Poha is made from rice grains that have been parboiled, flattened, and dried to make thin, light flakes. To prepare poha, these flakes are rehydrated by soaking them in water for a few minutes until they become soft. After draining the water, the softened poha is then seasoned with various spices and cooked with vegetables, nuts, and sometimes, even with meats.
The basic ingredients for making poha include flattened rice flakes, onions, green chilies, curry leaves, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, salt, and oil. Depending on personal preferences and regional variations, people may add other ingredients such as peas, potatoes, peanuts, cashews, grated coconut, and lemon juice.
There are several regional variations of poha across India. For example, in Maharashtra, it is called "Kanda Poha," where "Kanda" refers to onions. It typically contains onions, turmeric, green chilies, and grated coconut, making it slightly yellow in color. In Madhya Pradesh, "Indori Poha" is popular, known for its spicy and tangy flavor. In Gujarat, they make "Batata Poha" which includes potatoes as a primary ingredient.
Poha is a nutritious dish as it is made from rice, which provides carbohydrates for energy. It is also a good source of iron, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins. Additionally, with the addition of vegetables and nuts, it becomes a balanced meal with a mix of proteins, healthy fats, and other vital nutrients.
Poha is typically served hot and can be garnished with fresh coriander leaves, sev (crispy chickpea flour noodles), and a squeeze of lemon juice for added flavor. It is often enjoyed with a cup of tea or coffee.
Overall, poha is a delightful and convenient dish that is not only tasty but also versatile. It can be adapted to suit various dietary preferences and makes for a wholesome breakfast or snack option. Whether you are looking for a quick meal on a busy morning or want to savor the flavors of Indian cuisine, poha is a great choice.