The good news is that poha is gluten-free and it is full of nutrition. I did not know that it is also a good pre biotic and probiotic food. Sangeeta Khanna is a Delhi based food and nutrition consultant and a very versatile food blogger (No, not the fashionable sorts). Her blog is informative as well as a treasure chest of easy to make healthy recipes. It is from her posts I came to know about the probiotic qualities of poha (flattened rice flakes). The microbial flora, generated after parboiling and fermentation in the process of making flattened rice, provides superior food value as well as partially digested proteins and carbohydrates. (Thank you for this valuable information dear Sangeeta. )
Poha has been a part of our daily meals since childhood and we make various versions of it from matar poha, kanda poha (onion poha), batata poha (with potatoes), dadpa poha, poha with mixed veggies, dahi poha or tak poha (with buttermilk), doodh poha (with milk) or the healthy toasted chivda mixture with peanuts, curry leaves, roasted gram etc as a snack but today I will share two very different recipes with raw mango. I used a raw mango which was in a hurry to ripen and had a very delightful flavour and sweet-sour taste. I love mangoes in any form and use it raw as well as cooked in variety of dishes. Green raw mango is full of B vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin C which is highly beneficial in strengthening the immunity system of the body. It of course has great taste and many curative properties too. It is also a good source of calcium, potassium and dietary fiber. You can make a variety of pickles, aam panna (drink), chutney (with mint and coriander or coconut), salsa, or toss it in salads, rice, poha, daal (amti) as a souring agent and for flavour. Many local indian cuisines use raw mango in food preparations. Manhi from Himachal Pradesh is one such side dish.
What you can do with ripe mangoes, apart from eating them with total passionate devotion, is mind-blowing.
Kairi Poha or Raw Mango poha ( version 1 )
You will need :
Poha (Flattened/beaten rice) – 100 gms
Raw mango/ kairi/ ambiya – 1 small diced in small cubes ( I used the one which was firm, green but slightly ripeing. It had a slight sweetness to the basic sour flavour)
Red onion – 1/4 cup (optional)
Asafoetida (Hing) – 1 pinch
Mustard Seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
Dry Urad daal- 1/2 teaspoon
Dry chana daal – 1/4 teaspoon
Fresh Curry leaves – 4-5
Whole red chili – 1 small
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Fresh coriander leaves – For garnish
Grated coconut (fresh) – For garnish (optional)
Oil – 1 tablespoon ( I used Olive Oil)
Lemon – To squeeze the juice as garnish if desired
Take clean poha in a sieve or colander and wash it under running filtered water. Gently puff it a few times. Set it aside. fluff it wit ha fork or fingers to keep them from sticking together.
Heat the oil in pan. Keep the flame on low.
Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal. When the seeds begin to splutter add curry leaves, red chili and finely chopped onion (optional) If not adding onion then add raw mango and poha and stir. If adding onions, let them become translucent before adding raw mango pieces and poha.
Add salt, turmeric powder and stir well. ( You can use little red chili powder and chopped green chilies too. It all depends on what flavour you prefer. )
Keep it covered for five minutes and remove the lid. Stir gently and add chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix.
Take it out in a serving bowl, top up with some fresh coconut if you like it and squeeze some lemon juice if required. Eat when its hot and fragrant.
Mango Poha ( Version 2 ) – A summer Salad
This recipe was originally posted at Healthfood Desi videshi by Sangeeta Khanna) . She used ripe mango while I just changed it to the sightly ripe raw mango.
This one is a delicious salad and can be assembled in a jiffy. I loved the taste of the rawness of the mango in this. Perfect cooling meal for summer days and for days when either you don’t want to churn up a full meal or want to give your tummy a small break from all the spicy meals you have devoured. The poha as I said earlier, is gut friendly and often helps it to calm down.
Ingredients – 1 cup poha
Raw mango (slightly ripening) – 1/2 cup cut into small cubes
Red onion – 1 small, chopped roughly
Fresh coriander greens – 4 tablespoon
Red chili powder – A pinch or (finely chopped fresh green chilli as i used)
Raisins – 8-10 ( I didn’t put peanuts)
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash of lime juice
The idea is to balance the heat from chillies, the sweetness and sour flavour from mangoes and the hotness of red onions, as Sangeeta mentioned in her recipe. Adding raisins replaced the use of sugar for me.
Take clean poha in a colander or sieve and wash it properly under filtered water. Keep aside to drain.
If using the thick variety or the brown one you will need to keep it for a longer duration. Fluff it up a bit to keep the flakes separate.
Meanwhile chop onions and put them in the mixing bowl. Dice mango into small cubes, cut coriander greens and green chilli and add to the onions.
Now, add the soaked poha, salt, pepper, raisins and mix well. Taste a little to adjust the flavours.
This recipe is no fuss, no cooking required kind and is delicious to say the least. The fresh flavours of all the ingredients make it a really winner.
Serve it at room temperature and immediately after preparing. The cold pieces of sweet sour mangoes taste divine with mushy raisins and smooth poha.
Do try. It can’t get easier than this and the sinful taste of raw mango drizzled with just the right amount of red chili or cayenne pepper is simply divine.
Bonus Recipe :D
As an added bonus I am having Dahi poha (Curd Poha) too. Blame it on the weather and Delhi belly. Here is a quick recipe for that too.
1/2 cup flattened rice or poha
1 cup beaten curd (preferably homemade)
salt – to taste
mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
curry leaves – 5-6
Whole red chili or fresh green chili broken in two pieces – 1 medium
Oil – 1 teaspoon
Freshly grated ginger 1/2 inch
Prepare poha like you did for previous two recipes. Take fresh curd in a large big bowl and beat it with a little salt (to taste). No lumps should stay. If it’s too thick you can add a little water, tak(buttermilk) or cold milk) to make it just the right consistency.
The poha soaks up the curd so keep the proportions in mind. Curd should be double the amount of soaked poha.
Now add the soaked and drained poha to it and mix well. Add freshly grated ginger.
In a small cast iron/iron skillet heat some oil and add mustard and fenugreek seeds. When they sputter, turn off the heat , add curry leaves and red/green chilli. immediately pour the tempering on the curd rice and cover so that the flavours seep into the preparation. Keep for 5 minutes , open and stir well.
You can keep it in fridge for it to chill or use chilled curd to make it. It tastes best when cold.
This is a perfect comfort food.
Make Flattened/beaten rice flakes a part of your daily food. Explore the possibilities of making it more exotic and flavourful. Do share your experiences with us.