Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Aval Podi Upma - Spicy Flattened Rice Stir Fry

Breakfast is the most complicated meal in my opinion. You need something that is filling but not too heavy. You need something that is easy and quick to make but not filled with sugar or fat. The reason being, a good breakfast starts off the day on a good footing. I am pretty surprised at people who start the day with no breakfast. Hats off to their stomachs. Mine on the other hand growls and I feel lethargic and unable to carry on with the day. Also low sugar means more moodiness and outbursts. Nobody likes that. Whenever I run into a person who is grumpy and blames it on not having their morning cuppa. I think to myself that coffee is only going to make it worse. All that person needs is a good breakfast.

To know a few quick and easy recipes is a good thing. This upma falls into that category. 20-30 minutes tops. This upma is made with every day pantry items you have on hand. I always have idli podi on hand. If you do not, just use chili powder. I use red aval (poha) which is thicker than the white aval. You can also use the thicker white aval for making this upma to prevent it from becoming soggy.

The only decision that has to be made is for the right kind of flattened rice to be chosen. Make sure you do not buy flattened rice that has had contact with oil. Yes check the ingredients even for buying aval. The quickest way something will go rancid is when it is processed with oil.

Soak the aval (flattened rice) for about 10 minutes or so. Get the onions and green chilies chopped.
In a wide mouthed pan, add oil and the seasonings followed by the onions and green chilies. Saute till onions are translucent.
Add in the peanuts if using. Add in the soaked flattened rice.
Add the idli podi or red chili powder, sugar and the sesame oil. Mix everything together and turn off heat in 3-4 minutes.

That is easy isn't? Give it a try.

Aval Podi Upma
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
  1. 2 cups of flattened rice / aval /poha
  2. 1/4 cup of chopped red onions or shallots
  3. 5-6 green chilies chopped
  4. 2 tbsp idli podi or 1/2 tbsp red chili powder
  5. 1/2 tbsp sugar
  6. 1/4 cup roasted peanuts (skip for nut free)
  7. seasonings: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, split white lentils(ulundham paruppu/ urad dal), curry leaves
  8. 1 tbsp sesame oil (or any oil)
  9. 1/2 lemon (optional)
  10. Salt to taste

  1. Take the flattened rice in a sauce pan. Completely immerse in water. After a minute pour it through a colander and let it sit for 10 minutes while you get the rest of the ingredients together.
  2. In a wide mouthed pan, heat 2 tsp of oil. Add in the white lentils and let it start turning color, add in the cumin and mustard seeds. When mustard starts to pop add in the curry leaves, onions and green chilies.
  3. Saute the onions till they turn translucent.
  4. Add in the peanuts, the soaked aval, salt, idli podi, sugar and the rest of the oil and mix well. Turn off the heat in 3-4 minutes.
  5. If using red chili powder, squeeze in the lemon juice for sure and optional if using idli podi.

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