Aloo poha aka batata poha,for Gujaratis like me, is the essential Saturday morning breakfast dish. Quick. Easy. Savory. Perfect with chai. Poha is flattened rice and aloo/batata means potato. You can find poha in any Indian grocery store or you can buy it on Amazon for super cheap.
This past December I went to India to visit my husband’s family and one of the places his parents took me to was Law Garden where there are tons of street food hawkers. One early morning, my husband and I hungrily followed our parents to a delicious poha stand outside of the park.
Poha Stand in Law Garden
Just looking at the huge mound of poha made my mouth water. The street smelled of onion, garlic, and hints of masala chai. It was enough to make to make me want to take my chances with the street food. Usually I’m pretty nervous about eating street food in India, but that day, I couldn’t help myself! I told them to put everything on it; beets, tomatoes, onion, cilantro….gimme all zee toppings!
My in-laws poha
This one dish was my favorite thing I ate during my entire trip in India, and I went to 2 fancy schmancy restaurants in New Delhi. It was spicy, earthy, tart, sweet, garlic-y, onion-y, and refreshing perfect with a mini cup of “chaispresso” (strong brewed chai in itty bitty cups from the street vendors). Now you wouldn’t think this is something you’d have for breakfast, but the amount of flavor packed into this dish is enough to wake anyone up.
My version is super simple, because ain’t nobody got time to shred beets, fry chickpea dough, or cut up a bunch of other veggies in the morning. It was still delicious anyway. Just a simplified version that is typical of a meal that comes out of a home kitchen. My mom would make this for me quite often as a kid and I loved it! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Aloo Poha (Potato with Flattened Rice)
- 1.5 thick poha
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1.5 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 4 curry leaves
- 1 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
- 6 baby potatoes, quartered
- 1/2 medium red onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp cilantro,chopped (optional)
- Wash poha in a strainer for 3 minutes under cold water. Drain all the water and mix in turmeric, salt and sugar.
- In a medium non stick pan, heat oil on medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and to oil and when they start popping, add the onions and curry leaves. Saute for 1 minute. Add serrano pepper and minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Finally add the potatoes and stir well Add salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add poha now and mix well. Sprinkle lime juice on top and stir. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat for 3 minute or until potatoes are tender. Add additional salt to taste if necessary!
- Stir in cilantro and enjoy while hot!