flattened rice (poha)

Hindi terms: poha
English terms: thick flattened rice
Other terms: -
flattened rice (Wikipedia)
Flattened rice
Poha.jpg
Alternative namesChewda (Hindi चिवड़ा), Poha (Hindi/Marathi पोहा), Atukulu (Telugu), Avalakki (Kannada), Bajil (Tulu), Aval (Tamil), Aval (Malayalam; അവൽ), Chewra in (Nepali चिउरा), Chuda (Bihari Hindi चूड़ा, Maithili, Magahi, Odia ଚୁଡ଼ା), Chira (Bengali চিরা), sira (Assamese চিৰা), beaten rice
Region or stateIndian subcontinent
Main ingredientsDehusked rice

Flattened rice is rice which is flattened into flat, light, dry flakes originating from the Indian subcontinent. Rice is parboiled before flattening so that it can be consumed with very little to no cooking. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thickness of the flakes varies between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thinner than a normal rice grain. It is also called "beaten rice", not to be confused with poha, a Central-West Indian dish prepared using this flattened rice as the key ingredient.

This easily digestible form of raw rice is very popular across India, Nepal and Bangladesh, and is normally used to prepare snacks or light and easy fast food in a variety of Indian cuisine styles, some even for long-term consumption of a week or more. It is known by a variety of names: avalakki (ಅವಲಕ್ಕಿ) in Kannada, bajil (ಬಜಿಲ್) in Tulu, pauaa/paunva (પૌંઆ) in Gujarati, poya in Rajasthani, chuda in Odia (ଚୁଡ଼ା) and Maithili , atukulu in Telugu (అటుకులు), aval in Tamil (அவல்) and Aval in Malayalam (അവൽ), chiura in parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, sira in Assamese (চিৰা) and Sylheti (ꠌꠤꠠꠣ), chira in Bengali (চিঁড়া), chiura (चिउरा/𑒔𑒱𑒅𑒩𑒰) in Nepali, Bhojpuri and Chhattisgarhi, poha or pauwa in Hindi, baji in Newari, pohe (पोहे) in Marathi, and phovu (फोवूं) in Konkani.

White aval
A snack made of flattened rice
Cooked flattened rice

Flattened rice can be eaten raw by immersing it in plain water or milk, with salt and sugar to taste, or lightly fried in oil with nuts, raisins, cardamoms, and other spices. The lightly fried variety is a standard breakfast in Malwa region (surrounding Ujjain and Indore) of Madhya Pradesh. It can be reconstituted with hot water to make a porridge or paste, depending on the proportion of water added. In villages, particularly in Chhattisgarh, flattened rice is also eaten raw by mixing with jaggery.

In Maharashtra, flattened rice is cooked with lightly fried mustard seeds, turmeric, green chilli, finely chopped onions, and most importantly with fried peanuts and then moistened flattened rice is added to the spicy mix and steamed for a few minutes.

Prepared flattened rice dish, locally known as poha or pauva, from India.