Maharashtrian Kanda Poha or Kanda Pohe is a very popular breakfast/snack item all over Maharashtra. This is an easy to make and super quick dish that can be whipped in few minutes – healthy and nutritious.
Kanda pohe is made from flattened or pressed rice (aval), washed and tossed along with caramelized onions, green chillies and garnished with coriander leaves. Kanda is onion and pohe is flattened rice in Marathi, hence the name ‘Kanda Pohe’. You visit any Maharashtrian household; this is the dish that would be probably offered to the guest along with chai.
Being born and brought in Tamil Nadu, I got introduced to this dish after moving to Pune. Until then, I was only used to eating the aval or flattened rice along with milk and sugar or plain. One of my Maharashtrian friends told me the recipe by word of mouth and I aptly listened to it and tried the famous kanda poha. My first attempt turned out to be an utter failure. Instead of rinsing the poha in water, I soaked the poha in water for 10 mins and the result was savory poha halwa instead of the ‘dana dana’ kanda poha.
Later, I perfected the recipe by learning it from my mom-in-law. She makes it the South Indian way and calls it ‘Aval Upma’. Since then, kanda pohe has become an easy breezy breakfast for the busy mornings. It is healthy, easily digestible and also light on stomach.
Poha is rich in fiber and also a primary source of carbohydrate. It contains iron; regular consumption by children and especially pregnant ladies helps in maintaining their hemoglobin levels. Peanuts are usually added to poha preparation as they are good source of antioxidants and protein, thus making poha heart healthy. Also, lemon juice added to the preparation aids in the absorption of iron.
250 gms jada poha (white thick variety)
1 medium sized onion
A handful of peanuts
3 green chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
Juice of ½ a lemon (big sized)
Salt to taste
Sugar – 2 tsps
Turmeric powder – ¾ tsp
Coriander leaves to garnish
Oil – 1.5 – 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Jeera or cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Hing or Asafoetida – a big pinch
Preparation time – 10 mins
Cooking time – 10 mins
Total time – 20 mins
Serves 3 people
- Finely chop the onions, green chillies and coriander leaves.
- Heat oil in a kadai/pan. Add mustard seeds, let them crackle. Add jeera, hing and peanuts. On medium flame, saute the peanuts until they turn golden brown and crisp.
- Meanwhile, take the poha in a colander and wash it under running water twice or thrice. Let the water drain completely.
- Once the peanuts are crisp, add the onion, curry leaves and green chillies. Saute till onions turn pink.
- Add salt, sugar, turmeric powder and lemon juice to the rinsed poha and mix it well using a ladle or your hands. Add this to the sauted onions and toss it well.
- Cover and cook for 4-5 mins on slow flame.
- Turn off the heat and garnish with finely chopped coriander.
Serve it as a breakfast or as a tea time snack along with a cup of tea.
The day’s newspaper to read, a bowl of hot kanda pohe with little sugar sprinkled over the poha and a dash of lemon squeezed along with a cup of hot ginger tea makes my favorite breakfast. It just tastes yummlicious.
- Thick poha variety works best for this recipe.
- While rinsing the poha, drain the water completely but the poha should still be damp. This helps in making the perfect pohe.
- To make it healthier and nutritious, I sometimes add veggies or sprouts along with the onions.
- I also sprinkle some nylon sev or grated fresh coconut over the poha and serve.
- If you feel the poha is sticky after cooking, cook for some more time until it is comparatively dry. If the poha turns dry after cooking, sprinkle a handful or two of water and cook covered for 2 mins.