AF Veggie Poha (Flaked Rice with veggies) – yum!

Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…

When  you sing you begin with Do Re Me, Do Re me; when you cook you begin with the ingredients… 😉

Music and cooking – a tapestry of creative instinct!! I was listening to this melodious Julie Andrews song as I wrote this blog post today… 

Read on for delecious, nutritious, AF (allergy-friendly) 1-dish dinner recipe…

Flaked rice is dehusked, parboiled rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thickness of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain. It is very versatile and  used extensively in South Asian cooking in entrees, snacks and desserts. Tarla Dalal – one of the most popular Indian chefs has a wonderful description of flaked rice on her website which is worth a read – I will write a more detailed post on this very nutritious, allergy friendly ingredient in the near future but at this point I would like to emphasize that flaked rice is basically rice and can be consumed safely if you are not allergic to rice!

Dry Flaked Rice

Now what is ‘AF’?! Well – If EVOO can be Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Rachel Ray, AF can be Allergy Friendly for Anu Rao 🙂

Poha is a popular dish in Western India and one of my favorites growing up. Traditionally potatoes are the only vegetable used in this dish (if you can call potato a veggie – lol!) but we can kick it up a notch by adding vegetables like beans, carrots, peas, onions, cauliflower etc. So, here we go…

Serves: 1; Time: 30 – 40 minutes


1) Flaked Rice: 1/2 cup (use a variety that is neither too thick nor too thin).

2) Oil: 3 tablespoons (any oil that you are not allergic to – corn, canola, vgetable, olive etc.)

3) Black Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp (optional)

4) Matpe Beans or Split urad daal: 1/4 tsp (optional)

5) Tumeric powder: 1/4 tsp

Clockwise from top: Tumeric powder, black mustard seeds and split matpe bean

6) Curry leaves: 5-6 leaves (optional)   Curry Leaf

Curry Leaf

7) Powdered Asafoetida: a small pinch (optional)

8) Diced vegetables: a mix of potatoes, carrots, beans and peas 1/2 – 3/4 cup

Peeled diced carrots and potatoes (use other veggies too!)

9) Onion: cut small (1/4 cup)

10) Salt to taste

11) Cilantro also known as Coriander for garnish (optional)

Finely chopped cilantro/coriander

12) Fresh coconut flakes for garnish (optional)


1) Thoroughly wash the flaked rice in water a couple of time and drain completely. Sprinkle some water and fluff it up with a fork 1-2 times as you are doing the other prep work and the flaked rice is ready to be used. The flaked rice will swell up in volume and become soft to touch.

 Softened Flaked Rice - ready for use!

2) Heat the oil in a deep, heavy bottomed vessel on medium heat till you can smell the oil and it smokes very, very lightly on the surface. 


3) Add the mustard seeds and wait till it starts spluttering.


4) When the mustard seeds start spluttering, lower the flame and carefully add the matpe beans and wait for it brown.

5) Be watchful else the split beans will darken too much. Now, add a pinch of asafoetida.

6) Add the onions and curry leaves. Saute for a minute and add the tumeric powder and mix it well.  Stir once in a while till the onions become soft and translucent.

Onions - on the way to being cooked...

Onions - now softened and translucent.

7) Add the veggies. To help cook faster – sprinkle a little water and cook it covered. Stir it once in a while so it does not stick to the bottom of the vessel. it should take about 10 minutes for the vegetables to be cooked but not squishy.

Vegetables begin cooking...

8) Add the softened flaked rice and mix it well. Let it cook through for 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Softened flaked rice added to the cooked veggies!
Dish is almost done - needs garnish to liven it up!

9) Add cilantro and/or coconut shreds. Mix it well and serve. At this stage, you can also add a splash of lemon/lime juice to give the extra boost of vitamins and flavor.

AF Veggie Poha 🙂

 This dish is absolutely bursting with flavors. Add your own twist – replace cilantro with parsley, add a dollop of butter substitute in the end, add a bay leaf instead of curry leaves, add cumin seeds instead of or in addition to mustard seeds…there is no end to the artistry you can try on this yummilicious, nutritious, AF (allergy friendly) dish. Enjoy…

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