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.

Ingredients:

  • 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. 

 Method:

  • 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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Preparation:

Cucumber Dosa/Taushe Polo

Cucumber Dosa

After getting married, I was introduced to many new, delicious and interesting dishes hitherto unknown to me. Even though both of us are Konkanis, vegetarians, share the same background and culture yet each of our families have different style and combination of cooking. My MIL has over the years graciously taught me their style of cooking.

One such new, easy and tasty dish is the Cucumber dosa (savory Indian pancake)  . This has only 2 ingredients cucumber, idli rava and can be made in a jiffy. The end product is truly amazing, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with golden hue to it. Unlike a regular urad dosa tears easily and simply melts in the mouth. And this does not need any fermentation!

Please note that even though this is caleld Dosa, the prepared batter is patted on the stove directly like a Thalipeeth.

 

 Ingredients:

  • 2 medium size cucmbers
  • 1.5 cups of idli rava
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • oil, salt
  • coriander leaves chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut(optional)

 Preparation:

  • Peel the cucumbers and grate them. Retain the seeds of the cucumber but drain the cucumber water as much as possible.
  • Chop up the green chilies very finely.
  • Add the idli rava, green chilies, shredded coconut, coriander leaves to grated cucumber and mix well. Add salt as required
  • Let this whole thing rest for about 30 minutes. Note that the mixture in this case will be coarse and not “gooey” or watery like a dosa batter.
  • Note: Even if it becomes watery, do not discard the water but retain it and mix it well.

 Procedure:

  • Heat a tava and grease it a little bit. When the tava is hot, take a handful of the cucumber mixture and place at the center.
  •  Pat the mixture using finger tips and spread it around starting from the center to form a circle.
  •  Use little water to spread this out if it becomes hot to handle.

  •  This spreading should not be either too thick or thin, make it as even as possible.
  •  Make about 4-5 small holes around the periphery and center of the circle using a spatula.
  •  Put about 1 tsp of oil around the dosa and also 1 tsp into the small holes.
  •  Cover this with a lid and let it stay for a minute or so on high heat.
  • After a minute take a peek and check to see if the backside of the dosa has a brown color.
  •  If it has not, then let it stay for a while or the dosa will break when trying to turn it around.
  •  If it has browned then, turn the dosa around, put some more oil around it and let it cook for a while.

 This can be eaten as is or with little ghee or coconut oil.