One of my favorite Indian breakfasts (besides aloo paratha) is Poha.
Poha is flattened dehusked rice and is an easily digestible form of raw rice. Being quick to cook with, you will find poha as a very popular choice for breakfast in most Indian households. It also makes a healthy snack option, given its nutrition benefits.
Poha is high in iron, rich in fibre and also a healthier option to get your fix of carbs in the morning. And that is why it features on lot of indian tables as a breakfast option.
Even though celiacs should consult with their doctor before eating poha, poha is known to have very low amounts of gluten, making it fit for certain people who are uncomfortable with gluten. Poha is also very good for diabetics as it promotes slow release of sugar into the bloodstream. It also keeps you full for a longer time. (ref: thehealthsite.com)
While I have a great recipe for poha with veggies which I make often (I will definitely share it with you one of these days), today I am sharing this quick and easy poha patties recipe. Poha Patties is great to serve as an evening snack or even for breakfast. It also makes a great addition in your kids’ lunch boxes. You can make variations to the basic recipe I am sharing today by adding boiled peas, or peanuts. Use cilantro or mint leaves if you can’t find curry leaves. Curry leaves and poha can be found in most Indian grocery stores.
When I got married, my mom gave me a small diary with a few handwritten Indian recipes she thought I would find useful. I had never cooked indian food before I got married, so when I did start cooking once I came to the US, these recipes came very handy. One of the recipes in the diary was for aloo gobhi- a spiced potato and cauliflower indian dish. A favorite of many and a relatively easy and no hassle dish to prepare.
My mom is in Canada these days. She came to Canada to spend some time with my grandparents, since they were both very ill. She could not meet my grandmother before she passed away but was able to spend some time with my grandfather. She stayed on to spend time with her brother and his family in Canada and tomorrow she comes to visit and stay with me for a month. The other day when I was talking to her she mentioned that she had made aloo gobhi for lunch and since I had not cooked this dish in a while I thought of making it today. It also gave me an opportunity to click pictures and post a recipe for Garam Masala Tuesdays.
I have tweaked the original recipe a little after making it several times to suit my liking. In the original recipe, my mom did not mention kasoori methi or cinnamon sticks, but I like the added flavor that both bring to the dish. You can leave out the kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) if you cant find them but they are easily available at any indian grocery store. So is amchoor powder (dried mango powder), but if you can;t find it, use lemon juice.
Diwali, one of India’s biggest festivals, is right around the corner. Known as the festivals of lights, Diwali celebrations generally last 5 days, with Indians all over the world celebrating it in their own special way. Diwali signifies the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness.
Diwali is kind of like the Indian Christmas, with the days preceding Diwali marked by people cleaning their houses, lighting it, shopping new clothes and buying gifts/sweets for friends and family.
I had read somewhere that there is actually a scientific reason behind the cleaning of houses before Diwali. Since Diwali is celebrated somewhere between mid-October to mid-November, right after monsoons end, the cleaning makes sure all the germs and infestation that monsoons brought with them get eradicated with the whitewashing, and other pre Diwali cleaning activities. In fact a lot of Hindu traditions that we follow blindly these days are backed with a very logical reasoning that we are not aware of. Growing up, Diwali for me meant new clothes, lighting candles and diyas, putting lights up, cleaning every nook and corner of our rooms because else the Goddess of wealth, Lakshmi won’t pay our house a visit, going to the Gurudwara to light candles and then bursting crackers at home.
I, being terrified of crackers, would just just burn the sparklers and be happy while my dad and brother would burst the more scary crackers. As we grew up and realized how terrifying the noise is for animals (we had a dog who had the toughest time during Diwali), besides the air pollution that crackers cause, we stopped bursting crackers altogether. Just to continue a little tradition we celebrate Diwali now by lighting a sparkler or two, and maybe an anar for fun. Besides that we just light the house and distribute sweets to our loved ones. And eat good food and lots of sweets!