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How to Make Masala Poha (Spiced Flattened Rice) for Breakfast

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Masala poha (spiced flattened rice) served with upma

Masala poha (spiced flattened rice) served with upma

Traditional South Indian Breakfast Dish

Masala poha (spiced flattened rice) served with upma makes an excellent breakfast, and in South Indian restaurants, it is a very popular breakfast option. Poha means flattened rice in Hindi.

To make masala poha, we mix flattened rice with spices and a flavorful tempering. The crunchy flattened rice flakes, the spices, and the crispy white lentils in the tempering blend nicely to create a very tasty and satisfying dish.

Making this recipe easy and quick. No prior planning is needed, and if you don't happen to have upma on hand, you can enjoy the masala poha on its own. Serve it with a cup of hot coffee or tea.

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

15 min

15 min

4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 heaped cups flattened rice, extra thin variety
  • 3-4 red chilies, broken
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • Small piece tamarind
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery or jaggery powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons mustard seeds, 1/4 teaspoon for the masala and 1 teaspoon for the tempering
  • 2 pinches hing (asafoetida) powder
  • 2-3 tablespoons grated coconut
  • A few curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon white lentils (urad dal)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons oil, coconut oil preferred

Instructions

  1. Heat a very small amount of oil in a small pan. Add cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Saute them for a few seconds.
  2. Add the broken dry red chilies. Saute for 4-6 seconds. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a mixer jar.
  3. Add the mustard seeds, tamarind, jaggery, half of the grated coconut, and salt to the mixer. Grind to get a coarse paste.
  4. Remove the prepared paste and add it to a large mixing bowl. Add flattened rice. Set aside.
  5. Make the tempering: Heat the remaining oil in a small pan. Throw in the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle.
  6. Add the white lentils and curry leaves. Saute the mixture until the lentils become golden brown.
  7. Add hing (asafoetida) powder. Mix well. Turn off the heat and add the tempering to the bowl containing the flattened rice and the masala. Add the remaining grated coconut.
  8. Gently mix the ingredients, so that the flattened rice blends well with the spices and the tempering. At this point, check for taste and add more salt if needed.
  9. Serve with a cup of hot coffee or tea. You can also enjoy it with upma for breakfast. This combination makes an excellent breakfast.

Photo Guide

Step one: Saute cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and broken dry red chilies in some oil as per instructions. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a mixer jar.

Step one: Saute cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and broken dry red chilies in some oil as per instructions. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a mixer jar.

Add half of the grated coconut, jaggery powder, mustard seeds, and salt.

Add half of the grated coconut, jaggery powder, mustard seeds, and salt.

Grind to get a coarse paste. Transfer the paste to a large mixing bowl.

Grind to get a coarse paste. Transfer the paste to a large mixing bowl.

The masala paste

The masala paste

Step two: Add flattened rice. Set aside.

Step two: Add flattened rice. Set aside.

Step three: Make a tempering as per instructions.

Step three: Make a tempering as per instructions.

Add the tempering to the bowl containing flattened rice and the masala paste. Add the remaining grated coconut.

Add the tempering to the bowl containing flattened rice and the masala paste. Add the remaining grated coconut.

Step four: Gently mix so that the flattened rice gets nicely coated with the masala paste and the tempering. Check for taste and add more salt if needed.

Step four: Gently mix so that the flattened rice gets nicely coated with the masala paste and the tempering. Check for taste and add more salt if needed.

Serve with a cup of hot coffee or tea. You can also enjoy it with a cup of upma for breakfast. It makes an excellent combination!

Serve with a cup of hot coffee or tea. You can also enjoy it with a cup of upma for breakfast. It makes an excellent combination!