Monday, March 30, 2009

Batata Poha (Marathi) or Chirer Pulao (Bengali)

Beaten Rice or Chire (Bengali) or Poha is also known as flattened rice - dry and flaky in texture and when immersed in a bowl of water, it absorbs the water completely. Easy to digest and a great form of carbs for those who don't like rice. I have grown up eating 'Chirer Pulao' made by my mother and I think it is extremely light & tasty. Something you can have at any time of the day.

The Maharashtrian manoos may not agree though. A little funny association with poha is for the Maharashtrian 'Grooms-to-be' who visit the 'to-be-bride' to find themselves a life partner. As a ritual in an arranged marriage, the 'prospective' groom is generally served 'Kanda poha', (which is basically 'poha made with onions') each and everytime he goes hunting for a bride! I truely think it is a great weapon to use so that the groom can take a quick (but wise) decision and give relief to his parents:)

Here is the recipe for Batata Poha or Chirer Pulao :
250gms of poha
4-5 small potatoes (preferably boiled), cut into small pieces
2 Tsp of mustard seeds or Cumin seeds
4 green chillies
1 Tsp of Sugar
1/2 Tsp of cumin powder
2 Tbsp of ground nut
3 Tbsp of Oil
1 Tsp Turmeric
3 Tbsp of Water
coriander leaves (3-5 leaves)

Wash the poha (rinse in flowing water) and keep it aside. Now, take a frying pan and put it on the gas. Add the oil and let it heat a bit. After a minute, add the cumin (or mustard) seeds, ground nuts, green chillies, potato pieces. If you wish, you can add onion or curry leaves also. Stir and fry the ingredients for 3-4 minutes. Now, add the turmeric, salt and sugar and add the poha. Stir the poha and the other ingredients well. Put 3Tbsp of water and cover the pan with a lid. The idea is to steam the poha so that it doesn't become dry. Don't put too much water or else, it will get soggy. When the water dries up, add the coriander leave and switch of the gas. Squeeze a lemon and stir it once more. You can also add some 'farsaan' on the top. Serve it hot!

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