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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Toler

Indian Poha

Poha is a simple traditional Indian dish that I learned about in a recent Ayurvedic Cooking Immersion. Poha is rice that is parboiled then flattened, which cooks into a very light texture. I buy it through Jiva Organics, which can be purchased online. This dish is traditionally made with potato and onion and so my recipe below is a personal variation. I love the flavors in this dish so much that I decided to write it out for my own reference but as always, I'm happy to share. It's made with warming spices that make it easily digestible. It's so fluffy and flavorful and doesn't weigh me down at all, and so I've been making it for breakfast at least once a week. It's a wonderful alternative to kichari. I'm currently out of curry leaves but I'm sure they'd be delicious so I am offering that here as an option and will be making that version for myself next week after I've had a run to the local Indian grocer. This recipe also uses ghee but could easily be made vegan by substituting with coconut or sesame oil, according to your tastes.

As a side note... If you don't know what Ayurveda is, now is a great time to learn! It's been an incredible tool for me to increase self-awareness and find better balance in my body and mind.

Indian Poha Recipe

(15 minutes, 4 servings)


  • 2 Tbsp ghee

  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds

  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1/2 red onion, diced

  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger

  • 1.5 cups poha

  • water

  • 1 sweet potato, in a small dice (for faster cooking)

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/3 cup frozen peas

  • cilantro

  • lime


  1. Warm the ghee in a large skillet over medium heat.

  2. Once the ghee is warm, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red onion, ginger, and curry leaves (if using). Let cook for about 2-3 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, hydrate the poha with water. Don't worry about adding too much water. Just mix it through and then strain any excess water out. Set aside.

  4. Add sweet potato to the pan and cook through until easily pierced with a fork, about 10 minutes or more, depending on the size of your dice. If it feels like the mixture is getting dry, you can also add a little water here, maybe 1/3 cup but use your own judgment.

  5. Once sweet potato is cooked through, add poha, turmeric, salt, pepper, and peas and combine to mix thoroughly. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  6. Garnish with cilantro & lime and serve.

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