Batata (potato) Poha (beaten rice) is not a traditional Mangalorean dish. My father, who had been in Mumbai for several years, introduced it to us. It is one of my favorites, and I just love having it for breakfast. Although many Mangaloreans have never heard of it, it is quite popular in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
Unfortunately, my son does not like it. So I usually make some Neeru Dosas or sweet wheat crepes for him whenever I make Batata Poha for breakfast.
You need the following ingredients to make Batata Poha.
- 3 medium sized potatoes
- 1 medium sized onion
- 2 medium sized tomatoes
- 10 – 15 curry leaves
- 4 – 5 red chillies (the short variety)
- A teaspoon of mustard seeds
- A tablespoon of coconut oil
- Salt to taste
- A cup of grated coconut
- 5 – 6 handfuls of beaten rice (poha)
Here is how I make Batata Poha.
- I boil the potatoes, peel them, and mash them slightly. Be careful not to make a paste out of them. We just want some large pieces.
- I finely chop the onion and the tomatoes.
- I remove the seeds from the red chillies and wash my hands immediately. Always wash your hands after handling chillies.
- I grate the coconut and keep it ready. We need it for garnishing.
- I take a tablespoon or two of coconut oil in a large vessel and place it on the stove. When it is hot enough, I put a teaspoon of mustard seeds in it. When they stop crackling, I add the red chillies and curry leaves. The onion goes in next. When the onion is slightly brown, I put in the tomatoes. I stir the mixture till the tomatoes are nicely cooked and mashed.
- I then lower the flame, put in the beaten rice, sprinkle some water into it, and stir the mixture really fast. I don’t want it sticking to the bottom. If I feel that the mixture is too dry, I sprinkle some more water into it. Never pour water into the poha. You don’t want an ugly-looking paste. Just sprinkle as much water as you feel is necessary.
- It is now time for the potatoes and the grated coconut to go into the mixture.
- I add some salt to taste, stir it once or twice, and lower the vessel from the flame.
Batata Poha is ready!! It is the yummiest breakfast in the whole world, and I won’t listen to people who don’t like it.
- Use the thin and flaky variety of beaten rice, not the thicker variety that requires soaking before use.
- Take as much beaten rice as you can in each handful. You need around 300gms for this recipe.
- You can garnish with coriander leaves if you like.
- You can use sprouted green gram instead of potatoes.
- When I cook, I hardly measure the ingredients. Do keep this in mind when you try out this recipe. You can increase or decrease the quantity of ingredients according to your taste.
- Feel free to add more chillies if you like it hot and spicy. You can also use chillie powder or green chillies.