Masala Poha (Garam Masala Pohe/ Avalakki Aval Upma)

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My mother used to make this Poha (Flattened Rice) when we were younger. This is very easy to make and can be put together in about 10 minutes. This used to be a great hit with my college friends. Whenever I took this to college, my friends would make it a point to exchange lunch boxes with me and neatly finish off my stuff. Of course, my friends would not leave me hungry; they would be gracious enough to share their delicious food with me as well. I even remember that one of my friends used to call this “Poha Chaat”. Apparently it reminded her of Chaat mainly because of the sweet, spicy taste and also because of the presence of raw onions in the dish. This brought back so many memories when I made this at home recently.

The distinct flavor of this Poha comes by dry roasting cumin and coriander seeds and then powdering it. It is best to make this fresh as the store bought cumin and coriander powder does not do justice to the flavor. Traditionally the seasoning is done using coconut oil, but since most people do not use coconut oil for seasoning, vegetable oil could be used instead.

Please note that this is different from the regular Kanda Poha as the Poha is not cooked on stove top.


  • 1 1/2 cup thick poha
  • 1/2 Tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ Tbsp Coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • Red chilli powder
  • Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar
  • Mustard seeds
  • Asafetida
  • Curry leaves
  • Coriander leaves for garnish
  • Coconut oil for seasoning ( use vegetable oil as substitute)




  • Soak the poha in enough water; let it sit until it turns soft. Drain the water completely. (Here in the US (States), even the thick poha/avalakki does not take time to turn soft, so exercise caution.
  • Dry roast cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Allow it to cool. Powder it using mortar and pestle or spread the roasted seeds on a sheet of paper. Now use the roti/chapathi rolling pin to make powder. 
  • The powder need not have to be very fine, but should not be coarse either.
  • Chop the onions finely and also the coriander leaves and keep aside. 


  • Add the dry powders, turmeric, chilli powder salt, and sugar to the poha and mix thoroughly but lightly using tip of the hand. 
  • Add the chopped onion and coconut to this mixture and mix well.
  • Now for the tadka(seasoning) heat oil, add mustard seeds, asafetida, curry leaves.
  • Put this onto the poha mixture and add chopped coriander leaves for garnish.


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  1. sushma says:

    Hey this is my fav breakfast but i make it in a different way though. i do not add jeera and corriander seeds. ur version looks yummy..

  2. Asha says:

    YUM! I made Shilpa’s Phovu, a red version. Your’s is lot different, will try.Nobody likes Avalakki at home except me!:D

  3. indosungod says:

    RC, the pictures looks beautiful. I don’t use poha often enough but there are many happy takers at home and this dish looks like the right one to make them happy 🙂

  4. Mallika says:

    I would love some of this right now! But I’ve promised myself that I will finish the HUGE bag of semolina before I buy any other bag of anything!

  5. RedChillies says:

    Thanks sushma. Do give this a try, the roasted cumin and corriander adds unique flavor to this poha.

    Same here Asha. Nobody here at home like poha that well. This is a very rare preparation at home 🙁

    Thanks Aparna. I sure hope you will not be disappointed.

    Thanks ISG. This is an easy one to put together. I hope you get a chance to try this.

  6. RedChillies says:

    Thanks so much Laavanya.

    Thanks Happy Cook. I know that feeling! You desparately want to try something and you don’t find that ingredient. darn! 🙂

    Haha Mallika. I am so with you. But one good thing is that semolina gets over pretty fast at home as we all love upma/uppit.

    thanks Rajitha. So glad you liked it.

  7. Valerie says:

    This looks delicious. I have all of the ingredients, but I’ve never heard of poha. Can it have a different name? Sorry for my ignorance.

  8. RedChillies says:

    Thanks Valerie. Poha is also called Falttened Rice and is available in Indian groceries. Thanks for pointing it out and now I have added a link for Poha in the main section.

  9. RedChillies says:

    Maya, Masala Pittyo seems to be a great idea too. Thanks for the idea 🙂

    Thanks so much Sushma for thinking of me and passing the award to me.

    Thanks Uma.

  10. TBC says:

    I started having poha for BF when I started living in a hostel. The food there(working women’s hostel) was really good, and this was something that aunty(the cook) made really well. 🙂

  11. sridevi says:

    wow an other gr8 breakfast recipe sounds tasty, when i was in pune we used to have poha but masala poha 1st time must try this as it is very easy and must b tasty too

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