Chire-poha-flak rice – they’re all the same.
For me chire is associate with misti dahi and sandesh – ripe jackfruit and juicy mango. These are eaten on “Jamai-Shosti” – a festival where daughter’s parents express their love towards their son-in-law … a sort of Son-in-law Day like Father Day or Mother Day. When i was very young – we used to go to our Nani’s house on this day and use to enjoy the special treat. Even on many puja where cooking is not possible – people have these soaked chire with masti dahi – banana and some sweet be it roshogulla or sandesh. For me chire means sweet – i never thought i would like it otherwise – so where our neighbouring Sharma aunty told me they have namkeen poha very Sunday – as their son used to eat it while staying at Pune and now they’re used to it and enjoy it as well … and above all very easy to prepare. i used to wonder how namkeen poha can be so good to taste that they have it every weekend. Then last year (in October) when we went to Kausani – we stayed at KMVN-TRH – they had prepared potato-onion-peas poha … which was extremly tasty – i couldn’t believe it. It was full of flavour but not spicy and neither oily – not that i mind the oil while on holidays but eating oily stuff regularly is definitaly not good for health. Got the recipe from their cook … actually they ran out of peanuts and so used peas instead – i had made both of it and i liked with peanuts – it gives a nutty flavour.
Later when i got back to Delhi – i looked up on the net about namkeen poha – it was then i got to know that it’s a Maharashtrain cusine … and it’s known as “Batata poha” or “Batata-Kandha-poha” – ie. potato poha and potato onion poha … but i still like to call it Namkeen Poha !
2 cups poha – 1 large onion (finely chopped) – 1 large potato (pre-boiled n diced) – hand-full roasted peanuts – 4-5 green chillies (chopped) – 1 tsp cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp mustard seeds – 10-12 curry leaves – 2 tbsp coriander (finely chopped) – 2 tbsp oil/butter – 2 tbsp lemon juice – turmeric and salt as required – pinch of sugar.
Wash and soak poha in water for 8-10 mins …. actually depending of the thickness of the poha – if it’s a thick varitey – it may take more time. The water should be just above the poha.
In another pan heat oil – add cumin seeds and mustard seeds – when crackle add green chillies and curry leaves – fry for a minute.
Add the chopped onion – boiled diced potato – salt – turmeric – and a pinch of sugar (this will enhance the flavours). Cover and cook till the potatoes are done – if required add little water.
Drain water from poha – if required. Add it to the potato-onion mixture and mix thoroughly. Switch off the heat.
Add roasted peanuts and lemon juice – give it a good stir so as to mix everything properly. Garnish with chopped coriander and sever hot with lemon slice.
Namkeen Poha ready to eat 🙂
Without curry leaves – it doesn’t taste good at all. The peanuts and the curry leaves gives it a beautiful aroma and flavour.
One can add normal un-boiled potatoes while adding onions …. it would be good to slice them thin and short – as it will cook fast.
When add sugar … i insist you do …. make sure its only a pinch.