Poha, a steamed and flattened rice (“steamrolled” I call it) is a great base for Indian snacks. In this poha recipe, it is teamed with onions and peanuts. Kanda Poha goes great mid afternoon with a cup of milky sweet tea (chai). Or it can be a great quick supper dish when you arrive just a little too late home from work. Or, as often done in parts of India, it is a great breakfast dish.
There are several thicknesses of poha – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). This recipe uses medium or thick poha, which you can buy from your Indian grocery. Thick is preferred. Thin poha is not suitable for this dish.
Kanda Poha | Onion Poha | Flattened Rice with Onions
1.5 cups poha, thick or medium variety
0.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 tspn jaggery
2.5 tbsp peanuts
2 to 2.5 tbsp ghee
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 medium onion, finely chopped
10 or so curry leaves
1 green chilies, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
salt as required
Rinse the poha in clean running water in a strainer. Rinse or place with a little water in a bowl until they loose their crunchiness. Pop one into your mouth. If there is too much bite in them allow to soak a little longer. The poha is best if it becomes soft but remains intact, whole and separate.
Sprinkle the turmeric powder, sugar and salt in the poha and stir gently.
Take the peanuts and dry roast them in a kadhai or other pan until they are crunchy. Remove from the pan.
In the same pan, heat the ghee and pop the mustard seeds. Then add the chopped onion and saute until translucent.
Now add the curry leaves and green chilli and saute for 30 seconds. Add the roasted peanuts and stir.
Next add the poha and stir. If it is a little dry, sprinkle with some water. Cover with a lid and allow to steam for 2-3 minutes, stirring after 1 – 1.5 minutes. Switch off the flame and leave undisturbed for 2 minutes.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the poha and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
recipe notes and alternatives
The Poha can be garnished with grated coconut and/or sev. Or grated coconut can be stirred through with the coriander leaves.
Cooked peas or grated carrot can be stirred through the poha.
Cooked chopped potato, either boiled, steamed or fried, can be added for a more substantial meal.
Cumin seeds and asafoetida can be added to the tadka after the mustard seeds and before the onion.
Enjoy! Serve hot with a cuppa tea.