"Aval nanachathu", literally translated is "soaked poha", a quick fix snack from Kerala. I do wonder if it is made that often nowadays, after all not many wants a simplistic and rustic snack and prefer to rely on the ready to eat and frozen snacks. That, though not healthy does make an impression on children and moms. Earlier, if there were unannounced guests the lady of the house served sweet poha or aval nanachathu with tea when nothing else is available on hand. It was also an answer to the mid-meal snacks that was served to children.
Aval nanachathu is basically poha or beaten rice soaked in milk with some grated coconut and jaggery added in. The quantity of milk depended on whether the aim was to get some milk down the child's throat or not. Most times just enough milk was added to soften the poha. And the fun was in the surprise for us children when we bit into a piece of jaggery. My recipe of the poha or aval nanachathu includes more than just the milk and jaggery. I made it for breakfast and hence added some fruit, some nuts and some dates to make it really healthy! If it possible try and get the unpolished rice poha. Ingredients or recipe wise there's nothing much to it just throw in all together in a bowl, mix it and your breakfast is good to eat.
Poha / Beaten rice / Aval - 1 cup
Milk - 1/4 cup
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Banana, elaichi/small - 2
Almond - 6 to 8
Date - 4 to 5
Use the thick poha for this dish. Wash the poha well then drain it completely. Add the milk and poha into a bowl, mix and let it rest till you get the other additions ready.
Slice the bananas and then quarter each slice, grate or shred the jaggery and chop the dates and almonds. Add them in and your breakfast is ready to be served!
Keep the jaggery to the minimum so that it is not overly sweet since the banana and dates are also in there. What I liked in my version of aval nanachathu is that all the additions that go in this dish are healthy and good to have for breakfast.