Like most people, potatoes are a favorite with my husband too. You can actually see his face light up with joy, the moment I announce there's nothing around for me to cook with and I would end up cooking with potatoes today. And when it comes to potatoes, ask for ideas and he has plenty for me to choose from. In fact, while he hardly ventures to full fledged cooking, we did enjoy some cheesy baked potatoes which were made solely by him sometime ago. It a colossal solace for me that he can survive on his own baking some potatoes if he were to be left alone!
Poha/Avalakkibath is quite common and I make it on a weekly basis or so. Yet another Maharashtrian breakfast which is very common at my place and it's this Maharashtrian-styled Aloo poha that I totally love.
Maharashtrian Aloo Poha
2 big potatoes
2 cups poha/beaten rice (thick variety)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal (optional)
2 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp grated ginger (optional)
1 tbsp roasted peanuts
Salt to taste
Sugar & lime to taste (optional)
Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Wash the puffed rice thoroughly. Drain all the water and sprinkle very little water on it. The water should be just sufficient for the puffed rice to absorb and swell well, but not turn moist or soggy. It takes about 15-20 mins generally. If you still find the beaten rice a little stiff, sprinkle little more water, mix well and allow it to stand for some more time. Once softened, add a tsp of oil, a tsp of sugar, salt to taste and a tsp of turmeric.
Heat oil in a fry pan and add in the mustard and urad dal. As they begin to splutter, add in the chopped ginger, green chillies, roasted peanuts and the pre-cooked, diced potatoes. Fry for a min. Add in the soaked poha/beaten rice. Stir well and cook for atleast 5 mins or more on medium low heat. Once cooked, remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
You don't really have to boil the potatoes before hand. You can add the potatoes into the tempering oil, stir-fry well and allow it to cook. That way the potatoes get a slight crunch. This however takes a longer time and consumes more oil, hence I avoid this version. The one that I make is a quick, healthy and less time consuming since the potatoes are pre-boiled and need no further cooking. Addition of a teaspoon of sugar and lime is optional, but this really adds an edgy flavor, which is typical to Maharastrian cuisine.
An alternate version of this called Kanda Poha, where onions are used instead of potatoes is also a common Maharastrian breakfast. This breakfast is not just simple and healthy, but also filling to keep you going for long.
Today, the 8th March is the World International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Here's wishing all my women readers a very 'Happy Women's Day'!