Vegetable Poha
30 Min

Vegetable Poha

Across India, from slums to construction sites all the way up to fancy homes, a flattened rice dish by the simple name of “poha” is a wildly popular breakfast and snack staple. Different varieties of rice are parboiled, rolled and flattened to produce flakes. These bland flakes can absorb moisture and imbibe a variety of flavors, like turmeric, ginger, mustard seeds — within minutes transforming into a simple one-pot meal.


Originally from Maharashtra, a state in the western and central peninsula region of India, poha is now enjoyed across the country in different iterations. In southern India, it is often prepared with cashews and coconut. In Gujarat, the state I was born and raised in, poha is usually cooked with onions, ginger, peanuts and fresh herbs. A bowl of steaming fragrant poha with leftover vegetables made for many a memorable breakfast during my childhood. Even though poha is made from rice, somehow it has a lighter texture but deeper flavor than cooked rice. I always keep a jar of poha tucked away in my pantry to turn into a quick, delicious meal.

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Cook Time

30 Minutes



Step 1
Place the poha in a large sieve and run tap water over it for about 2 minutes. Set aside.
Step 2
In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the olive oil and pop the mustard seeds. Immediately add the curry leaves, minced onion and cauliflower. Cook on medium to high heat for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions and cauliflower have golden brown edges. Add the boiled potatoes and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, covering the saucepan and lowering the heat as needed until all the vegetables are cooked through and golden brown in color.
Step 3
Add the turmeric, serrano, ginger, salt, drained poha, green peas, and raisins. Toss gently and cover the saucepan and cook for another 5 minutes, keeping the heat at medium to low. If the poha appears dry or sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a few tablespoons of water. Once complete, let the poha rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This allows it to fluff up a little more and absorb all the flavors surrounding it.
Step 4
Garnish with peanuts, coconut, cilantro, and lemon juice.

2 cups poha (flattened rice)

4 to 5 tablespoons ghee or olive oil

1 teaspoon black mustard seed

8 to 10 curry leaves, thinly sliced

1 cup minced white onion

1 cup small cauliflower florets

1 cup boiled potatoes, cut into cubes

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 serrano pepper, minced

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup frozen green peas

2 tablespoons raisins


2 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Fresh coconut, grated, or sliced

Cilantro, chopped or sprigs

Juice of 1 lemon

Notes & Variations

  • Poha may be purchased from any Indian grocer or online.
  • Minced greens like spinach leaves, rainbow chard or dandelion greens can be folded in at the end. They will wilt slightly.
  • Poha will keep in the refrigerator for a few days — to reheat, hydrate with a few tablespoons of water.
30 Min

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Poha! Poha! Poha!

Poha, which simply means flattened rice, is a quintessential Indian breakfast particularly popular in Gujarat. Give these different versions a try!