My love for upma is quite well known to you all. My love for poha is not so well known. Then again, maybe it is. I had not eaten this plain jane amchi version of poha until just before my wedding. I was staying with a cousin and she'd made this for breakfast. I was taken by surprise by the pristine white colour of the dish. I expected it to be very bland, but that wasn't the case.
A few weeks ago, a Malayali colleague of mine was about to go to Kerala to bring back his wife and newborn son. I asked him to bring back some rice flakes made with Rosematta rice. He found it in the local Kalkaji market here and brought it for me. Since then, I have been seeing packets in my local supermarket. While he told me to make the sweet coconut-jaggery dish, Aval Nanachathu, with this variety of poha, I decided to make the amchi Phovva Usli. This nice shade of pink replaced pristine white, but the dish was as full of flavour as I had expected it to be.
1 cup Matta Rice Flakes, soaked for 10 minutes and drained
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
2 Green Chillies, slit
1-2 Red Chillies
7-8 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Coconut, scraped
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a pan and add the urad dal. When it turns light brown, add the mustard. When the mustard splutters, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and red and green chillies. After about a minute, add the drained rice flakes.
Dissolve the sugar and salt in a little water and sprinkle this water over the rice flakes. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and add the coconut. Enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee.