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Aug 9, 2007 01:55 PM

Rice Flakes? from Indian store.

I bought a bag of rice flakes at an Indian grocery store. The label says Poha Medium (rice flakes). Does anyone know how to prepare or eat this? I think Iread about it in a recipe book from the library, but can't find anything else. Is it meant to be a breakfast dish or rice side dish? Is it already cooked or more like oatmeal? Thanks for enlightening me on the toipic!

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  1. We eat poha for breakfast. This is what I do (paraphrased from Alford & Duguid's Mangoes & Curry Leaves:

    1. Rinse 1/2 cup poha in cold water
    2. Place rinsed poha in medium sized bowl, add 1/2 cup boiling water.
    3. Let sit 10 mintues
    4. Add one cup yogurt and fruit, honey and or granola


    2 Replies
    1. re: marthadumptruck

      I have to say, I tried this and did not care for it. The poha are pretty much pure starch, so I felt like I was eating yogurt with library paste. Oh well.

      Amyzan's poha uppma below sounds interesting, though. Maybe the additional preparation steps help prevent the poha from being soggy?

      1. re: maryv

        That's interesting, the soggy descritption. I've never prepared it like the Curry Leaves recipe. Maybe he had a different kind of poha? Does he call for a particular variety?

    2. Poha is often eaten as a breakfast food or a snack. In India, I hear it's fried and mixed with fried nuts, coconut, etc. to make a snack mix called "chidwa." I don't know quite how one would fry it at home, though, especially since I think it's the thick kind that's fried.

      To eat it as breakfast food, you can make a poha uppma, not the same as the kind made with sooji, cream of wheat, but a lighter, fluffier dish. I usually wash the poha in a fine mesh strainer, only submerging it a few seconds in clean water, then dunking again, swishing gently letting it air dry overnight, covered. Your medium grade should tolerate washing if you're gentle and brief. I sprinkle the drying poha with lemon juice and mixture of turmeric, ground cumin or black pepper, and sea salt. I roast some cashews and coconut, and set those aside for the morning, too. In the morning, I mince a chile and grate some ginger root, and fry them with brown mustard seed and a little fennel seed. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, add asafoetida and curry leaves, if you have them, then the poha, some raisins, and some chopped cilantro. Cover this with the lid ajar, and cook for about ten minutes on medium heat, until everything is heated through. Fluff with a fork and serve with lemon wedges. I like it with scrambled eggs.

      ETA: I forgot to mention, in the morning it may still be a little damp. That's fine, and the moisture will help it steam a bit.

      2 Replies
      1. re: amyzan

        Do you add any liquid to it at the point before you cover it with the lid? And how much fat do youuse to fry the chili and ginger etc.?

        1. re: WCchopper

          Let me think, I use a tbsp. or maybe a little more to fry the ginger and chiles, etc. This is with enough poha to make two or three servings. You might want more. I think most Indian cookbooks would call for more, at least a couple tbsp. I don't add liquid when I cover with the lid. Usually, the poha is damp enough that I don't need it, but you could add some and see how that works for you. You can also add cooked potato to this, before the poha and the rest goes into the pan. Feel free to experiment--you can make it sweet with a little brown sugar, a few chopped dates, etc. or go savory with a little chopped tomato and some peas.

      2. For a snack, roast the flakes in a pan until they take on a light color. Set aside. Pan roast cumin seed, sesame seed, chiles, cashews, chana dal in oil or ghee. Mix with the roasted rice flakes and toss with a tiny bit of citric acid powder to taste.

        here is another recipe:

        1. Poha and Cheora are Hindi terms. On poha/cheora---cheora, I believe is what some people call the raw product and poha is cooked, but I have heard both being referred to as poha, and some people also call it cheora in both forms (it is a dialectical thing). There are two types of poha. "Big poha" is the one for dry roasting or frying with nuts and other crunchies (someone even made it for me once with crisp fried garlic...amazing!).

          The other poha is the one which is soaked and then stir fried with seasonings and a few other ingredients for breakfast or as a snack. By the way, poha turns to mush if you handle it wrong. Do not soak it for more than 2 minutes, then strain and keep it aside in a colander. Time it wisely as you would Chinese stir fry ingredients, have your mise en place. It will be soft and fluffy and each kernal will be separate. It will taste slightly chewy in texture, but not mushy.

          Here is my recipe for poha:

          My recipe is very simple, but there are loads more of good recipes online, too if you do a bit of googling.