March 22, 2010

Gimme, Gimme Bateta Poha

bateta poha 1

Let me introduce you to the most wonderful breakfast/brunch/lunch in the whole entire world. Well, almost. Not counting ice cream. Ice cream IS a breakfast item, right?

flattened rice poha

Poha (pronounced: puhwa) are cooked, flattened and dehydrated grains of basmati rice. You can find them in most Indian grocery stores packed in regular plastic bags. The bateta part is cubed, deep fried potatoes, but you probably worked that one out already; bateta-potato-bateta-potato-bateta-potato. They do sound similar.

flattened rice poha

The ingredients in this dish vary from region to region and family to family. I’m making a classic Gujarati version, which of course must be like all Gujarati dishes are: hot, sweet and sour. This dish is very forgiving, so if you want to omit certain ingredients like onions or not add too much chilli then that’s totally up to you. At home we add plenty of peanuts and cashews to bulk the dish up for a more filling meal. If you’re ever stuck for making something for a large amount of people then this is the perfect recipe. You can make a huge amount in one go and feed an army of hungry people.

bateta poha 2

Bateta poha is great with plain yogurt and a cup of chai, but if you’re feeling a bit fruity then try out a variation with some pomegranate seeds and/or soaked sultanas.


2 tbsp sunflower oil
¾ cup onions, chopped finely
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 medium hot green chillies (more or less according to your taste)
1 tbsp ginger, minced
¼ tsp asafoetida (optional)
1/3 cup mixed nuts of your choice (I used redskin peanuts and cashews)
1 tsp turmeric
8-10 curry leaves
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups poha (flattened rice)
2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp fennel powder (optional- I like fennel powder)
5 cups half-boiled water
¼ cup chopped coriander

Enough sunflower oil to deep fry


1. Place the poha in a small-holed colander and pour on the half-boiled water. Set aside.

2. Wash and dry the cubed potatoes, then deep fry in sunflower oil until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions, ginger, nuts and chilli. Cook until aromatic and the nuts are golden. Do not let it turn too brown.

4. Add the cumin seeds, turmeric, asafoetida and curry leaves. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add the fennel powder and the potatoes and mix carefully and thoroughly.

5. Separate the now cooled poha grains gently with a fork and add to the pan. Season with salt, sugar, lemon and pepper. Gently toss in the pan and remove from the heat. Garnish with chopped coriander.

6. Serve to hungry friends and family only if you’ve managed to refrain from scoffing the whole lot after cooking.

bateta poha 3

Don’t wait for me. Just dig in.

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46 responses to “Gimme, Gimme Bateta Poha”

  1. Princess says:

    I love bateta pava. Quick and easy snack on days when I am working from home. Sometimes I add sweet corn to the recipe just to make a change.
    Your pictures are great

  2. Sarah Naveen says:

    Beautiful click..Looks so delicious..

  3. the wicked noodle says:

    Sanjana! You always have the MOST delicious looking recipes!

  4. T. The Destructor says:

    That looks unbelievably good. I'd eat this right now.

    I have been looking for asafoetida ever since I saw it written in a novel (I think it was the Mistress of Spices) but can never find it. You'd think being in D.C. I would have found SOMETHING, but no.

    I guess it's time to do some internet shopping.

  5. Sharmilee! :) says:

    Luv poha anytime….lovely bright clicks!

  6. SE says:

    this is the first choice when I have some unexpected guest !!

  7. A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine says:

    Love Bateta Poha..can have it anytime with tea..huhhh..sent couple of entries for wear your food event..please do let know if you received it..

  8. Stacy says:

    Yummy! And look at those gorgeous cashews!

  9. Priya says:

    I can have this bateta poha anytime…awesome click and tempting dish..

  10. notyet100 says:

    nice presenation…

  11. Jagruti says:

    You know Sanju me and my daughter could eat batata pava any time…I eat with tomatoes, Dadam dana and chikoo pieces..try it!!yours looks proper gujarati type, that's the way I make too….may be tonight we'll have it, after seeing your pics!!

  12. Cardamom says:

    That picture is gorgeous!
    this is my absolute favorite! Sometimes, when it's just me, I make this for dinner…love it.


  13. angee says:

    wow.. looks very yummy and also love the clicks..

  14. Mr. P says:

    Making this as soon as I get home. I can track down this flat rice no problem!

    I'm going to have me a brunch party!

  15. Vaishali Sharma says:

    Love it….i totally love Poha for breakfast. This looks delicious!!

  16. Cooking Foodie says:

    Ohh this is my husbands favorite breakfast. But no potatoes for him. and no sugar.
    I know this version from home and love the soft potato bites between the spicy poha! yummm… you are making me crave some of my mom's bateta pauwa 🙂

  17. Diana Bauman says:

    Sanjana, I just love visiting your place. Your dishes are always beautiful!! I'm going to have to peel my eyes for poha! Lovely recipe.

  18. Ju (The Little Teochew) says:

    POHA!!! Flattened basmati rice … OMG … that is brilliant! It looks like a summer garden in a bowl, with all the cheery colours!

  19. Kanchan says:

    Beautiful pics … as you mentioned you can just add/drop ingredients as you want, never used ginger in Poha.

  20. Tina says:

    Soooo colourful and yummy yummy…

  21. Viviane, Taste-Buds says:

    This sounds great! I wonder if it is possible to cook with Basmati rice since here in Lebanon it is like going after treasure hunt if trying to get your hands on Indian food items!

  22. Anonymous says:

    I am sat here everyday, thinking shall I or not but as soon as I visit your site I am Hungry.
    well Sanju when I am there you will have to make all this again.Well done

    saint bapu

  23. 3 hungry tummies says:

    I love cooking with turmeric, it turns everything into such beautiful colour!

  24. Vegetable Matter says:

    Flattened basmati rice? Who knew? Your dish is gorgeous, and sounds delicious. Got to stop by India Grocers for some poha.

  25. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Beautiful specialty! I love the nuts here. Would love to try this dish!

  26. Preeti Kashyap says:

    This is my comfort food…I simply love it anytime of the day.

  27. Siddhi S says:

    wow yummu potato poha…i love it a lot…loved ur gujrati version of poha…soooo tempting pics

  28. Dolly says:

    Sanjana, this is one of my favorite breakfast/snack.. Love ur awesome Clicks as always…

  29. Marisa says:

    This is so interesting! Don't know if I'll be able to find poha though. Would it work to use normal basmati rice?

  30. Lena Rashmin Raj says:

    this is my fav breakfast as its simple.. 🙂 just came across your blog and im happy that i did it Sanjana.. nice clicks.. 🙂

  31. Nazarina A says:

    This dish looks absolutely amazing. Sure would love to give it a go.I cannot cook any other rice but basmati, sad, yes I know! I shall be on the hunt for poha because it will be an excuse to cook your dish and some other ideas that is now running through my mind.

  32. meeso says:

    Gimme, Gimme!

  33. Ms. Humble says:

    I bought some Poha today, just so I could make this.

    However, they had two types: thick and thin. They both look exactly the same and just like the Poha you've photographed above.

    I flipped a coin and grabbed the thick flattened rice. Did I make the right choice?

  34. Nithu Bala says:

    Very yummy..nicely clicked too..

  35. Yasmeen says:

    Quick and delish breakfast,love it 😀

  36. Sanjana says:

    Hello all, thank you for your great responses! This can indeed be done with regular (cooked) Basmati rice and will be equally delicious but maybe not as light.
    Ms. Humble- Both of those kinds sound fine. I actually didn't know they did thick and thin variations but hey, flattened rice is flattened rice. I really hope you enjoy it!

  37. Mr. P says:

    Where am I getting curry leaves from? Are they dried? Or frozen?

  38. Sanjana says:

    P- Any Indian grocers- Fresh are best, frozen are good and dried are not so great. If you can get fresh, you can freeze them at home. Just remove the leaves from the stalks, wash them, dry them, toss them in oil and put them in a tuppaware lined with kitchen towel. I do this and they last ages!

  39. MeetaK says:

    always worth the indulgence! although i have a sweet tooth – but i think i would gladly exchange any sweet dessert for this!

  40. Jhonny walker says:

    o wow…looks great..and now I don't even wanna have my sandwich lunch 🙁

    anyway, I posted an entree for your wear your food competition. Here is the link.


  41. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    Hey dear,
    I sent plenty of entries(last minute) for the event a few minutes check out. Check your spam folder too.. The poha is making me hungry. So let me go and have my late lunch. Tata.

  42. Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets says:

    Gorgeous colors, Sanjana, and I'm pretty much guaranteed to love all foods Gujarati. My best friend keeps telling me I'd love poha, but I haven't had time to trek out to the indian grocery. This is motivation if ever there was any 8).

  43. TJ Michaels says:

    Wow, this looks fabulous! Bet it's aromatic as well.

  44. Visiting mum says:

    Can I make a big batch and freeze in portions in ziplock bags?

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