-5 times before the poha is soft enough) to sprinkle a little water over the poha and turning it over well so that it cooks evenly.
Stir in the coriander, and eat it while it is still hot.
This is a basic poha, and tastes wonderful with some plain yoghurt and pickle. Different cooks make it and serve it in many other ways, such as adding other vegetables, serving it with a little sev, lime juice and/or sugar, etc.
4 responses to “First among equals -Potato and Peas Poha”
Poha is an alltime Sunday bfast staple in our house- Medini calls it ‘yellow rice’. I love adding roasted peanuts and cashews to it. Do you remember the poha mounds on thelas in Bhopal ? I think they used to serve it w/sev and jalebi on the side. What a gorgeous view in the background-I am assuming it’s from your balcony ya photoshop ka kamaal he 😉
I’ve often wondered – what is the picture in your profile ? Ciao.
well poha really is a great comfort food I feel.
and yes, I never see a plate of poha without thinking of that !
They used to sell it in a similar way along the highway between Nagpur and Akola – they probably still do.
The 6 hour bus ride between those two places was part of my sales beat for a year, and I had that served-on-newspaper poha, with lime juice, sugar, and sev, more than once.
It was all I could sometimes afford on my sales trainee’s salary 🙂
btw what was the name of that chat shop we used to frequent – it was just across from the state emporium, wasn’t it?
yes the view is from the balcony 🙂 the profile pic is of a village called Gourdon in the mountains nearby.
I will post two more pics for you to see, one taken from our balcony and another of a provencal crafts shop in Gourdon, taken the same day as the other one.
a poha question for you – at what stage do you add the peanuts and cashews?
I totally agree it is comfort food- somehow I don’t feel gulity about the carb aspect of it either- it’s better than the processed foods we eat. I usually add the dry roasted peanuts / cashews when I mix the poha in the aloo & peas mixture. I also add curry leaves in the tadka and if I have handy, fresh or dry grated coconut -along with the peanuts. There is a great recipe of poha in Shoba Narayan’s book – the monsoon diaries. In fact all her recipes are simple and turn out great. The dosa aloos she has in that book are just tooo yummy yum..
I cannot remember the name of the chat shop – I think it was Chaat corner.
ab ek kitaab aur kharidni paregi 🙂