Friday, February 18, 2011


Poha is a traditional Indian breakfast or evening snack served predominantly in the Southern states. It's a favorite of mine and over the years I've had different varieties of the same. The most delicious one for me however remains the "avalakki" version of it that is second nature in all Karnataka homes. All through the 4 years I lived in Bangalore, "avalakki" was hands-down the best breakfast option for me.

The recipe I have here is NOT the "avalakki" version. I know only one kind that my mom makes and that's the one I love to eat on a boring school day when I've run out of food. It's easy, simple and healthy.

Poha - 2 cups
Onion - 1 medium
Green chilies - 4
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Rai - 1/2 tsp
Chana dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Coriander/Cilantro - freshly chopped about 1 tbsp
Lemon juice/extract - to taste

1. Wash the poha about two times and drain all water. Spread it out on a plate evenly and let it sit. I've learnt that this is the best way to keep the poha from getting too soggy.
2. Finely chop the onions and green chillies. Add oil in a thick bottomed vessel and splutter jeera and rai in it.
3. Add the green chillies first and then the onions and fry till transparent. Then add the channa dal and urad dal and fry until the onions are browned a little around the edges. Adding the channa dal and urad dal directly to the oil burns it sometimes, that's why I always add them after the onions are almost half done. A tip I learnt from my mom.
4. To this add the washed poha, salt as needed and lemon juice as per your taste. I like a good amount of lemon juice in my poha cause it gives it a really nice sharp taste.
5. Finally add the coriander/cilantro leaves and you're ready to ding in! It tastes amazingly well with garlic chutney or even leftover dal for me.

My mother I guess. That's where I learnt it from and it's a pretty standard recipe. So I'm pretty sure there's no copyright as such over it.


  1. Nice collection...I was also into the gym, cooking, guitar and n number of things during my initial days away from home.
    I love avalakki too....its rather simple. Extract tamarind juice with enough water (approx. 1/2 cup or lil more of water for 1 cup of poha). Add turmeric, salt and sambar powder to the extract and add the poha. Let it soak for 15 minutes. The rest is same as your version. Heat oil in pan; add mustard, channa dal, split urad, cashews and peanuts if you like and fry chopped onions with a pinch of salt. Add chopped green chilli and the soaked poha. Soaked poha will be lumpy...just break the lumps and saute till the raw smell of sambar powder fades. Garnish with coriander leaves and a dash of lemon juice. Yumm with raita!!

  2. Wow! Thanks for the recipe. Also, most of the avalakki I've eaten at restaurants and cafes have coconut and lots of vegetables like potatos, carrots and capsicum. When would I work them into the recipe?

  3. You can chop the veggies and fry them with onions or if this is time taking, you can microwave them and just add it to the fried onions. Coconut is added as garnish. Switch off the stove and blend in the not cook it. Let me know how it turns out once you give it a try!!