Deliciously Salty & Spicy Chili Poha

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Deliciously Salty & Spicy Chili Poha

Salt & Chili Poha

Hello! Today for breakfast I tried out this yummy recipe from a new cookbook called “The Konkani Saraswat Cookbook” by Asha S. Philar. My husband was flipping through the pages and got so excited when he saw the recipe for “Meet-Mirsange Phov” (Konkani for Salty & Chili Beaten Rice). Apparently it is one of his favorite types of poha, so of course I had to try it out. I have to admit that whenever he gets excited about some Indian food that I have never tried or heard of I get a little bit upset! I ask him in a joking way “Why didn’t you tell me about this before?!?” So this is one of those recipes. If you come across thin poha / beaten rice at the Indian grocery, pick up a bag! You are going to like this one…here is my recipe adapted from “The Konkani Saraswat Cookbook”.

Salty Chili Poha

Serves 2-4

  • 4 cups thin poha
  • 1 dried red chili, toasted in a pan with a little oil
  • 1-2 green chilis (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 cup (or so) of water  (*see note below)
  • 1/4 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup frozen (unsweetened) coconut (you can use all desiccated coconut if you can’t get frozen coconut)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5-10 curry leaves

For the masala: Place into a blender the red chili, green chili(s), coriander powder, cumin powder, tamarind paste, sugar and salt. Add 2 tbsp water to start and grind the ingredients to a course paste. Add a little more water as needed, but try to use as little as possible. When it becomes a paste, add in all of the coconut and grind to a grainy paste (not too smooth, not too course). When done, move the contents of the blender into a bowl. You should have a very thick paste.

Now measure out 4 cups of poha. Do not rinse – just put straight into the bowl with the masala. Start mixing and mixing and mixing. It will take a few minutes. I used a flat rubber spatula to lift up from the bottom, almost like folding into a batter. The poha seems delicate but it isn’t so just mix it up well. Taste for salt.

Now make the seasoning by heating the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. As soon as the mustard seeds start to pop, remove from heat and pour into the mixture. Mix and serve.

Note that at first the poha will seem raw or cardboardy but as the masala soaks in it becomes a little softer. However, this is a “dry” poha dish, so don’t add any liquid. Just wait for a few minutes for it to pull together before eating!

(*In the original recipe, it specifically states to not use water at all. However, I could not grind the chilis down without adding a little water. I adapted by using dried coconut so that it would soak up the water used in the grinding.)

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