Thursday, December 10, 2009


I have so many things to post, and I just haven't had the time, unfortunately.  I want to put something up though, so I thought I'd quickly post the Pohe I made for an after work snack last night.  My husband calls this tiffin, and he gets kind of grumpy if he doesn't have tiffin.

My mother-in law taught me how to make this dish when they were visiting back in August, and I've got to tell you, it's probably one of my favorite things.  It's so easy to make, it's not so spicy---so even my mom will eat it, and it's filling.

This dish comes from Maharastria and my husband fell in love with it when he was growing up in Mumbai.  I add a few of my own special touches to the dish ---like a handful of dried fruits (he'd rather I left these out, but this American has got to have a little sweetness).  You can also add potatoes to the dish, infact, I reccommend it.  My mother in law didn't teach me to add potatoes, but my husband insists that it tastes even better with them added.

Poha is the rice that you use to make this dish.  Its basically a flattened, puffed rice.  Its hard and dry.  My mom said it reminds her of those boxed potato flakes.  Its really easy to reconstitute.  You just put it in a strainer and run some water over it until its all moist. That's how I do it anyway.  You don't want it to be soaked, and you don't want it to be sitting in water.  You just want to run it under the faucet until the rice is no longer hard and dry.  It should be soft and moist---but not wet.  If that makes sense?   Poha comes in 2 variaties, thick and thin.  I've only used the thick, and I'm pretty sure that's the type you want to use when making Pohe.  You can find it at the Indian grocery store.  Sometimes supermarkets have really good "ethnic" food sections, so you can check there too, but I would bet you'll have to take a trip to the Indian market...and that's a good thing!  You can find so many neat ingredients and yummy things there!  I could spend a good hour in the Indian market here in town, and it's tiny!

Now, on to the Pohe!

  • 2 c. Pohe
  • 2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped (prefer red onion)
  • 1+ serrano chiles, chopped or sliced (to your taste)
  • 1/4 c. almonds, roughly chopped
  • handful of raisens or dried cranberries
  • 1/2 - 2/3 c. frozen peas
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • about 2 tbsp oil
  • 1-2 fresh roma tomatoes, diced
  • chopped corriander

1.  Put the poha in a strainer.  Run the strainer under the faucet to moisten the poha.  Be careful not to over-soak the rice, but you also don't want to be stingy with the water.  You don't want dry poha added into your dish.  Set this aside.   (Most of the time I will pour my ground tumeric powder on top of the poha and let it sit in the strainer.  I don't stir it in.  Just let it sit on top.  You don't have to do this.  You can add it later, as I am recommending in this recipe).

2.  Heat the oil in a pan, you want a fairly large pan or you'll have ingredients falling out all over the place eventually.  Add the onions and fry until they are beginning to brown.  Add the chile, almonds, and fruits.  Stir fry for a couple minutes, then add the frozen peas.  Keep stirring until they soften up and everything becomes nice and fragrant.

3.  Add the salt, to taste and also the sugar.  Stir everything together.

This is how I add my salt and sugar.  I'm real exact.

4.  Add the poha and the ground turmeric powder to the pan and gently mix everything together.  I know its mixed well when everything is yellow. 

5.  Once everything turns yellow, add the diced tomato.  stir them gently. You don't want to break them up, you just want to heat them.  Add the chopped corriander.  Stir everything together, make sure the salt is correct...and serve.  YUM! and fast!  For me, this is the Indian equivalent to mashed potatoes, you know?  Good, comfort food. 

Well, now I'm off to make some buttercream icing.  I've got a cake to make, among other things.  My friend is having her bridal shower tomorrow and I'm in charge of bringing all sorts of goodies.  My husband also lost his keys yesterday in this huge snowstorm we were having, and one of our neighbors was shoveling and found them!  So I'm baking them cookies.  Hopefully I can get Piyush to help decorate them.  That'd be fun!  I also have to take my vehicle to get looked at.  In the huge storm, my heater decided it was time to die.  I don't know how I did it, but I had to drive in blizzard conditions with unthawable frost on my windshild.  Haha, every time I even breathed the windsheild would fog up more.  Good thing I went to college wayyyy up north.  Those years of living on the north-shore definitely taught me how to drive in bad weather.  Luckily my dad lives close and is in the car business, I should have my heater back and running soon.  I don't know what I'd do without my dad.  He's a life-saver, definitely!

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