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Monday, December 21, 2009

Veggie Pohe

Parched rice or poha is one of my favorite comfort food. I love it with a lot of veggies and roasted peanuts. If  you need a really filling meal in just ten minutes , then Pohe is the way to go.... :). Tamil families have been preparing sweet and savory avul (thats tamil for pohe). My paati and amma make a very yummy parched rice dish in tamarind pulp garnish. This breakfast or brunch item is called puli avul (similar to puliodarai). Avul payasam or just washed avul soaked in warm milk is a common vrath (religious ritual) food. I love the Maharashtrian style pohe with finely chopped vegetables and groundnut. I had to include the recipe for a Non desi friend..I told her that she could find it on google but she insisted that I write down my version (I dont think i have one though!)

Yummy Veggie Pohe
Ingredients: Serves 2
  • Parched rice (Pohe) - 2 cups
  • Mustard - 1/4 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Moong Dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin (Jeera) - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt
  • Curry leaves - 10/12
  • Green Chillies-5
  • Ginger - 1/4 " piece
  • Turmeric  powder (depends on you)
  • hing (Optional)
  • Cilantro / Fresh corainder
  • Lemon Juice - 2tbsp
  • Oil - 1tsp
  • Carrots (Shredded) - 1/2cup
  • Potatoes (peeled, cubed and boiled) - 1/2 cup
  • green, red and yellow capsicum (Bell peppers) - diced - 1/2 cup
  • Roasted groundnuts - 2tbsp

  1. Wash parched rice in a colander and set it aside to drain.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai for tempering mustard seeds, dals, curry leaves, chillies and ginger.
  3. Add the veggies and saute wiht curry leaves, turmeric, salt and hing
  4. Once the veggies are done, add the washed pohe and roasted peanuts and mix well
  5. Mix lightly (to avoid mashing the pohe and veggies) until Pohe soaks up the turmeric and salt well
  6. Once done, squeeze in the lemon juice and  garnish with finely chopped cilantro/fresh coriander
You are ready to serve! Enjoy maadi

How its made!
Parched rice finds its way into every cuisine which has rice as one of its staple food. Paddy is cleaned after harvest, boiled and flattened (beaten) to yield Parched rice. Parced rice is also called beaten or flattened rice. 

Popular Legend  
Use of parched rice in India dates back to mythological times (not sure of the exact CE dates) and is said to be one of the favourites of Lord Kirshna. It is believed that as a child, in his gurukula, Sri Krishna  was out herding the ashram cows. Sudama, Krishna's classmate, had accompanied him on this trip. Krishna and Sudama got caught in severe storm and were held up in the forest all through the evening. Sudama was scared but found solace and strength in Krishna's presence.
Both grew up and went their way after passing out of Gurukula. Krishna went on to rule Dwaraka and Sudama remained a poor brahmin with a family to support. After a long deliberation with his wife, Sudama decided to meet Krishna. Sudama's poverty did not allow him to buy any expensive gifts for his friend, who was now the King of Dwaraka. Sudama borrowed a handful of parched rice from a neighbour, and set out to meet Krishna. As soon as he reached Dwaraka, Krishna welcomed him with a lot of fanfare.

Image source:
Then Krishna noticed a small bundle on Sudama's waist and asked if he had brought him a gift. Sudama was embarrassed to give the small bundle of parched rice to a King. However, the omnipresent Krishna insisted on taking the gift from sudama. Krishna then said "Sudama, any gift given to me with love is dearer to me than the ones given without love."  Then he ate a handful of poha. Sudama was so happy with this gesture that he forgot all about his poverty and the purpose of this visit. 

 Image source: Amarchitra katha

Next morning Sudama reached back home, to find a mansion in the place of his humble hut. He lived the rest of his life with health. wealth and happiness. Following this legend, hindus offer Lord Krishna a small amount of parched rice mixed with jaggery and believe that Sri Krishna would bless them too.

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