The holidays are upon us and I can’t help but envision being surrounded by delicious food and great company. After a series of trial and error cooking experiments, I have realized that my Indian friends don’t love American food as much as I do. For the holidays, however, my family would love to get a taste of authentic Indian cuisine! My friends over at Aloha are inspiring healthy habits, one menu at a time, this holiday season, and I have the perfect dish in mind! In my family, during the holidays, we all bring a dish to pass. It’s our tradition!
If I were home, I’d bring my favorite Indian dish so far: DN’s Poha.
Poha is flattened rice, which is light and fluffy in texture. It’s flavorful, zesty and a little spicy.
I’m getting hungry just thinking about it… Let’s get started!
DN’s Famous Poha Recipe
Serves: 2 people
- 4 green chilies
- 2 small to medium tomatoes
- 2 small red onions
- 3 tablespoons of uncooked peanuts
- 2 1/2 cups of poha (found at any Indian or Asian grocery store)
- 3/4 cup of fresh peas
- 1 lemon
- 3-4 sprigs of fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil or soya bean oil
- mustard seeds
- cumin seeds
- green fennel seeds
- turmeric powder
- Very carefully rinse the poha in a bowl, until the water is clear or close to it. When you are finished rinsing, gently strain the water from the poha and set the bowl of poha aside.
- Peel and cut the onions in halves, then thinly slice each half of the onion. Set aside.
- Dice the tomatoes and keep them aside.
- Carefully chop the chilies into thin rings and keep aside.
- Chop the coriander leaves and keep them aside.
- In an Indian Karahi, Chinese Wok or other deep cooking pot, heat the oil on a low to medium flame.
- When the oil is hot, drop in mustard seeds, cumin seeds and green fennel seeds.
- Let them cook for a few seconds until you hear them crackle and pop, and smell the aroma.
- Drop the thinly sliced onions and chilies into the oil and give it a small stir to make sure everything is covered in oil.
- When the onions start to turn a golden color, add the peas and peanuts. Cover and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the peanuts and peas are cooked, add tomatoes, turmeric and salt. Mix well.
- Add poha to the mix, by gently tickling the poha to break it up. (It sticks together after getting wet.) Be very careful. You don’t want to squish or tear the poha flakes apart.
- Gently mix the poha so it’s fully covered in the mixture. The poha will start to turn yellow. Remove from heat and continue to gently mix the poha.
- Finished! Top with chopped coriander and serve with a lemon wedge.
It should look like this:
Tip: Before eating, squeeze the lemon wedge over your plate of poha. Then mix and eat!
Note: You can also top with well chopped onions or alu bhujia (a type of crispy, zesty, Indian snack) and serve with chai!