Sweet Poha/ Goda Pohvu

Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is called Poha in Hindi, Avalakki in Kannada, Atukulu in Telugu and Aval in Tamil. In India, Poha/ Flattened rice is easily available and is usually associated with simplicity. Poha is considered a favorite of Lord Krishna and so this sweet dish is usually prepared on the occasion of Krishna Janamashathami. 

Simple, divine and earthy are the trademarks of this Sweet Poha. Even though there are only four ingredients Poha, jaggery, coconut, cardamom, people prepare this in hundred different ways. Some heat the jaggery and coconut while others do not, some do not wet the poha, and some do not mix coconut jiggery together …you get the idea. I pretty much follow my ma-in-law’s recipe which is common in the Konkani households. This is also called as “Kaleyle Pohvu” in Konkani. Since we do not heat the jaggery and add the poha this is comparatively dry compared to the other south Indian versions. 

If you are looking for some savory Indian recipes using Poha then, here are some: 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Poha (thin flakes)
  • 3/4 cup jaggery/gud/bella (powdered)
  • 3/4 cup shredded fresh coconut ( + ¼ cup for topping)
  • 2 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • 10-15 cashews bits
  • 10-15 raisins
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds

Method:

  • Note: It is best to use fresh coconut for this as it has its own juice. The frozen ones are dry and do not have moisture.
  • Make sure the jaggery is fully powdered and there are no lumps in it.
  • Heat a small skillet and dry roast sesame seeds till it turns light brown and sputters. Transfer to a plate.
  • In the same skillet heat ghee and add cashews, fry until light brown and then add the raisins until it plumps.
  • Take a big steel bowl and mix the coconut and jaggery together by using hands. Keep aside for 30 minutes. After a while you will notice that the jaggery has melted and there is thick liquid.
  • Take the poha in another bowl and sprinkle some water over it, mix it using hands, turning it around evenly. Sprinkle more as required. (Make sure there is no excess water).
  • Note: I do not soak the poha, just wet it sufficiently and I let the liquid from jaggery seep into the soaked poha.
  • Now add this wet poha, cardamom powder, 1 tsp melted ghee to the jaggery coconut mixture and mix well. Set aside stirring in between.
  • Add the roasted sesame seeds, fried cashews, raisins and mix well.
  • Finally add ¼ cup shredded coconut for garnish and some color.

 

Murmura Upma/Puffed Rice Snack

Hope you had a good and relaxing weekend! 

Remember the rant I made last about the relentless summer heat here in Texas, with the temperatures being above 100+ for the past 45 days? Guess what? The rain Gods finally answered our prayers and it rained here for a little bit providing much needed relief.  Come Saturday morning, we woke up to the smell of the earth. And not to mention the grass, yard all soaked in water provided a happy sight. As I stood there it reminded me of the old age adage, that it is the simple things in life that gives you most joy.

Now take this puffed rice for example a simple ingredient sold most by the street vendors. I am sure most of us are familiar with this regional name than the translated English name, chirmure/kadle puri/ mamra/ muri/ pori. There are so many recipes using this humble ingredient, that it is hard to keep count. I guess, each region in India has its own specialty making it so unique. Our family favorites are the Khara Kadle Puri, this upma and the ladoo that is made of it.

This is referred to as Mandakki Usli/ Kadle puri oggarane in Kannada, Soosla in Konkani. This is a low calorie dish, good as breakfast or as evening/ afternoon snack. You can add veggies like potato, tomato, peas, carrots and make it filling and nutritious. If you are new to this or have not tasted it before then this tastes like the regular old poha upma/ aval upma and looks the same too (after it is cooked).

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups puffed rice/ murmura (chirmure/kadle puri/ mamra/ muri/ pori)
  • 1 onion (chopped)
  • 5-7 curry leaves
  • 3-4 green chillies (chopped)
  • Asafetida/hing a pinch
  • 2 tsp urad daal (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp peanuts
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4  tsp turmeric powder
  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 tsp Sugar (optional)
  • Oil
  • salt 

Method: 

  • Wash the puffed rice and rinse it in water. Since they are light, they will float in water. Use your hands to press it down to absorb water and then squeeze out the water completely from the puffed rice and keep aside.
  • Take a big pan and heat oil in it. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and when they splutter add the curry leaves, asafetida.
  • Add the peanuts, urad daal and keep stirring until the urad daal turns light brown.
  • Add chopped onion and green chillies until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder and add soaked puffed rice and mix well. Keep stirring until it is coated well.
  • Check for seasoning and then add the juice of lemon, sugar (optional) mix and switch off the gas.
  • Serve immediately when warm, otherwise it will become soggy. 

Vegan Banana Coconut Bread (Quick Bread)

eggless banana bread
I am not sure if I have asked this before or not, but asking this again hoping there are new ideas in store. O dear reader, what do you usually do with the over ripe bananas that is lurking over your countertops? Make the quintessential banana bread, milkshake, pancake, freeze them or just toss them? If I am no mood to bake then I usually make the delicious sweet paniyaram/appe for evening snack or strawberry banana milkshake

But then if I am in a mood and have time to bake then I try out some really good recipes from the web. This time around I chose the recipe from here. (She is the author of “Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World” and “Vegan with Vengeance” and I am a huge fan of her books.). 

 I have followed the recipe for most part, but added stuff like coconut and walnuts to it. The combination of banana and coconut though unique in their way has that tropical flair and is a match made in heaven. Add walnut to this combination and you relish a trinity of bursting flavors. 
vegan quick bread
I have tried many vegan banana bakes before, but this has been the best vegan banana bread that I have baked so far. Soft and light this makes a perfect accompaniment as tea/coffee time snack. I love it so much that I cannot wait for those bananas on my countertop to get ripe and try this again. I know when I find another recipe; I will be saying the same thing and literally eating my words 🙂 

Note to self: Try toasting the coconut a bit and use vegetable oil instead of the butter. Finally try using whole wheat pastry flour instead of AP flour.

If you have some ripe bananas that need to be used then you can try some of these bakes below:

vegan banana coconut bread

Recipe Source: Adapted from Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup margarine ( I used Earth balance)
  • 3  ripe bananas (peeled & mashed )
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup vanilla soy milk + 1 teaspoon vinegar (keep them together)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease a 8×4 bread pan and keep aside.
  • First in a bowl sift together the dry ingredients AP flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • In another bowl cream together the margarine, sugars. Add the mashed bananas, soy milk (with vinegar) and vanilla essence and mix together. (I used hand mixer for this).
  • Slowly in intervals add the mixed dry mixture to the wet and incorporate until well mixed. Finally add the coconut and fold it in.
  • Pour this batter into the prepared pan and top it off with chopped walnuts.
  • Bake for an hour to an hour 10 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes clean. Keep aside to cool and cut into desired shape.