The Ram-Lakhan of Maharashtrian Breakfast Food (Kanda Pohe & Sabudana Khichadi)
This reliable & rocking pair makes for one of the most popular breakfast items or tea time snacks that one can find anywhere in Maharashtra! So much so, that these items have now found themselves in most kitchens across India, possibly arguing about their origin too.
Commonly found kitchen staple ingredients, simple to cook, easy on the wallet, no frill-no fuss chopping, gluten free, healthy & light on the tummy & most importantly, they both make for an ideal way to kickstart your day, the filling & tasty way!!! Lockdown or no lockdown, they’re here to stay!! Live Long, you twins, Ram-Lakhan!!!
The reason I have christened the pair by this adorable name is simply because, Ram, known to be the ideal, sweet, simpleton, goody-two-shoes elder brother, is none other than the Sago or Sabudana Khichadi.
The ideal hot savoury breakfast on a day of religious fasting, cooked without any onion-garlic, pure white in colour & cooked in pure ghee without any heavy ground masalas or spice powders. Sabudana Khichadi is a delightful steaming hot snack made with delicate white tapioca pearls, seasoned & tossed in with green chillies for a hint of spice, coarse groundnut powder & fresh coriander leaves for a superb crunch & a hint of sugar & salt, cooked until soft. Traditional & simple.
The younger, more colourful and naughty brother Lakhan is none other than the Kande Pohe who’s got a lot more shades to his character! Bright yellow in colour, this one’s definitely worth looking out for. Salty, sweet, sour, loads of textures and lots of crunch lend many shades to this chap’s character. Asking for onions, groundnuts, peas, potatoes, coriander leaves & coconut to lend it flavour, this piping hot savoury snack Kande Pohe, can either be eaten by itself, or with tons of crunchy sev overload!
Not someone to rest easy with a standard way of serving, this dude looks forward to more options, as variety is the spice of life, isn’t it??! This superb dish lends itself to the base of a mean Misal Pav too (traditional curried sprout dish from Maharashtra-recipe already on the blog).
Use it as the base of the dish and then top with spicy Misal curry, more raw onions, crunchy sev, fresh coriander leaves and then sweet tamarind or minty green chutneys. It’s entirely your palette to paint!!
I call them twins only because they are inseparable! Most Maharashtrian households must have these two dishes for breakfast or at tea time, atleast once every week. Varied flavours, flexible to changes, both carb-friendly, light & filling and total paisa-vasool or lipsmackingly tasty!!
Long live you adorable twins, Ram-Lakhan!! We love you!!!
Recipe for Kanda Poha – Savoury Beaten Rice Snack
Ingredients (Serves 4 persons)
- 3 cups poha / beaten rice / avalakki / aval
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 potato, diced (optional)
- ½ cup peas
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder / haldi
- 2 tablespoons roasted groundnuts without skin
- 2 tablespoons grated coconut (optional)
- 1 handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Salt as per your taste
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds / rai
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds / jeera
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida powder / hing
- 2 green chillies, slit & chopped (deseeded for less spice)
- 1 sprig fresh curry leaves
- In a large pot, rinse the poha twice until it turns soft. Do not soak. To check if it’s done, press a flake between your thumb and index finger, it should break easily.
- Drain into a colander & keep aside to dry out.
- Soak the peas, if using, in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes & keep aside.
- In a large kadhai, heat 3 tablespoons oil. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds & allow them to splutter.
- Add 1 teaspoon cumin seeds & asafoetida / hing powder and sauté it for a second.
- Add green chillies & curry leaves and stir till they splutter.
- Now add the groundnuts & sauté them for half a minute.
- Add chopped onion and sauté well on medium heat until onions turn translucent.
- Add chopped potatoes or peas or both and some salt to taste.
- Sauté them for 2 minutes.
- Add ¼ cup water and cook on a low -medium flame with a lid for 2-3 minutes until the potatoes are almost completely cooked but not mushy.
- Fluff the drained poha with your hands to loosen any lumps.
- Mix well by hand gently with salt, sugar, coriander leaves, coconut gratings & add it into the pan.
- Stir gently to combine well and avoid mashing the poha.
- Cover and simmer for 3-5 minutes or until the ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Check for salt & sugar. Add 2 -3 teaspoons of lemon juice & mix again gently.
- If the poha looks too dry, sprinkle 2 tbsp water lightly all over the pan & cover and cook on sim for 2 more minutes until fluffy. Switch off the flame.
- Serve hot & fluffy Poha garnished with fresh coriander leaves, crunchy sev & a wedge of lemon.
- It is advisable to use the thick variety of beaten rice for this recipe ( the wafer-thin variety is mainly used for chiwda).
- If your poha feels and looks too dry after cooking, sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water on top and cook covered once again for 2 minutes on low heat. This will help your Poha to soften, fluff up and revive itself.
- Mixing the salt, sugar, coconut gratings and coriander leaves with the washed poha ahead before adding to the pan, helps it all to combine evenly and gently without breaking the poha.