Sunday, June 11, 2006

Chirer Pulao or Bengali Style Pohe

This is one of my favourite breakfast foods. Back home this was a winter speciality, mainly due to the availability of peas, cauliflowers, carrots, gren peppers during the season. But thanks to the frozen aisle at the grocery store, now I can have it any time, I did not have cauliflowers, but if you have fresh cauliflower at hand, add it to increase the yum factor. But remember to chop it into little florets and saute in oil before adding. And another thing, this is my approximation of the Bengali dish called "Chirer Pulao", so I cannot vouch for its authencity in any way. All I can say is that it tastes pretty good and even the Boy agrees!

Thick Poha* - 3 cups
Red Potato - 1 medium, quartered and sliced thinly with skin on
Frozen Peas - 1 cup
Frozen Corn Kernels - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1 medium, chopped into small cubes
Frozen Mixed Peppers (red, yellow, green) - 1/2 cup (optional)
Onion -1 small, minced
Green Chillies - 2, desseded and sliced
Peanuts - a fistful
Raisins - a fistful
Ginger - 1.5 inch piece, minced
Curry Leaves - 8-10
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp (optional)
Olive Oil - 2 turns of the pan
Salt - to taste
Cilantro for garnish

1. Rehydrate poha in water for about 15 minutes. Do not over soak as poha will disintegrate.
2. Microwave potatoes for 4 minutes on high.
3. Roast peanuts in a pan. Crush lightly after cool.
4. Heat sufficient oil in a pan, add mustard seeds,cumin seeds and channa dal. Once they start sputtering, add ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Stir and then add the onions. Once onions are translucent, add the carrots and potatoes. Cover and let cook for 4-5 minutes on medium heat.
5. Now add the remaining vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes.
6. Add the raisins and the peanuts to the above mixture. Season generously with salt.
7. Finally add the rehydrated poha and combine. If the poha starts sticking to the pan just drizzle a little olive oil.
8. Garnish with cilantro and serve with ketchup on the side.

PS: I have a very low tolerance for spices, so I tend to deseed my green chillies and use lower than average amounts. Feel free to add more chillies if you can handle it.

* Poha is to rice what rolled oats is to the oat grain. You can find it any Indian grocery store and use only the thick variety. If unavailable use vermicelli instead.
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1 comment:

Rajat said...

Hi there, this was a very nice dish, just made it. I am a bengali living miles away from Kolkata, and not a very good cook. But if I can do this, surely anyone can! Thanks