Maharashtrian Poha (Beaten Rice) and Punjabi Dal
When I started asking recipes from family, Danya was one of the excited nieces who sent me recipes. I remember visiting her in Mysore and showing her how to bake banana bread years ago. I heard she makes a really good banana bread. Her husband raves about her cooking. Danya is working on her PhD and will soon be Dr. Danya! In her spare time she enjoys cooking.
Here are two recipes. This is her version of a maharashtrian poha – a quick and tasty breakfast or anytime snack and punjabi dal (lentil soup eaten with rice or roti/naan). Danya said that the punjabi dal was a recipe her mother has been using for almost 30 years. The recipe was given to her mother by her aunt, Shanti.
Poha is beaten rice and you get both white and red variety. She has used red poha. In Tamil, poha is called aval and in Kannada it is called avalakki. In the south of india, a similar dish called aval upma or avalakki uppittu is made. Usually potatoes are not added and mustard seeds are added instead of cumin seeds. Garnish with grated coconut.
- Rinse two cups of poha and drain using a strainer. (Do not let it sit in the water; it will get soggy)
- Sprinkle salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and set aside.
- In a pan, heat 2 tsp oil and add 1 tsp cumin seeds.
- Add 1 cup chopped onions, 1-2 chopped green chilli (optional), 1/2 cup peanuts, 1 tbsp curry leaves (optional) and saute till onion turns golden.
- Add 1 chopped potato, salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Sprinkle a little bit of water and let the potato cook. Keep stirring.
- Once the potato is cooked well and dry, add the poha (beaten rice) and mix gently. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro leaves and a tsp of lemon juice(optional).
- Serve with a cup of masala chai, tea or filter coffee (that would be another post)
- Measure 1/3 cup each of toor dal, masoor dal, yellow moong dal, urad dal and channa dal.
- Pressure cook all the dals with three times the water.
- Soak 4 red chillies in warm/hot water. Chop one onion, four tomatoes and 5-6 cloves garlic. Grind the chopped onions, tomatoes and garlic along with the chillies and the water the chillies are soaked in. (This gives it a mild color). Remove the seeds from the chillies if you prefer less spice.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 2 bay leaves.
- Once the cumin seeds splutter, add 1 1/2 chopped onion and saute till golden brown.
- Add the paste, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, a 1/2 tsp garam masala, 1 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, chilli powder, crushed kasuri methi and salt.
- Bring to a boil and cook it well.
- Add the cooked and mashed dal and boil.
- Check salt and adjust. You can add 1/2-3/4 tsp amchur powder for a tangy taste (optional). Amchur powder is dried mango powder.
- Simmer for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander/ cilantro leaves and ghee. Serve with rice, roti or naan.