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Monday, January 24, 2011

Batata Powa/Aloo Poha/ Potatoes and flattened Rice

Batata Powa (or Aloo poha, as it’s called in Hindi) is a Gujarati dish made of fluffy flattened rice (powa) and potatoes (batata). Light, lemony and flecked with sauteed onions, potatoes, nuts, curry leaves and tiny black mustard seeds, this dish is ideal for a simple and savory snack or brunch. In India, especially in Gujrat, it’s often eaten for breakfast.

I love to eat this with plain yogurt. It is my soul food: Batata poha mixed with side of plain home made yogurt....yumm....


• 4 cups of Poha (flattened rice). It is readily available at Indian grocery stores.

• 1 large yellow onion or 2 medium yellow onions finely chopped

• 1 bunch of green onions (about 4) chopped

• 1" piece of ginger sliced or chopped

• 1 large green jalapeno pepper or 2 medium Serrano pepper chopped and divided in two parts.

• 4 cloves of garlic chopped

• 1/4 cup of unsalted cashew halves (optional)

• 1 sprig of curry leaves (I did not have so I omitted this time)

• 1 cup chopped cilantro

• 1 medium tomato, diced (optional, I did not use it this time)

• 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes

• Fresh Juice from 2 limes

• 3 table spoon vegetable oil

• 1 tsp black mustard seeds

• 1 tsp cumin seeds

• 1/4 tsp asafetida

• 1 tsp turmeric powder

• 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder

• 1/2 tsp garam masala

• 6 tsp sugar

• 2 tsp salt divided in two parts


• Take the poha in a colander with smaller holes. Wash the poha thoroughly in running cold water about 3-4 times.

• Do not squeeze the poha, which will be inflated from the washing.

• Let the poha sit in the colander with a dish underneath for excess water to drain.

• Add chopped tomatoes, half of salt, half of chopped green chilies, turmeric powder, cayenne pepper powder, sugar, and lime.

• Set aside.

• Heat a large pot over medium heat, and add oil.

• When oil is hot add cumin and mustard seeds.

• When they crackle add asafetida, immediately followed by curry leaves, other half of chopped green chilies and cashews, saute for 30 sec.

• Add both green and yellow onions, ginger and garlic.

• Cook the onions, ginger and garlic on medium heat for 1 min; then add potatoes, add other half of salt.

• Stir well, and turn heat to low, cover the pot and let them cook with occasional stirring until potatoes become tender and onions become translucent.

• Pour the flattened rice mixture, in to sautéed onions and potatoes, add garam masala, gently toss and mix everything.

• Cook for 1-2 minutes, over low heat.

• Turn stove off.

• Mix Cilantro and save some for garnish for individual servings if desired.

• Serve hot with cilantro chutney (recipe on this blog)

• I love plain yogurt with this, but if you don't like yogurt and cilantro chutney, you can eat it plain.

Recipe modified by Surekha from a recipe by her dearest mom Mrs. Kasturben.
Photographs by Surekha.

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