Poha Cutlet To Aval Kesari: Delights From Flattened Rice

Poha, also known as flattened rice, is a remarkably versatile and healthy ingredient that extends far beyond its traditional use in the popular Indian dish "Poha". Packed with essential nutrients like carbohydrates, iron, and fibre, poha serves as an excellent base for various culinary creations. Its light and fluffy texture makes it perfect for both sweet and savoury dishes. You can transform poha into a nutritious breakfast by adding vegetables, nuts, and spices to create a flavourful poha upma or poha cutlets. 

Alternatively, for a delightful dessert, sweetened poha can be combined with milk, sugar, and cardamom to make a mouthwatering rice pudding. Whether used in salads, snacks, or innovative fusion recipes, poha stands out as a versatile and wholesome ingredient that can cater to a wide range of culinary preferences while contributing to a balanced diet. In snacks, main courses, or desserts, poha's versatility showcases the diversity and creativity within Indian cuisine, making it a cherished ingredient that continues to surprise.  

Here are some tasty and new options you can try making with poha:

Poha Cutlet  

Poha cutlets are a wholesome snack option that showcases the versatility of poha, or flattened rice. Whether you have left-over poha or even want to make these cutlets specially for this, poha is combined with mashed potatoes, finely chopped vegetables, and a blend of aromatic spices like cumin, coriander, and red chilli powder.

The mixture is shaped into patties and shallow-fried until they achieve a crispy golden-brown exterior. Poha cutlets not only offer a satisfying crunch but also pack a nutritious punch, as they're rich in carbohydrates, fibre, and essential vitamins from the veggies. These cutlets are a perfect option for a quick and tasty tea-time snack or as a scrumptious appetiser for gatherings, adding a tempting twist to the traditional poha recipe. 

Curd Poha  

In this recipe, cooked flattened rice (poha) is mixed with fresh yoghurt (curd), creating a creamy and tangy texture that's both comforting and cooling. To prepare curd poha, poha is soaked in water, quickly strained, and then mixed with fresh yogurt. Seasonings like mustard seeds, curry leaves, green chilies, and grated ginger are used to add flavour.

Some variations also include chopped vegetables like cucumber or carrot for added texture and nutrition. Curd poha is garnished with tadka (tempered spices in oil) of mustard seeds and asafoetida, which adds an aromatic touch. This dish is not only delicious but also ensures a dose of probiotics from the yoghurt, making it easy on the stomach and a popular choice for a quick and satisfying meal.  

Poha Dosa   

Poha dosa is a scrumptious and convenient option when you're looking for a quick meal. This South Indian speciality combines the simplicity of poha (flattened rice) with the ease of dosa preparation. To make it, poha is soaked briefly to soften it and then blended into a smooth batter along with rice flour, urad dal (black gram lentils), and spices.

This batter doesn't require fermentation, allowing you to whip up dosas almost instantly. The thin, crispy, and golden dosas are not only delicious but also incredibly time-efficient, making them an ideal choice for a fast and satisfying meal, whether it's breakfast, lunch, or dinner. You can pair poha dosas with a variety of chutneys or sambhar for added flavour and to make it filling; these are a versatile and go-to option for busy days. 

Poha Gur Laddoo 

Poha Gur Laddoo is a lesser-known sweet delicacy but a very tasty one. To make these delicious ladoos, poha is roasted until crispy and golden, then grinded to a powder and mixed with grated jaggery or jaggery syrup, ghee, and aromatic spices like cardamom and nutmeg. The combination of the earthy sweetness from the jaggery and the crunchiness of poha strikes a perfect balance.

Once the mixture is shaped into small round balls, these ladoos serve as a wholesome snack or dessert that's not only mouthwatering but also rich in iron, essential vitamins, and fibre. These ladoos are energy-dense, providing a quick and sustained source of warmth and vitality, making them an ideal choice to combat the winter chill while satisfying your sweet cravings in a wholesome way. 


Chivda, a popular snack, can be enjoyed guilt-free due to its wholesome and nutritious ingredients. Typically made from poha, a variety of nuts, seeds, and spices, chivda is low in calories and a good source of essential nutrients like iron, fibre, and protein. It's often prepared using minimal oil and is roasted or air-fried to achieve a crunch without excessive frying. You can customise chivda by adding ingredients like roasted chickpeas, dried fruits, and spices according to your taste preferences, making it a balanced and satisfying snack option. Its guilt-free nature makes chivda an excellent choice for those looking to curb their cravings without compromising on health-conscious choices. 

Poha Medu Vada 

Poha medu vada is a time- and effort-saving twist on the traditional urad dal medu vada, offering a lighter alternative that's easier on the stomach without any compromise on taste. In this innovative recipe, soaked poha replaces a portion of the urad dal, making the vadas lighter and more digestible. The poha lends a soft and fluffy texture to the vadas while reducing the need for excessive oil during frying, making them a healthier option.

This modification also accelerates the preparation process, making poha medu vadas a convenient choice when you're short of time. They maintain the authentic medu vada flavours but with a unique, airy quality, making them perfect for breakfast, as a snack, or even as an accompaniment to your favourite South Indian dishes.  

Aval Kesari  

Aval Kesari is an Indian dessert that originates from South India and is particularly popular in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It is a variation of the traditional kesari, which is typically made with semolina (rava). In this version, flattened rice (aval or poha) takes centre stage. To prepare Aval Kesari, the poha is first roasted lightly in ghee (clarified butter) to enhance its flavour and then cooked with sugar, water, and aromatic cardamom until it thickens into a luscious, sweet porridge-like appearance.

The addition of ghee-roasted cashews and a hint of saffron or food colouring lends a beautiful golden hue and a crunch to the dish. Aval Kesari is a beloved dessert, often prepared during festivals and special occasions, with a unique twist on traditional Indian sweets with its soft, melt-in-the-mouth texture and a perfect balance of sweetness and richness.