Vegetable Poha With Punjabi Chhole/Vegetable Rice Flakes With Chickpeas Curry

Wednesday was supposed to be the first day of Spring....well it is full of snow here.  The weather is so unpredictable these days and I am not expecting a warm Easter.  Flu is taking its turn in my family, kids are sharing their cold with each other, even if I try my best to keep them apart, they stay together when you tell them not to do so.  Honestly I am longing for bright sunlight and those sunny days.

Nobody is really having a good appetite for big dinner last few days and I was just making soups these days.  Today I decided to cook something more than a soup and thought of making some Poha which my family loves when accompanied with Chhole.  My hubby's Aunt used to make Poha for us when they used to live close to our old house.  She lives little far away now and I really miss her Poha.

Poha is flattened rice or rice flakes.  They are pre-cooked so the cooking time for preparing Poha is minimal.  This makes it an easy meal to prepare.  People use it as breakfast too, but we prefer it as  dinner with some chickpeas curry.  It really gets ready under 15 minutes.

Ingredient for Vegetable Poha

Thick Poha - 4 cups
1 - medium size onion chopped
1 - small potato cut into small piece (.5 cm thickness)
2 - green chili chopped
1/2 cup - broccoli chopped
5 - button mushrooms chopped
1/4 cup - chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp - mustard seeds
1/2 tsp - Chana daal (optional)
1 1/2 tbsp - raw peanuts
1 1/2 tbsp - oil
salt to taste

2 tsp - lemon juice
1 tbsp - chopped coriander leaves

Ingredients for Chhole
1 1/2 cup - dry chickpeas soaked overnight
1 - teabag
1 cup - onion chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp - finely chopped ginger
1 tsp - kashmiri chilli
2 tbsp - Punjabi Chhole Masala
1 - tomato chopped
1/4 cup - chopped coriander leaves
1/4 tsp - mustard seeds
1 tbsp - oil
salt to taste

Directions to prepare Poha:

  • Take 4 cups of dry Poha in a deep bowl and add water to it till it is soaked for 1 minute. Gently mix it and drain the water through a strainer.  Turn the tap on and run the water over  the strainer with Poha for 30 seconds and keep it aside to drain completely.
  • In a big non-stick pan or cast iron pan heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil and splutter mustard seeds.  Roast the Chana daal and peanuts in the pan for couple of minutes.  Add the chopped onions, mushrooms, potatoes, green chili, turmeric powder and salt and cook till onions are light golden brown and the potatoes are cooked.  Now add the chopped broccoli, cilantro and cover and cook for 2 -3 minutes.
  • Using a fork fluff the wet Poha and sprinkle salt to taste.  Add the poha to the cooked vegetable mix in the pan and gently mix till the poha is mixed well with the vegetables.  Adjust salt per taste.
  • Garnish with lemon juice and chopped Cilantro.
Directions to prepare Chhole:
  • Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas with teabag and enough water (just enough to completely cover the chickpeas) till 4 whistle blows and turn off the burner and let it cool.
  • In a non-stick or cast iron pan, splutter 1/4 tsp of mustard seeds in 1 tbsp of oil.  Cook chopped onions, garlic and ginger till golden brown.  Add turmeric powder, chili powder and Chhole Masala and cook till the raw smell goes away.  Add chopped coriander leaves and tomato and cook for couple of minutes.
  • Open the pressure cooker and remove the tea bag.  Add the Masala mix from the above step to the chickpeas and add 1 cup of water and pressure cook till 2 more whistles blow.  Let the pressure subside completely before you open the cooker.
  • Transfer the prepared chhole to a dish and garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Enjoy the Poha with Punjabi Chhole.
  • Don't over soak Poha.  It might tend to stick together when there is more moisture.  Make sure you use Thick Poha.  You can get them from Indian store.
  • You can use any vegetables of your choice to prepare Poha.
  • If you are not using a tea bag, tie 1 tsp of tea leaves in a cheese cloth and cook it with chickpeas.
  • If you think your Poha is too dry sprinkle 1 tbsp of water while cooking it.

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