Theek Pou (Spicy Beaten Rice/Poha)

So it's a long summer day today and i'm down with a bad cold. I have been busy clearing off the tasks on my to-do list pertaining to some household chores and I thought I should clear off some of the recipes that have been sitting in draft mode for way too long now. I spent the past couple of days clearing off old food pictures from my computer and deleting some recipes I don't have the energy to type out. Managed to finally create a Recipe Index that I've been attempting to create since ages and also re-attach all those pictures on this blog which got wiped off when I accidently deleted the photo album on Picasa without realising they were linked back here :-( It's been such a nightmare to go back to each & every recipe and put the pictures back. Need to be more careful in the future. 

I hope to post all those recipes I collected from my mum-in-law on her visit here in March. Somehow I never got around to typing them out or posting them. I thought I should start with a simple, no fuss, no frills, typical Mangalorean tea time snack recipe involving Beaten Rice. Not too many are fond of it I am sure, but the older generation especially grannies swear by its ability to keep your teeth strong for a hundred years. I used to give it a miss when I was younger as it taxed my poor pearly whites too much. But then, I wanted to introduce it to my son who is already throwing a lot of tantrums when it comes to eating healthy.

While in Maharashtra its common to find the Batata Poha on the breakfast menu, we Mangaloreans make it in its raw state (Batata Poha involves soaking the beaten rice prior to cooking it along with Potatoes). Pou as we make it typically has two versions - the savoury & the sweet one. While the sweet one is my favourite made by tossing in the beaten rice, jaggery/sugar, ghee and a few slices of Banana to make it more appealing & nutritious, the savoury version tastes best with a cup of steaming coffee. It may sound wierd but I know people who totally love pouring some coffee into the plate of Pou to make it soft enough to chew. For now, it's the Theek (Spicy) Pou (Beaten Rice) for you.....

Theek Pou
(Printable Recipe)
Preparation time: 2 minutes | Cooking time: 5 minutes
Recipe Source: My mum-in-law
Serves: 2

You Need:
1. In a non stick pan heat the oil and toss in the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the curry leaves and then the red chilli powder & immediately take the pan off the flame before the powder burns.
2. Add the beaten rice, grated jaggery and salt to taste. Use a ladle or spoon to mix all the ingredients well in the pan. Allow to cool a bit & transfer the contents to a large bowl. Combine & gently squeeze the mixture with your hand - this ensures that the fried curry leaves powder up and all the flavours are mixed evenly.
3. Serve with tea or coffee.

Beaten rice is available in two varieties. The thick variety is used in the preparation of 'Poha' by Maharashtrians and each flake of beaten rice is thicker & slimmer. It is called as 'Jhaada Poha' in Hindi. This  is used in preparations that call for wetting of the beaten rice to fluff it up a bit.
You need to use the other variety which is famous in Mangalore - the flat, wide & long variety which is also called as 'Baareek or Pathla Poha' in Hindi.

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