Pohe is one of my favorites for breakfast. This is one dish that has a bit of all tastes (except bitter and umami)in it - a li'l bit of salt, bit of sugar, bit of chilli, bit of lemon juice. When all of this comes together to enliven the simple unassuming poha what you have is a comforting and tasty breakfast.
Thick Poha / Aval / Beaten Rice - 1 cup
Onion - 1, medium
Potato - 1, small
Peanuts - 1 tbsp
Green chilli - 3
Mustard / Rai seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin / Jeera seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida / Hing pwd - a generous pinch
Turmeric pwd - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 4 to 5
Coconut, grated - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1.5 to 2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Wash the poha well and drain it and keep aside. Let the poha be well moistened because as it sits the poha will swell and soften absorbing all the water. Add some salt, sugar and a little turmeric powder and fluff with a fork and keep covered. Slice the onion, chop the coriander leaves and green chillies and also the potato finely and keep aside.
Heat a spoon of oil in a pan and sauté the potato pieces. Scoop the potato out and drain on paper towels. Add the rest of the oil into the pan and when it is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds and let it splutter. Then add the asafoetida powder and wait for a couple of seconds then add green chillies, peanuts, sliced onion and curry leaves and sauté. When the onion turns translucent add the turmeric powder and sauté for a couple of seconds. Add the moist poha and fried potato pieces and mix well. If the poha is dry sprinkle some water in and mix. The poha should be soft and moist without being wet and sticky. Taste the poha and check if the salt and sugar is in proportion. Then add the lemon juice, mix then the coriander leaves, mix. then sprinkle the grated coconut on top. Cover with a lid and take off the heat.
Serve poha in a bowl / plate with a wedge of lemon and a sprinkling of coriander leaves and grated coconut.
Variation - Kaande Pohe
Pohe can be made by omitting the potato completely, with only onion for Kaande Pohe, in which case increase the quantity of onion a little.
1. Peanuts can be omitted completely in case of nut allergy.
2. The potato can be boiled and cut in pieces and tossed with the fried onions before adding the poha for a different taste.