Poha (Pohe) is a traditional Indian Breakfast made with flattened rice, onions, peanuts and flavored with basic spices and herbs. It's vegan, gluten-free, nutritious, and absolutely delicious!
In this post, I’m sharing how to make the popular Maharashtrian style Kanda poha and Kanda batata poha recipes with step-by-step pics and video.
Poha for breakfast has been a staple since childhood. Mom would even sometimes make it as an evening snack with chai (tea) especially if we had guests coming.
Now, I often make it as a weekend breakfast. We all love it and makes such a filling and nutritious meal. Honestly, I don’t mind it for quick lunch or dinner too!
I love my Mom's poha recipe so sharing that today. She uses onions along with potatoes and green peas to make it. I add some peanuts too for that crunch!!
Just like Sabudana Khichdi, making poha is easy, quick, and yet some struggle to make it right as it can turn mushy easily if not cooked right.
But I'm here to help! I'm sharing all the tips I've learned from mom and through my experience so you can make the perfect poha the very first time!!
Give this recipe a try and am sure it will be a staple at your home too.
If you love poha here is a different snack version that is also a favorite with chai - Poha Chivda.
What is Poha
Poha or Pohe is a famous and simple Maharshtrian breakfast and snack recipe.
It is absolutely easy to make, very quick, requires basic ingredients, and is vegan and gluten-free. No wonder it's one of the most popular recipes be it home or restaurants.
Pohe (plural for poha) is made using poha as the main ingredient which is also known as Flattened rice in English.
These are dry crispy flakes, made from flattened parboiled rice and hence the name.
There are different varieties of poha based on their thickness like thin, thick, or dadpe pohe (thickest). Also depending on their color, they may be white or red.
There are various ways of making them too. Mumbai, Maharashtra is famous for Kanda pohe where Kanda means onion.
Kanda Pohe is a very basic recipe where softened moist flattened rice is stir-fried with tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chilies, and onions.
Roasted or fried peanuts are added for crunch and finished with tons of coriander leaves (cilantro) and lemon juice.
To make it more filling and nutritious you can add veggies to it like potatoes, green peas. This version is called Kanda batata poha or aloo poha where batata (aloo) means potato. This is typically what I make most days.
Either way, both versions are delicious!! So let's see how to make this easy and delicious recipe for poha.
Poha - Also known as flattened rice or beaten rice. I've used white thick poha for this recipe, red ones can be used too. Dadpe poha can be used too but they will need more soaking time. Thin variety is not recommended for this recipe.
Veggies - I prefer using onion, potatoes, and green peas. You can also make it just with onion.
For tempering - mustard seeds (rai), cumin seeds (zeera), asafoetida (hing), curry leaves, green chili, and cilantro (coriander) steams (these are optional but recommend adding for more flavor).
Spices and seasoning - salt, sugar (helps balance the flavors so don't skip), and turmeric for flavor and that patent yellow color.
Finishing touches - Lemon juice, cilantro, and roasted peanuts (highly recommend since they add a nice crunch and texture).
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
Step by Step Method
1 - Add flattened rice (poha) to a bowl, add 3-4 cups of water to it.
2 - Give it a quick stir and soak just for 30 seconds, not more or else they will turn mushy. Drain the water out using a strainer.
3 - Let it rest for 5 mins to drain any excess water and then mix it gently.
Poha should be nice and fluffy at this point. It should also break easily when pressed between your thumb and index finger.
You can also directly rinse the poha in the strainer but I find quick soak makes them fluffier.
4 - Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt, sugar and mix gently. Keep aside.
To make kanda batata poha
5 - In a pan heat oil, and add 1 tablespoon oil and peanuts to it. Roast on medium heat until they are crunchy.
6 - Remove them into another bowl to maintain their crunch. Keep aside. You can skip the roasting step if you are using roasted peanuts.
7 - In the same pan, add remaining oil. Once hot add the mustard seeds to it.
8 - Once the mustard seeds splutter (pop), add the cumin seeds, hing, and curry leaves. Give it a quick stir.
9 - Stir in the green chilies and chopped cilantro stems (optional but recommend since they add a nice flavor).
10 - Add the onions. Mix well and saute for 1 min.
11 - Stir in the potatoes, green peas, salt, and turmeric. Mix well.
12 - Cover and cook on medium-low heat until the potatoes are soft.
13 - Test by checking if the potato breaks easily with your spatula that means it's ready.
14 - Give the masala a quick mix and add in the softened flattened rice and roasted peanuts. Mix gently until everything is well combined.
15 - Cover and steam for 2-3 mins or until the flattened rice is heated through. Stir in between to prevent burning.
16 - Open the lid, add cilantro, lemon juice, and mix well. Give it a quick taste and adjust salt if needed.
Easy, delicious and nutritious Kanda Batata Poha is ready!!
To make kanda pohe
Just skip the potatoes and green peas, rest of the recipe remains same as Kanda batata poha.
Maharashtrian poha is typically served warm garnished with more cilantro, grated coconut, sev (savory snack made with chickpea flour), and a lemon wedge on the side.
You can serve it along with chai or coffee for that ideal breakfast and even brunch option.
Alternately you can also serve it with sambar and/or chutney too just like at restaurants.
Poha variety - use thick (recommended) or dadpe pohe for this recipe. I don't recommend thin variety as they turn mushy very easily.
Soaking Pohe - This is a crucial step that can make or break the recipe. Soak them just for 30 seconds and drain well to get that nice fluffy grain. Alternately rinse it directly in a strainer too.
More oil - With poha, more oil works best as it prevents them from getting dry.
To fix dry poha - Check after adding the flattened rice and mixing everything. If you feel they are looking or tasting dry, drizzle a teaspoon of oil or sprinkle some water. Do not overdo these as they may result in greasy or mushy poha.
To fasten the cooking process - use boiled potatoes, green peas, and roasted peanuts.
Cilantro (coriander) stems - add them to the tempering to elevate the flavor.
Add salt to both, soaked flattened rice and veggies, that ensures it distributes evenly.
Perfect taste - Poha should always be the right balance of salt, tang, and sweet so don't skip the sugar and lemon juice!!
Frequently asked questions
Over soaking or over rinsing can cause the flattened rice to turn mushy. Also using the right variety (thick) is important.
Poha is best eaten fresh, but leftovers can be stored covered in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Even when stored airtight it tends to dry out so reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop by sprinkling some water to bring back the moisture.
In addition to potatoes and green peas, you can also add carrots and corn to this recipe.
More breakfast recipes
Hope you enjoy this Kanda Batata Poha recipe !! If you give this recipe a try, please rate by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️ ! You can also follow me on Facebook | Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
- 2 cups thick poha flattened rice
- 2-3 tablespoon oil using canola oil
- 2 tablespoon peanuts optional, can use raw or roasted
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds rai
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds zeera
- pinch asafoetida hing
- 10-15 curry leaves
- 2-3 green chilies slit vertically
- ¼ cup Cilantro stems finely chopped, optional
- 1 large yellow onion finely chopped
- 1 small potato peeled and cut into small cubes
- ½ cup green peas frozen or fresh
- ½ teaspoon turmeric haldi
- 1 teaspoon salt divided, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 -2 tablespoon lemon juice or to taste
- ¼ cup Cilantro finely chopped, for garnishing
- ¼ cup Cilantro finely chopped
- ¼ cup grated fresh coconut frozen works well optional
- ¼ cup sev or bhujia optional
- Add flattened rice (poha) to a bowl, add 3-4 cups of water to it. Give it a quick stir and soak poha not more than 30 seconds. Drain the water out using a strainer.
- Let the poha rest for 5 mins to drain any excess water and then mix it gently. Poha should be nice and fluffy at this point. It should also break easily when pressed between your thumb and index finger.
- Sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt, sugar and mix gently. Cover and keep aside.
To make kanda batata poha
- In a pan heat oil, and add 1 tablespoon oil and peanuts to it. Roast on medium heat until they are crunchy. Remove them into another bowl to maintain their crunch. Keep aside. You can skip the roasting step if you are using roasted peanuts.
- In the same pan, add the remaining oil. Once hot add the mustard seeds to it.
- Once the mustard seeds splutter (pop), add the cumin seeds, hing, and curry leaves. Give it a quick stir.
- Stir in the green chilies and chopped cilantro stems (optional but recommend since they add a nice flavor) followed by the onions. Mix well and saute for 1 min.
- Next, add the potatoes, green peas, salt, and turmeric. Mix until all is well combined.
- Cover and cook on medium-low heat until the potatoes are cooked (approximately 5 mins). Stir intermittently.Test by checking if the potato breaks easily with your spatula which means it's ready.
- Give the masala a quick mix and add in the softened poha and roasted peanuts. Mix gently until everything is well combined.
- Cover and steam for 3-5 mins or until the poha is heated through. Stir in between to prevent burning.
- Open the lid, add cilantro, lemon juice, and mix well. Give it a quick taste and adjust salt if needed.
- Easy, delicious, and nutritious Kanda Batata Poha is ready!! Served warm garnished with sev, grated coconut more cilantro, and a lemon wedge on the side. Enjoy with chai (tea) or coffee.