Poha, also known as pohe, aval, pauwa, sira, chira, chivda, or avalakki or baji, among many other names, is flattened rice originating from the Indian subcontinent. Rice is parboiled before flattening so that it can be consumed with very little to no cooking. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thickness of the flakes varies from almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thinner than a normal rice grain.

This easily digestible form of raw rice is very popular across India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and is normally used to prepare snacks or light and easy fast food in a variety of Indian cuisine styles, some even for long-term consumption of a week or more.

Flattened rice can be eaten raw by immersing it in plain water or milk, with salt and sugar to taste, or lightly fried in oil with nuts, raisins, cardamoms, and other spices. In Northern India Poha and Samosa is famous as breakfast. The lightly fried variety is a standard breakfast in the Malwa region (surrounding Ujjain and Indore) of Madhya Pradesh. Tarri Poha where spicy chana based gravy (tarri) is added to poha served with half cut tomato is popular in Nagpur,Maharashtra.Poha can be reconstituted with hot water to make a porridge or paste, depending on the proportion of water added. In villages, particularly in Chhattisgarh, flattened rice is also eaten raw by mixing with jaggery. Indori poha from Indore is quite famous in the country and is eaten with a crispy snack called sev. It is also eaten mixed with peanuts, coconut and various spices.

In Maharashtra, flattened rice is cooked with lightly fried mustard seeds, turmeric, green chilli, finely chopped onions, and fried peanuts; moistened flattened rice is added to the spicy mix and steamed for a few minutes.


Thoughts 🤔 by Soumendra Kumar Sahoo is licensed under CC BY 4.0