Sunday, December 2, 2012

Poha with a Twist

This evening, I was not keen on having roti and sabzi for dinner. I wanted a change from the usual dinner fare at home. As my stepmother had told me not to make any roti for her as she only wanted a cup of hot milk so I decided to make something different. 

I am a rice-eater. That is probably because I was born and raised in the Philippines where rice is the staple food. For me, rice is much preferable to roti anytime. But, my stepmother cannot survive without roti so rice is not something I can cook often (though I try to find excuses to cook rice as often as I possibly can)

Poha with a Twist (Poha with Peas, Peanuts, Potato and Eggplant)

Poha (flattened rice) is generally served as a snack. However, I find that rice, in any form, is more of a meal than a snack food. I decided to cook poha with my own special touch. 

If you browse the internet, most poha recipes will call for mustard seeds, curry leaves and many other ingredients. Though those recipes taste wonderful, I (personally) do not have much fondness for mustard seeds and curry leaves. So I decided to make poha my way. Dinner this evening was Poha with Peas, Peanuts, Potatoes, and Eggplant. In short, its Poha with a twist. 

The ingredients for my Poha with a Twist are:

3 teacups of Poha (flattened rice)
1 small eggplant or aubergine (cut into thin strips)
1 potato (peeled and cut in thin cubes)
a handful of peanuts (uncooked)
a handful of green peas
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder or haldi
1 teaspoon salt (more or less depending on your preference)
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1 medium onion (sliced thinly)
oil for cooking

The way I went about cooking Poha with a Twist is as follows:

1. Moisten the poha with water and let it sit in a colander for about 2-3 minutes. This is to let the flattened rice to soften and puff up.

2. In a pan, heat some oil. Once the oil is slightly smoking, place the peanuts into the pan and stir so that the peanuts cook. Once the fragrance of peanuts start to waft, remove them from the oil and place in a bowl or plate and set aside. 

3. In the same pan and using the leftover oil from cooking the peanuts, (low to medium heat) place the onions and saute until translucent. Add the thinly sliced eggplant or aubergine and potato slices. Add salt and stir often as the potato may stick to the pan if left unattended. (The salt helps to prevent the potato from sticking to the pan but stirring helps a lot too).

4. After the eggplant and potato are half cooked (you can tell this by taking a potato piece and checking its firmness this is probably around the 2-3 minute mark), add the green peas and stir well for about 2 minutes then add a little water to make sure the peas and the potato cooks well. Add turmeric or haldi at this point and the garam masala as well.

5. Once the potato slices are soft and the peas are cooked, add the poha and switch to low heat. Stir the poha in and make sure that the yellowness of the turmeric powder to coat all of the flattened rice. Cook for a minute and then add the peanuts that has been cooked earlier. Mix well and allow to cook for another minute. Turn off heat and serve the poha hot.

My Dad and I (and our beloved canine babies, Jyoti and Lucky) enjoyed our dinner. My stepmother decided to have a cup of hot milk (with Ensure vanilla mixed in) as her dinner.

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Posted by: Bames Pabla
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