Poha is a favourite across the country and is made and eaten in multiple ways. It is an easily digestible food, and everyone from infants to elderly people can have it. It is supremely healthy as it delivers some iron, which is much needed in these times of rampant iron deficiency and falling hemoglobin levels, and some B vitamins, particularly vitamin B1. B1 (thiamine) is essential for the proper breakdown of carbohydrates and fats in the body.
Poha is an energy-laden food - keeps you active for a while after eating. This is because it is healthier than other carbohydrate options, and delivers a decent amount of fibre too.
Now, we all know that the best meals are those that deliver both proteins and carbohydrates along with some good fats. So how can we make poha a perfect carbs-and-protein-rich dish? These 5 simple recipes fit the definition perfectly.
Tofu and Poha
Take a bowl and add cooked poha. Add salt and pepper to taste. In a pan heat some sesame oil, and fry finely chopped garlic, onion, and green chili.
Add chopped tofu pieces, season to taste with salt, chili sauce, soy sauce, and any spicy tomato sauce, mix well and cook for a few minutes. Mix in with the poha and dig in.
Poha and Masala Moong
Make poha the traditional way and keep aside. In a pan heat oil, add cumin seeds, and asafoetida, add sliced onion and green chilies, add spices (red chilies, salt, coriander powder, turmeric), cook for some time. Add boiled green moong dal (or sprouts). Sprinkle some water and cook covered for 5-8 minutes.
Add some amchoor on top. Place poha on half the plate and green moong on the other half. Put a line of curd in between and dig in.
Poha and Sattu
Soak poha in a little water for 5 minutes.
Add finely chopped onions and green chilies, season with salt, black pepper, chat masala, crushed roasted peanuts, and finally, add 1 tbsp sattu. Mix well. Sprinkle some water to make it a little moist.
Dahi Chura (Curd Poha)
This is very commonly eaten in many states up North and delivers the much-needed calcium and of course protein, and is actually a brilliant combination (taste-wise). Just wash, rinse, and drain the poha (choora). Add curd and grated jaggery (gur), mix well. It’s ready to eat. You can also add some nuts for more protein.
Or you can have doodh cheere or rice flakes soaked in milk and had with chopped bananas (a traditional breakfast favorite in Bengal).
Make poha the traditional way, and then add a sliced hard-boiled egg to it. It is delicious, though a little unique, and adds on the goodness of egg (complete protein and multiple nutrients) to the dish.
If you are a vegetarian then replace the egg with soya nuggets boiled in salted water.
(Kavita is a nutritionist, weight management consultant and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People (Jaico) and Ultimate Grandmother Hacks: 50 Kickass Traditional Habits for a Fitter You (Rupa).)