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Poha can be bought in Indian stores as Thick or Thin Poha.

It is flattened rice and is used in India for making Poha that many eat as a pilaf (a snack pilaf that is) or even into Chivras/Chevros (Indian version of trail mix).

Do you use make Poha?

What recipe do you use?

What all do you add to the Poha?

Have you used Poha to make anything other than the usual stuff one sees in Indian homes?

For that matter, what is the usual for you?

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I've never heard of this, Suvir. Sounds interesting.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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I've never heard of this, Suvir. Sounds interesting.

Poha is a wonderful ingredient to have on hand Jinmyo.

It is rice that is harvested, soaked overnight in warm water and then pressed by hand into flattened rice. These are then dried.

When you are ready to have a snack without wanting to spend too much time, you can simply rehydrate the poha by running water through it. Let it stand for a few minutes.

You can add this rehydrated flattened rice into most stuff that you would use in the making of a pilaf.

It is a great ingredient..... never seen in Non-Indian stores.....

I am curious to see what others do with it...

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For the curious,

What poha looks like

I use the thick poha to make poha, the Maharashtrian breakfast food. And I make that the typical way. Drench the poha in water, squeeze in a lime, add salt, cilantro, cumin and coriander powder. Doing this before the tadka is a trick I learned from my mother. Make the tadka (oil, mustard seeds, fresh green chillies, cilantro, turmeric, asafoetida), gently fry onions and potatoes (thinky sliced, raw) until potatoes are cooked. Do not let the onions brown too much. Add the poha. Mix well. Add a bit of water and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for a few minutes before serving garnished with cilantro and cocnonut.

I use either kind of poha to sometime make a raita. Drench poha in water. Add finely chopped cucumber, salt, cumin powder, black pepper and lime juice. Add a standard issue mustard tarka on top. Stir. Serve cold. If I feel like it, I skip the lime juice and add yoghurt instead.

Chivda is my all time favorite snack. My mother cooks it better than anyone on the planet. And this ain't the love talking. Really. I can remember countless times as a kid when I made myself a bowl of chivda, topped with finely chopped onions and cilantro and sometimes raw mango pickle for an extra zing.

I've found in myself a strange reluctance to get her recipe and make this snack at home. I feel like it would signify the end of something I'm not ready to end ......

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For the curious,

What poha looks like

I use the thick poha to make poha, the Maharashtrian breakfast food. And I make that the typical way. Drench the poha in water, squeeze in a lime, add salt, cilantro, cumin and coriander powder. Doing this before the tadka is a trick I learned from my mother. Make the tadka (oil, mustard seeds, fresh green chillies, cilantro, turmeric, asafoetida), gently fry onions and potatoes (thinky sliced, raw) until potatoes are cooked. Do not let the onions brown too much. Add the poha. Mix well. Add a bit of water and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for a few minutes before serving garnished with cilantro and cocnonut.

I use either kind of poha to sometime make a raita. Drench poha in water. Add finely chopped cucumber, salt, cumin powder, black pepper and lime juice. Add a standard issue mustard tarka on top. Stir. Serve cold. If I feel like it, I skip the lime juice and add yoghurt instead.

Chivda is my all time favorite snack. My mother cooks it better than anyone on the planet. And this ain't the love talking. Really. I can remember countless times as a kid when I made myself a bowl of chivda, topped with finely chopped onions and cilantro and sometimes raw mango pickle for an extra zing.

I've found in myself a strange reluctance to get her recipe and make this snack at home. I feel like it would signify the end of something I'm not ready to end ......

It has to be Nagpur thing Indiagirl! My mom learned how to make the best Chivda in Nagpur. And us kids would eat it as you describe.

There is something amazing about Nagpur. I have amazing memories about food and culture from my 3 years there.

Chivda and Poha are two of my favorite dishes from there.

I have never eaten Poha in raita. Where did you learn that? Is it also a Maharashtrian thing?

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  • 1 year later...
For the curious,

What poha looks like

I use the thick poha to make poha, the Maharashtrian breakfast food. And I make that the typical way. Drench the poha in water, squeeze in a lime, add salt, cilantro, cumin and coriander powder. Doing this before the tadka is a trick I learned from my mother. Make the tadka (oil, mustard seeds, fresh green chillies, cilantro, turmeric, asafoetida), gently fry onions and potatoes (thinky sliced, raw) until potatoes are cooked. Do not let the onions brown too much. Add the poha. Mix well. Add a bit of water and cover with a lid. Allow to steam for a few minutes before serving garnished with cilantro and cocnonut.

I use either kind of poha to sometime make a raita. Drench poha in water. Add finely chopped cucumber, salt, cumin powder, black pepper and lime juice. Add a standard issue mustard tarka on top. Stir. Serve cold. If I feel like it, I skip the lime juice and add yoghurt instead.

Chivda is my all time favorite snack. My mother cooks it better than anyone on the planet. And this ain't the love talking. Really. I can remember countless times as a kid when I made myself a bowl of chivda, topped with finely chopped onions and cilantro and sometimes raw mango pickle for an extra zing.

I've found in myself a strange reluctance to get her recipe and make this snack at home. I feel like it would signify the end of something I'm not ready to end ......

:wub::raz: I love poha since I came here to us I've been using the recipe indiagirl mentioned here :biggrin: .. with poha substituted with oats bran.. helps to cook with it you know :biggrin: healthwise, only thing I've to mention is that oats need a lot less soaking before putting into the wok but also be careful for not forming clumps for they cause a kind of stickiness later :biggrin::wink: you'll know when to time it right if you try two times.. good luck if you need hints take me up on it and pm me.. laterif there are too many pm's I'll send the complete set of steps on blog

Edited by Geetha (log)
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Here are some of the ways Poha or cheera/cheerey is used in Gangetic West Bengal :

Phalaar [ from the Skt. ‘phalahara’?]; at its simplest, it is known as doi-cheerey, yogurt mixed with poha, and sweetened, for a light meal during summer or when one’s stomach is recovering from an illness.

Phalar is slightly more elaborate, involving fruit and various sugars/sweetmeats mashed in. It is often consumed on fast days, especially by orthodox widows. There are certain ceremonial occasions when the whole community partakes. The best known is the day after Vasant Panchami, when on the second morning of Saraswati Puja, a phalar is enjoyed; it includes poha, banana [cultivar Kanthali], sandesh, birkhandi/kadma/elachdana [forms of sugar appearing only for this puja], murki [puffed whole rice sweetened with jaggery] and yoghurt , amongst other things, all mashed up in a horrible-looking mess, but AMBROSIAL! Once, a Swiss lady made me some Bircher muesli mixed with vanilla yoghurt, chopped apples, raisins, and left to macerate for a while; there I was, enjoying phalar half a world away!

[Less well-known nowadays, various Vaishnava festivals long have a tradition of phalar consumption. The one at Panihati, Haora district, made famous by Ramakrishna’s attendance, customarily included phalar prepared with mangoes, gur and yoghurt.]

Another festival when poha commonly is consumed are the days immediately after Vijaya Dashami or Dussehra, when people would visit each other with sweets and exchange greetings. This is perhaps the biggest communal social event in Gangetic Bengal. Hosts, in turn, offer a range of coconut confections and other sweets. One popular savory is ghugni, whole field peas/ chickpeas cooked in a spicy base, often including potatoes and nuggets of fried coconut; sometimes, accompanying this is fried poha, cheerey-bhaja. As frying poha consumes a lot of oil, only the reasonably affluent include this frill.

Sometimes, fried poha and fresh, boiled tender green peas, accompanied by a deep fried dry chile, would make a welcome appearance at teatime during winter in our family.

Poha [murmura is an alternative] can be cooked with carp heads for a festive dish usually served at bridal showers, and similar happy occasions.

A confection made with poha and jaggery, called cheerer moa, takes its place with other moas made of muri/murmura [puffed husked rice], and khoi [parched unhusked rice] and its sweetened form, murki. These sweets are especially enjoyed during the winter, usually purchased from itinerant vendors. The poha version is quite hard and brittle, and an especial favorite of mine.

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gautam, you should be banned from making any more posts which make me hungry.

Phalaar [ from the Skt. ‘phalahara’?]; at its simplest, it is known as doi-cheerey, yogurt mixed with poha, and sweetened, for a light meal during summer or when one’s stomach is recovering from an illness. 
Indeed, this was my very common afternoon snack (after coming back from school) when I was growing up. Sometimes, you would mix in some sweet, ripe mangoes into the mixture as well. Cheerey mixed with mishti-doi really is very delicious. Other days, we would eat muri ("murmura" aka "puffed rice" aka rice krispies), mixed with peanuts, onions, green chili or sometimes with chanachur. Sometimes it would be "Chire-bhaja" (fried poha), with nuts and chanachoor.
Phalar is slightly more elaborate, involving fruit and various sugars/sweetmeats mashed in. It is often consumed on fast days, especially by orthodox widows. There are certain ceremonial occasions when the whole community partakes.  The best known is the day after Vasant Panchami, when on the second morning of Saraswati Puja, a phalar is enjoyed; it includes poha, banana [cultivar Kanthali], sandesh, birkhandi/kadma/elachdana [forms of sugar appearing only for this puja], murki [puffed whole rice sweetened with jaggery] and yoghurt , amongst other things, all mashed up in a horrible-looking mess, but AMBROSIAL! Once, a Swiss lady made me some Bircher muesli mixed with vanilla yoghurt, chopped apples, raisins, and left to macerate for a while; there I was, enjoying phalar half a world away!

[Less well-known nowadays, various Vaishnava festivals long have a tradition of phalar consumption. The one at Panihati, Haora district, made famous by Ramakrishna’s attendance, customarily included phalar prepared with mangoes, gur and yoghurt.]

This was also a standard fare for the religioous ceremonies held at our home when my mother would do a "Lokkhi" (Lakshmi) pujo.

Gautam, did you have the slimy liquid shinni they used to serve during Saraswati pujo?

Poha [murmura is an alternative] can be cooked with carp heads for a festive dish usually served at bridal showers, and similar happy occasions.
I hadn't realized you could use poha for this dish. I have always had the variant that uses "Muri"/"Murmura"
A confection made with poha and jaggery, called cheerer moa, takes its place with other moas made of muri/murmura [puffed husked rice], and khoi [parched unhusked rice] and its sweetened form, murki. These sweets are especially enjoyed during the winter, usually purchased from itinerant vendors.  The poha version is quite hard and brittle, and an especial favorite of mine.

Gautam, have you tried making these at home here in the USA? Maybe by substitutiing caramel instead of jaggery?

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Slimy caranamrta yes, shinni no; perhaps we are speaking of the same thing, shinni in my family being something from satya-narayana puja, similar stuff but Ma Saraswati, Kali-ma being orthodox,they have caranamrta. poor Satya-Narayana, smacking of suspect ancestry, has proclaimed his predilection for shinni, which i believe is derived from some Islamic term. It is written in the SN puthi that the pir, SN in disguise, called for shinni.

For an after-school snack, my foster mother would mix muri with murki, add some peanuts, toss in a Kanthali banana or two, and some chunks of wonderful cane jaggery : Ambrosia. Dinner would be her inimitable soft chappaties, with just coarse salt; sometimes, the meal would comprise just boiled potatoes tossed with lime juice and crushed peppercorns. More ambrosia. So, was startled to learn from Kolkata folk that we were very poor indeed!

About making cheerer moa, no; as you know, so much of the enjoyment lies in the associations attached to the foods; and now with almost everyone gone, it is too painful.

Such fun to reminisce about times that were sort of hard, and hinting of desperation. Thank you very much.

Edited by v. gautam (log)
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Slimy caranamrta yes, shinni no; perhaps we are speaking of the same thing, shinni in my family being something from satya-narayana puja, similar stuff but Ma Saraswati, Kali-ma being orthodox,they have caranamrta.  poor Satya-Narayana, smacking of suspect ancestry, has proclaimed his predilection for shinni, which i believe is derived from some Islamic term.  It is written in the SN puthi that the pir, SN in disguise, called for shinni.

You mean "Charanamrito" (aka "Charana-amrita" , literally "ambrosia from the feet" (of gods and goddesses I suppose)), right?

No, shinni is different from Charanmrito. Shinni is much more thick.

You are right, shinni was also done during Satyanarayan pujo as well.

Shinni was not my favorite, though. It was always too slimy for me.

For an after-school snack, my foster mother would mix muri with murki, add some peanuts, toss in a Kanthali banana or two, and some chunks of wonderful cane jaggery : Ambrosia. Dinner would be her inimitable soft chappaties, with just coarse salt; sometimes, the meal would comprise just boiled potatoes tossed with lime juice and crushed peppercorns.
BTW, this (all 3) was standard fare at our house as well. I especially liked the diced boiled potatoes with lime juice and peppercorns, and even though I much preferred rice over chapatis, I would still like to eat the chapatis with the potatoes. A "snackier" and slightly more elaborate version of the same potatoes is also served in a way like "chaat" and called "Aloo-kabli" (Literally, potatoes done in the style of Kabul? ).

Except, we never mixed in peanuts and banana in the same mix though -- the sweet mixes never had the peanuts, and conversely, the savory ones never had bananas.

BTW, I dont know where you live in the USA, but during Saraswati pujo or even Durga pujo here in the San Francisco bay area, you can get your fix of Phalahar if you wish.

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I believe that the kabuli in aloo-kabli refers to chickpeas or kabuli chana, although in Kolkata, the chana [and of the desi, sprouted sort] all seemed to have run away to the fruit salad/rochak called ‘Vitamin B-complex’, sold from glass-sided cases of death festooned with bunches of bananas and shameless naked papayas casting come-hither looks at the unwary.

Aloo-kabli, with nary a chana, but embellished with onions and delicious tamarind and masala was wonderful, served on sal leaf plates, using a bit of sal leaf as a spoon. A form called churmuri later evolved, where crushed phuchka shells were liberally incorporated into and on top of the aloo-kabli. Now that shells are available pre-packaged, you might like to try this variation yourself!

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  • 15 years later...

I am preparing a Vivek Singh recipe that calls for pawa/poha/rice flakes.  Recipes that have poha as an ingredient are all over the internet but I cannot find a recipe to make it.  Would I be amiss to run dried, parboiled rice through my grain flocker and use that?

 

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  • 5 months later...

this is how i make poha. hope you will like it.

 

·         Firstly, add 1 tsp sugar and ¾ tsp salt on soaked poha and mix gently.

·         In a large kadai heat 2 tbsp oil and roast  2 tbsp peanuts on low flame.

·         roast until the peanuts turn crunchy. keep aside.

·         in the same oil, splutter 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp cumin, pinch hing and few curry leaves.

·         further add 1 onion, 2 chilli and saute well.

·         saute until onions shrink slightly without browning.

·         further, add ¼ tsp turmeric and saute well.

·         add in soaked poha and mix gently until everything is combined well.

·         cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the flavours are absorbed well.

·         also add 2 tbsp coconut, 2 tbsp coriander and 2 tsp lemon juice. mix gently.

·         finally, enjoy kanda poha topped with some sev.

 

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