Twist on a traditional breakfast cereal, Poha.

Poha is a popular Maharashtrian breakfast recipe. Even back home in Kolkata, my mum used to make Veg Poha, often for breakfast or evening snack.

Poha is nothing but rice that has been parboiled, rolled, flattened and then dried to produce flakes. They have uneven edges and a rough texture. Rice flakes have no particular aroma and a bland gentle taste. Depending on the method of cooking, they can be soft or crunchy.

Last evening was windy and it was about to rain. I decided to call over my cousins for a game of Monopoly Deal (my new addiction)..To munch in between games, i made crunchy Poha Cutlets and Chai. 

Poha cutlet is an easy snack and quick to prepare. This is a great recipe to use left over Veg Poha as well.

 

Here’s the recipe.

  • 3 Medium Sized Potatoes (boiled and skinned)
  • 1 Cup Poha (washed and drained) – On washing, poha softens and puffs up a little 
  • 2 Slices of Bread
  • 2 Green Chillies – finely chopped
  • 1 Large Onion – finely chopped
  • 1 Carrot – grated
  • ½ Capsicum – finely chopped
  • ½ Cup Fresh Coriander – finely chopped
  • 1″ Piece of Ginger – grated
  • ¼ Tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ Tsp Chilli Powder
  • ½ Tsp Cumin Powder
  • ½ Tsp Black Salt
  • Salt to taste – do taste the mixture before adding more salt
  • Oil for Frying
  1. Mash the potatoes with the help of a fork or use hands. Whatever is convenient. You can even grate them.
  2. Add the washed poha to the mashed potato. Tear the bread into tiny bits and add in as well.
  3. Add in the veggies, spices, salt and knead the mixture well until everything comes together.
  4. Take small portions of the mixture and shape it like a cutlet or a nugget (or however your heart desires).
  5. Heat oil in a pan. Gently slide the cutlets into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Keep flipping the cutlets so they brown evenly on both sides. 
  6. Take it out on a kitchen towel to drain off the excess oil and serve hot with Ketchup/Chutney 

 

I thoroughly enjoyed making these golden beauties. Hope you like the recipe too. Give it a try and share your feedback. 

Breakfast Stories

Breakfast! My favorite meal – and you can be so creative. Breakfast is the time I splurge with calories, then I spend the rest of the day thinking how to get them off! Whether you friends and family around, a quiet little brunch for two, or an even quieter little brunch just for yourself, breakfast can set the mood and pace for the whole day.

My husband is picky when it comes to food and I have to decide the menu a day in advance giving me time to prepare for it. The husband is fond of heavy breakfast; so we have all kinds of Paranthas, Sandwiches and Poha cooking throughout the week. But what next… where is the change? What do I cook that is different? Something I haven’t made in a long time. And voila! Why not make Vegetable Uthappam with Green Garlic Chutney! Uthappam, a very popular South Indian dish is a pancake lookalike but in a savory form and is made with rice. A humble breakfast, Uthappam is filling and super delicious.

I’ll share my recipe with you, it is simple and easy to do.

To make the Uthappam Batter, you will need.

  • ½ cup Urad Dal (split black lentils)
  • 1 Tbsp Fenugreek Seeds (Methi)
  • 1 cup Raw Rice
  • 1 cup par-boiled rice
  • 2 Tbsp thick beaten rice (if available)
  1. Combine the Urad Dal and Fenugreek Seeds in a deep bowl, soak it in enough water for 4 hours.
  2. Combine the Raw Rice, Par Boiled Rice and thick Rice Flakes in a deep bowl, soak it in enough water for 4 hours.
  3. Drain the Urad Dal and Fenugreek Seeds and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste using approx. 1 cup of water. Transfer the mixture into a deep bowl and keep aside.
  4. Drain the rice, parboiled rice and thick rice flakes blend in a mixer to a smooth
    paste using approx. 1 cup of water. Transfer the mixture into the same bowl (as
    the Urad Dal mixture), add salt as per taste and mix well.
  5. Cover and allow the batter to ferment in a warm place for 10 – 12 hours.
  6. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate. Use as required. However, ensure that you use the batter within 3-4 days, else it will turn sour.
  7. With this batter, you can make a variety of Uthappams, Dosas and Idlis.

If you do not want to go through the tedious process of making the batter on your own, you may want to buy the fresh batter at any grocery store. You could also buy any Ready To Eat, dosa/idli mix. It’s the same thing.

To make 4 medium sized Vegetable Uthappam, you will need.

  • 2 cups of the Uthappam Batter 
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tomato, finely chopped
  • ½ Capsicum, finely chopped
  • 2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped
  • Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
  • Oil for cooking
  1. Heat the tava/griddle/flat bottom pan. Lower the heat and sprinkle some water to
    bring down the temperature.
  2. Remove from heat and pour a ladle or two of the batter, depending on how big you want your Uthappams to be. Spread to about 5”/6” circle and the thickness should be little less than that of a pancake.
  3. Quickly sprinkle the finely chopped veggies and fresh coriander. This is optional and as per taste – you can use any veggies of your choice, just ensure it is very
    finely chopped.
  4. Add about a tsp of oil/butter on top and a little around the sides for crispy edge.
    Let the Uthappam cook for about 3-4 mins on each side (on low heat).
  5. Remove from heat and serve hot with ketchup/coconut chutney/onion
    chutney/coriander chutney/garlic chutney/idli podi.

 

 

If you like the recipe and want me to post a blog on various types of chutneys/accompaniments, please do let me know. I’ll be more than happy to share my recipes and cooking experiences with you. 

After all, food connects us. It brings families and friends together, and makes us happy. It can be our comfort and also our worst enemy (ask me). Food is a necessity. And for that reason, it will continue to be a topic of conversation for generations to come.

Arabian Loaf Nights

Arabian Loaf – a rice and potato based bake-dish is a favorite in my house. I learnt how to make this at Mrs. Alim’s finishing school course I attended in 2002 (I still haven’t figured out why it’s called Arabian Loaf but it is)! It’s been 14 years since, and every time I’m back home in Kolkata (India), my family and my friends insist that I make it at least once. I’m glad to share this delightful recipe
with you. It’s yummy to the extent that you might just bite off your finger!

To make about 1 round 9″ tin bake:

For Rice Base:

  • 2 Cups of Boiled Rice (left over works just as fine)
  • 1 Cup finely chopped Onion
  • ½ Cup finely chopped Capsicum
  • 2 Green Chillies – finely chopped
  • 1 Cup of ground Cashewnuts
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 250 ml Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of Red Chilli Powder
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • Some Chopped Coriander
  1. Heat oil & butter together in a pan & saute the onions, chillies and capsicum.
  2. Add the rice, salt, pepper, chili powder, lemon zest & mix well. Saute for
    about a minute.
  3. Put the ground cashew and bread crumbs and again saute for a min.
  4. Add milk and mix well. I suggest that you use milk a little more than the given quantity as the bread soaks it up. 
  5. Adjust the condiments as per taste and take the rice off  heat.

For Potato Mash Topping:

  • 4 large Potatoes – boiled and mashed
  • 2 tbsp of softened Butter
  • ½ Cup Warm Milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Mix the mash potatoes well with the butter and milk. Add salt & pepper as per
    your taste. [Use freshly cracked pepper for a nice peppery punch]

Assembling the Bake:

  1. Grease the bake dish with butter/cooking spray
  2. Layer the rice evenly to get about an inch and half thickness
  3. Top it with the potato mash (about ¾ of an inch or may be 1 inch thickness)
  4. Spread some melted butter on top and bake at about 180 degrees for about 10 mins and then grill for 15 mins to get a golden color on the potato top.
  5. Garnish with some fresh coriander and serve piping hot

 

 

Tip: For Non Vegetarians, substitute the cashew nuts with minced lamb/mutton meat.

Since it’s a full meal in itself, a bowl of light soup compliments it perfectly. Trust me, you make it once and you will have to cook it all your life on popular demand!