Poha is very light flakes of rice with jagged edges and a rough texture, made by flattening parboiled rice grains with rollers, then drying them. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain.
An Indian ingredient, it is known by a variety of names: pounded rice, flattened rice, beaten rice, Pauwa in Hindi, Baji in Newari, Pohe in Marathi, Chindé in Bengali, Chira in Assamese, Phovu in Konkani, Chudaa in Oriya and parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, Atukulu in Telugu, Bajeel or Bajil in Tulu, Chudwey in Urdu(Dakkani), Aval in Malayalam and Tamil, Avalakki in Kannada.
Poha has a lower cooking time than regular rice grains. It absorbs liquid when soaked in milk or water and essentially becomes good to eat right away, which makes it a very convenient, yet nutritious food. The grain is used in main courses, crunchy snacks, desserts and breakfasts.
- Different regions of India use the grain in a variety of preparations.
Savoury chivda (Poha dry roasted then fried in oil) is a favourite snack.
Puli Aval (Tamil: Puli – tangy, Aval – flattened rice)
Gojjavalakki (Kannada: gojju – tangy sauce made of tamarind, avalakki – flattened rice) is a snack that can be prepared very easily either for breakfast or for an evening snack.
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