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Touching my roots: Poha and Giveaway Winner

Poha

When I asked in May what you would like to see more of in my blog, I received a surprising number of comments asking for Indian recipes. But, shamefully I must say I have shied away from doing that. I do have reasons, even if they are silly and not entirely pardonable...

You see, I cook Indian food intuitively. As in, I rarely follow a recipe (I have never asked my mom for a recipe yet:) ), reconstructing dishes based on flavor profile and memories. And, most often, this cuisine is my comfort food, something that I can whip up without thinking much about it and flavors that come naturally to me. Which means, I rarely ever experiment with it. I tend to replay cherished palate memories over and over again.

Of course, there is nothing to stop me from sharing these perfect-as-is creations with you, I know. But, here is where my second "reason" comes in. Many things in this cuisine tend to look brown or the end product tends to be uni dimensional visually. I have found it rather difficult to photograph them appealingly. I do realise that this is my own shortcoming and entirely non-transferable to the cuisine.

So, I decided that this would be a good challenge for me. To showcase my heritage here on my blog and by doing so embark on a learning curve, in photography, as well .. :)


Bag of Flattened Rice

The first dish I would like to share is, Poha. It is my all time favorite snack, which, many a time becomes my go-to lunch or dinner especially when I am alone. I love the simple, clean flavors of it plus it's ridiculously easy to put together, light and healthy. And, did I mention I LOVE it?! :)

Granted, Poha, is bit of an easy subject to shoot because of it's vibrant color and distinctive grains. Nevertheless, I decided some early slack was in order to keep me going. Besides, I honestly think, more needs to be said on the topic of flattened rice.

Across the country, you'll see many variations of the dish. Some add stir fried, potatoes to them which makes it an even more filling meal. I, personally like to keep it simple with just the flakes, and perhaps a few roasted nuts folded in. :)

Poha in a bowl close

Incidentally, I did not know that this form of rice is used by anyone other than Indians (for whom, rice being the ultimate staple is eaten in various forms) but was rather pleasantly surprised when I saw a pudding post on Helen's using them!

Ingredient Notes: Flattened rice is de-husked rice which is flattened into flat, light, dry flakes. These flakes swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain. Source:Wiki

For more recipes from Indian Cuisine, browse through my Recipe Index or click here.



Poha

1 cup flattened rice
3 T diced onion
3-4 curry leaves
2-3 green chilies (Indian or Thai),sliced long
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp lemon juice
scant 1/4 cup water
salt to taste

Garnish:
stir fried boiled potato cubes
roasted peanuts or cashew nuts
fresh chopped cilantro

Run water through the flattened rice for 30 seconds. Drain completely. Toss 1/2 tsp of turmeric through the puffed flakes. Cover with a wet towel and set aside for atleast 10 minutes to allow the flakes to absorb water and puff up.

Meanwhile, add mustard and cumin seeds to 2 tablespoons hot oil in pan. When the mustard starts popping, add the curry leaves and chili. Saute for a minute and then add the onion and cook till translucent. Season with salt and rest of the turmeric powder.

Add the puffed rice and gently incorporate all the ingredients together. Be careful to not break the grains. Now SPRINKLE water over and closed the lid and cook on low for five minutes. It is imperative that you
sprinkle and not pour
, else you'll end up with a mushy mess.

Lift the lid and check grains for done-ness. They should be soft like cooked rice, just a bit firmer. Add the lemon juice and gently toss. Remove from heat and let sit covered for a minute to blend flavors.

You can add any or all of the garnish items and serve.



Now for the winner announcement.

The lucky winner of my Brochure Giveaway is Barbara of Barbara Bakes!!! Congratulations Barbara!! Online Brochure Printing will send you the packet directly and expected shipping is end of month! Hope these brochures help spread the word of your wonderful blog even more!! :)
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