Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Humble and Simple: Pohe

"मग काय ? आज कांदे - पोहे  का?"  my Mother asked somebody on the other end of the telephone line. I sighed to myself. Why do all Mother's make such a big deal out of this? and WHY? the code language?
 कांदे - पोहे (Kande-pohe) is the code for the 'arranged marriage' scenario. Typically, the boy, comes to meet the girl at her house, both are well dressed, the house is spotless, the best china is brought out. The girl and boy meet, talk, hesitantly, then the mother calls her dear daughter to take a tray out to the guests, laden with snacks, typically,  कांदे - पोहे ( Kande-pohe), and follows with water glasses. Over the first few spoonfuls, the Mother elaborates that her daughter has made the snack, like she always does. She is so fond of cooking, gushes the Mother, goes on to add a long list of things her daughter does so well! Awkward! 
The program concludes and both parties are left to discuss the details of the meeting and decide, the future.

Times have changed, the boy and girl meet outside and discuss what they expect of one another, but the term  कांदे - पोहे still means the same thing! 


Apart from being the code word for a 'program', kande pohe is a regular on the breakfast table and many a times, in the lunch box. Best served hot, these still are a filling option otherwise. Today, we add in vegetables, to up the nutritive value and also enhance taste.

But first, let's see how to go about it,shall we?
Step one: pick the right variety of Poha/ Pohe.
You need to know that there are 3 basic varieties. super thick, medium thick & thin.
We use the medium or super thick for 'cooked' poha/ pohe.  I know of a certain girl, who fell in love with poha and attempted it at home for the first time, with thin poha. I leave the rest to your imagination! (if you still haven't guessed, read the recipe below and you will understand).
Going back to Poha.
Thick ( super thick or medium thick) is the one we use to make this dish. It requires soaking.
Thin poha is used  to make Chivda or Dadpe Pohe 

In this recipe, I have used Super thick Poha, also called Dagadi Poha. This variety requires a longer soaking time than the medium thick variety and is a bit more 'chewy, than regular medium- thick poha.
Now that we have step one well understood, let's move on.

To make Pohe for 2 people, you need:

1/2 Cup of Thick / Dagadi Pohe
1/2 Onion, chopped
1 Small Potato, cubed( place the cubes in water to prevent browning)
1/4 cup or a little less, Green Peas ( I use frozen peas)
1/2 (slender) Carrot, cut in cubes

1-2 Green chilies, chopped
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 tsp Sugar
1 Lime ( squeeze the juice or quarter and serve with pohe)
2-3 Tbsp. Cilantro, finely chopped, to garnish
1-2 Tbsp. Fresh or thawed, grated Coconut,  to garnish






Wash in running water and Soak Poha( medium thick)  in water for at least15 mins. If using super thick / Dagadi Poha, soak longer or add water ( level of water just above the poha) and microwave for 1 minute and set aside for 15 mins.

Heat oil in a wok over medium high heat.

Add the  mustard seeds. Once the seeds pop, add in the cumin seed. These should sizzle  on contact with hot oil.

Add asafetida, chopped green chilies and curry leaves.Mix well.

Add chopped onion and mix. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes  till half done. Add the potato cubes sprinkle salt and cover. Cook till onion is lightly browned and fully cooked and potatoes are fork tender.


While the onion and potatoes are cooking over heat, in a microwave safe ( preferably glass) container, add the washed, frozen peas and cubed carrot pieces, add 2-3 tbsp water and microwave oh high for 1 minute.


Add the peas and carrots to the onion-potato mixture, add turmeric, mix well. 


Add the soaked Poha, sprinkle 1 tsp sugar, mix well. cover and cook for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. 


Check for salt, add more if required and cover and cook for another minute or two.


Switch off heat, add lime juice and mix well.. Spoon the pohe in plates/ bowls, garnish with  cilantro and coconut. 
Serve.



NOTES:
You can make pohe using just onions or onion- potato combination.

To add a bit of crunch, add raw peanuts to the tempering stage, that is before adding onions and saute till golden brown.

Add lime juice after switching off the heat or alternatively, serve pohe with a wedge of lime, to be squeezed if needed.

Poha is very filling and also carbs, addition of vegetables helps to tilt the scale  towards nutrition slightly!

If you like, sprinkle some sev/ shev on top just before serving.

I found these cute 'Funtensils' and they are great for kids. I kinds like them myself ;). Just wanted to share this for Mommies here, maybe your little one would like them too.


That's it for now! Enjoy your weekend.
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24 comments:

  1. simple and delicious poha.you have explained it so well...lovely post !loved the arranged marriage scenario thing:)

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  2. yes you are very right in calling this humble. so easy to make yet so delicious and filling. love your version. perfect for a good breakfast.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sayantani, It does make a filling b'fast.

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  3. Hello Manasi the kanda poha looks delicious poorna marathi padhatine kele ahet.

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    Replies
    1. thank You, Supriya. Ho, agdi Marathi padhatine! I guess I don't know any other version :)

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  4. My kind of food, simply irresistible.

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  5. Pohe is my most favorite breakfast! I make it once every weekend amd look forward to the next time I'll have some. Thanks for clarifying about the dagadi poha, I will try the microwave and soak technique this weekend. I always add peanuts and have also tried adding corn, peas, carrot or at times even edamame...but I like it best just with onion-potato-peanut combo.

    We had served veggie upma, kothimbir vadi-chutney, some sweet that I dont recall now and tea when my hubby visited us for the first time with my in-laws. :) My mom made everything and my in-laws didn't ask who made it, they just complimented my mom. My MIL told me later that she was convinced about my cooking skills after tasting my mom's preparations assuming that if my mom cooks so good then I must have been taught well. :D
    P.S. My MIL doesnt have any daughters...I hope that explains the assumption made by her.

    - Priti

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Priti. when M came to meet me, we did not have Poha for the 'kande-pohe' program! I was against that, instead we had Pineapple sheera, I think that clinched the deal ;)

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  6. Nice info on the Pohe...I went to see Mr. Ash and they served banana chips with T...That was the deal breaker for me.. if they served banana chips in such events, maybe they did have an never ending supply of the chips........U know what I mean.. The collage and pics speak volumes of your efforts to do something better with each post on the blog. Keep going Girl!!!!
    Love Ash.

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    Replies
    1. LOL, Ash ;)
      Thank you so much, I like to think that I am making effort to improve, it is a slow, oh-so-slow, process... but I will keep at it.

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  7. Mast ch zale aahet kande pohe..love it! :)

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  8. Poha is so popular at home, I have to prepare this 4-5 times a week.

    I blog @ Manidipa's Kitchen

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    Replies
    1. Wow, you must really like poha! thank you, Manidipa!

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    2. Yah!! Its my hubby & kid....for them I have to prepare so many times in a week.

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    3. Well, it is nice that both like the same breakfast. My son has just started eating Poha without fussing :)

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  9. Well explained Manasi!! Poha is among my fav breakfast options. Loved ur clicks

    http://shwetainthekitchen.blogspot.com/

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  10. Simple & healthy recipe!! Looks very colourful too :)

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