Poha is very commonly served as a breakfast/brunch dish in many parts of India. It’s basically a quick stir fry of pre-soaked flattened rice, seasoned with basic spices and any vegetables of your choice. This recipe for Matar Poha goes great with a cup of tea or coffee and can be enjoyed piping hot or at room temperature.
I didn’t grow up eating Poha. Infact, the first time I was introduced to it was when Hubby Dear made it for our Sunday brunch during the early days when we were still dating. It was the first time I had ever heard it!
He took a liking to it during his couple of years in Pune where he worked at the beginning of his career. Poha is a staple on the breakfast in western parts of India and had grown to love it. I, on the other hand, don’t quite care too much for it. There are weekends when Hubby Dear craves a plate of Poha on a Sunday morning, and heads to the kitchen to whip it up for himself. Little Dude and me, however, are just as happy eating our sugared toast instead.
A few days ago, for some strange reason, I started to crave it myself. Call it the crazy winter blues, or just me bored of my usual bowl of oatmeal, I actually wanted some spiced up Aloo Poha with my coffee. Hubby Dear’s usual way of making it is as simple as it gets. He just adds the basic spices, no veggies and garnishes it with tons of fresh cilantro and lemon juice. But that wasn’t what I wanted. I wanted something slightly more filling – both in comfort and texture, and I was ready to experiment.
Use this Matar Poha recipe of mine as a guideline and make it your own by adding in whatever vegetables you fancy. It’s a great way to use up any of the bits and bobs leftover in the fridge over the week. Carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage – they all work well and will taste great. You can even add in fresh green chillies if you like the heat and want a bit of zing. And yes, don’t forget that cup of Masala Chai on the side – Hubby Dear swears by it. Me of course, will always opt for coffee!
Matar Poha with Aloo (Poha with Peas and Potato)
- 2 tbsp light cooking oil
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 5-6 curry leaves
- 1/4 cup skin-on raw peanuts
- 1 medium-sized onion finely chopped
- 1 medium sized potato chopped into tiny cubes
- 1/2 cup frozen peas thawed
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- salt to taste
- 1 1/2 cups poha washed thoroughly and drained
- a handful of fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped for garnish
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice for garnish
- Heat oil on medium-high heat in a wide pan and add in mustard seeds. Once they start to pop, add in curry leaves and peanuts.
- Saute for a few seconds before adding in the chopped onion. Let it fry for about a minute until it starts to soften and brown along the edges.
- Add in chopped potatoes and fry for 3-4 minutes until the potatoes start to soften.
- Add in peas, spices and salt, and give it a good mix.
- Add in the washed poha, mix well and let it cook covered for another 4-5 minutes, until the poha softens. Make sure to give it a stir in between to prevent it from burning.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
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