Sunday, February 1, 2009

Batata Poha OR Aval Upma With Potatoes (Seasoned Rice Flakes With Veggies)

Aval Upma With Potatoes and Veggies
Aval Upma with Potatoes also known as Aloo or Bataata Powa in Mumbai area is a delicious meal in itself. It can serve as a healthy breakfast, lunch or a teatime snack in the afternoons. It is an important dish that is a must at special occasions in some parts of India. I often make it for our weekend brunch. Thick aval/poha is best for making this dish (thin is a bit too brittle and crumbly but will work just the same if that's what's available - "bird" in hand!).

Aval (Tamil/Malayalam) or Poha (Hindi) is rice flakes or flattened rice similar to rolled oats. It is available in Indian markets under the name of thick or thin Poha; I generally use the thick poha or aval for this dish.

6 - 8 Servings


2 Cups dry Thick Aval/poha (Rice Flakes)
2 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Brown Mustard seeds
2 Tbsp Chana Dal
2 Tbsp Urad Dal
1 pinch Asafoetida
2 hot Green Chilies
1 sprig Fresh Curry Leaves
1 small Onion
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, finely minced
Salt to taste
1 Large Potato
2 medium Carrots
1 Cup Corn Kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 Cup Green Peas, fresh or frozen
Juice from 1 Lime
4 Tbsp Cilantro/Coriander/Dhania Leaves
A few whole cilantro leaves for garnish


Place the aval in a bowl and add plenty of water; pour off all the 'floaters' - bits of husk. Drain well and add 1 cup of fresh water and let soak while you prepare the rest.

Wash all the fresh veggies well and drain.

Cut the potatoes and carrots into cubes about the size of marbles.

Peel the onion and chop finely.

Cut the hot green chilies in half and remove the seeds and the whitish membranes with a teaspoon and discard; chop the chilies finely.

Heat the oil in a large skillet or seasoned kadai (Indian wok) and add the mustard seeds, chana dal, and urad dal.

When the mustard seeds finish popping, add the asafoetida.

Immediately stir in curry leaves, green chilies, ginger, and onions with a couple of pinches of salt and turmeric.

Cook stirring until onions are translucent. Stir in carrots and potatoes with a little salt and cook until they are tender.

Stir in corn and peas and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the soaked aval and stir gently but thoroughly to mix well.

Cover and cook over low heat until hot stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and sprinkle with the lime juice and cilantro; mix well.

Garnish with the whole cilantro leaves and serve hot, warm or at room temperature by itself or with tomato chutney or any of your favorite chutneys.

1 comment:

iheartsambar said...

Holy. Crap. I've done this recipe three times now, adapting it to my tastes, and I can't believe something so tastey came out of my bachelor kitchen! That fresh ginger - wow!

To really crank up the flavor, I tried reducing by half the amount of potato and flattened rice, and increasing (a little bit) everything else (also, my pots are rather small and can't handle a large potato and two cups of poha!). Absolute tastey bliss resulted. Thanks for this awesome recipe!