Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Aval Upma (Basic Seasoned Poha or Rice Flakes)

Thick Aval

Aval Upma is another emergency dish that goes together rather quickly just like cream of wheat Upma. Aval is the Malayalam/Tamil word for flattened rice flakes (powa or poha in Hindi). It has been eaten in India since antiquity and is the Indian equivalent for oatmeal. It is a good staple to have on hand to make porridge to desserts which cook quickly. When we were growing up, Amma used to make aval soaked in hot milk with a little sugar called Pal Aval for a quick and simple after-school or afternoon snack. And if some raisins, nuts, and/or sliced bananas were added to Pal Aval, we felt we had Manna from Heaven!

There are two types of aval/poha - thick and thin. For preparing upma, I prefer the thick kind. The thin kind is good for porridge or payasams (puddings). If you are using "dessicated coconut" (dry and unsweetened) in place of the fresh or frozen coconut, use only half the given amount and reconstitute it with a little water for about five minutes before adding to the upma.

4-6 servings


2 cups dry Thick Aval
salt to taste
2 to 4 Tbsp grated coconut, fresh or frozen


1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp EACH Urad and Chana dals
1 green and/or dried red hot chili
1 pinch Asafoetida (Optional)
1 sprig fresh curry leaves


Place the aval in a bowl and cover with water; pour off the water along with floating pieces of husk, etc. Add 1/2 cup of fresh water. Let soak for about 15-20 minutes.

Prepare thalippu: heat oil in a seasoned kadai (wok) and add the mustard, dals, and dry chili. When the mustard finishes popping and the dals have turned golden pink, add asafoetida, finely chopped green chili (remove the seeds and membranes to temper the heat) and the curry leaves.

Stir in the soaked aval and salt. Cook covered over low heat stirring occasionally until hot.

Add coconut and mix well.

Serve hot or warm with your favorite chutneys such as the coconut, green chili, red bell pepper, or coriander/mint or any Indian pickles. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Merci d'avoir un blog interessant

Geetha said...

Merci beaucoup :-}