Made with a popular Konkani ingredient, the flavour of this poha is quite different from the rest
Across Maharashtra, you’ll find the breakfast table laden with a variety of pav-based dishes and poha. These two are the staples of the region and spruced up in a variety of ways, depending on the meal in which they are consumed. However, the breakfast table is the most common sight to find them. Poha in particular, is quite the popular treat.
For the unversed, poha is beaten rice that is cooked in sweet and savoury ways. Among them, batata poha and kanda poha are well-known across the country. But there are a few other lesser-known varieties too, like dadpe pohe and kolache pohe. While the former is a dry, crispy snack-like dish that is mixed with green chillies, peanuts, coriander, and sugar, the latter is a special Konkani poha.
What is so special, you ask? Well, kolache pohe is made with the goodness of coconut milk, which is also the secret ingredient we were talking about. Be it the kanda or batata varieties, the rice flakes are usually tossed in with vegetables and cooked with spices. However, in the case of kolache pohe, the poha is first soaked in coconut milk before being cooked. Later, vegetables and masalas are added to lend it flavour.
Another highlight of the Konkani-style breakfast dish is the use of tamarind pulp. Kol refers to tamarind extract in Marathi and that’s how the dish gets its name. The subtle sweetness of coconut milk, paired with the tanginess of the tamarind pulp makes kolache pohe a sweet and sour morning meal. The coastal flavours are amped up with the use of curry leaves and mustard seeds. To this, add some jaggery and the sweetness of the poha is enhanced.
After soaking the poha in coconut milk, let it sit for some time. Then, add the tamarind pulp, jaggery, and other ingredients like coriander leaves and mustard seeds. Toss it all together and dig in while it is hot. The tadka of these coastal spices is what makes kolache pohe so special and intrinsic to the region. Once you’ve tried this poha, there is no looking back because you’ll keep coming back for more. If you haven’t yet, you can also try kanda poha (made with loads of onions) and batata poha (aloo poha) at home. From breakfast to tea-time snacks, poha can be made in a variety of ways.