Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is a dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain.

This easily digestible form of raw rice is very popular across Nepal, India 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: Atukulu in Telugu, Aval in Tamil(அவல்) and Malayalam(അവൽ), Chindé in Bengali and parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, Chira in Assamese, Chudaa in Oriya, Chiura (चिउरा) in Nepali, Bhojpuri and Chhattisgarhi, Poha[1] or Pauwa[2] in Hindi, Baji in Newari, Pohe in Marathi, Phovu in Konkani, Avalakki (ಅವಲಕ್ಕಿ) in Kannada,[3] and Pauaa/Paunva (પૌંઆ) in Gujarati.

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 Malvaa region (surrounding 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, poha is cooked with lightly frying mustard seeds, turmeric, chili powder, finely chopped onions and then moistened poha is added to the spicy mix and steamed for a few minutes. Jalebi is often eaten with poha.[4]

Flattened rice is in a way, a convenience food and very similar to bread in usage.

Dishes made from beaten rice

  • Aval Nanachathu(അവൽ നനച്ചത്) also called Aval Kuthirthathu (അവൽ കുതിർത്തത്) (Kerala): Beaten rice is mixed with milk, sugar, ground coconut and banana pieces. Peanuts or cashews may be used.
  • Aval Velayichathu (അവൽ വിളയിച്ചത്) (Kerala): Beaten rice fried in ghee and mixed with jaggery, dal, cahews, peanuts and ground coconut.
  • Dahi Chiuraa (Nepali): Beaten rice mixed with ripe banana, yogurt, and sugar. Although an "anytime" snack it is also traditionally eaten by farmers during the rice plantation season in Nepal.
  • Dhau Baji (Newar): Beaten rice is dry roasted in a pan, then mixed with yogurt and sugar.[5]
  • Chindé'r pulao : A snack prepared by immersing the rice flakes in cold water, drying them, and then preparing pilaf-style with nuts, raisins, black pepper, green chillies, and salt and sugar to taste. This is very popular as a breakfast or evening dish in families, and may not be available in any stores or restaurants.
  • Chindé bheja : Some flakes are immersed in a bowl of water, flavoured with lime juice, salt, sugar, and a little black pepper.
  • Bajeel Ogarne : Here beaten rice is seasoned with mustard seeds, coconut oil, and red chillies.
  • Beaten rice with curds : Beaten rice is soaked in water and then sieved. Curd is added with table salt, and eaten with mango or lemon pickle.
  • Kanda Pohe  : Small pieces of boiled potato, onion, mustard seeds, turmeric and red chilli are seasoned and mixed with soaked and sieved beaten rice, and served hot.
  • Dadpe Pohe : Thin or medium sized beaten rice is mixed with fresh coconut, grated green mangos, chili powder, and coriander. Then, it is seasoned with salt and a fried mixture of peanut oil, mustard seeds, turmeric, and finely chopped onions.
  • Dahi Chuda : Beaten rice is cleaned with water to make it little bit soft. Then, yogurt and sugar is added. This way of eating flattened rice is famous in Bihar and Orissa, and it is eaten as the first meal during festival of Makar Sankranti.
  • Egg Pulau (Nepali): Spicy omelette preparation is whisked with raw and dry flattened rice and cooked in a pan similar to the way an omelette is cooked. Then the almost cooked egg pulau is mashed and left to cook covered until it turns red in color.
  • Poha Jalebi  : This is the most famous breakfast across the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh especially in Indore, Ujjain, Ratlam, Mandsaur, Bhopal, Hoshangabad.
  • Kharbujache Pohe:[6] Beaten rice with muskmelon.
  • Ful (egg) Chiura (Nepali): Common in Kathmandu households, flattened rice is fried in oil in a deep pan and salt is added. When the flattened rice turns golden/red egg is poached on top of it and covered with the rice until it cooks.

In popular culture

In Marathi movie Sanai Choughade, there is one song on Kande Pohe.


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