Masala Pou (Mildly Spiced Beaten Rice)

A simple yet filling breakfast is what keeps me going. I totally love breakfasts that follow after a long fast - ie if I've had my dinner a tad too soon the previous night, then I am usually starving and ready to eat an elephant the next morning. I am a complete breakfast person and can never get tired of trying out new breakfast recipes, so much so that the same item is rarely repeated in my kitchen - ok! I am exaggerating Roshan! (I can almost see you nod in disagreement, hee hee). Well the point is that the husband and son get pampered with lots of new options but I keep repeating the 'new menu' until they get sick of it. The current favourite is the Masala Pou (beaten rice) which has been prepared a few hundred times already and I can't get enough of its simplicity and the fact that it can actually keep my energy levels roaring till lunchtime (without having to dip into a mid morning snack)

I have never given beaten rice its due during my growing up years. I never liked it - so it didn't matter how my mum prepared it - sweet or savoury. Prepare she did - for my brother who loved it so much. I was always an idli-dosa fan. It is only after I got married and ran out of ideas for breakfast that I slowly gave in and began to experiment with the humble beaten rice. So far the Godaso (Sweet) Pou (beaten rice with fresh coconut & jaggery) and Theek (spicy) Pou (beaten rice with tempered spices) have nourished and sustained my family for many mornings. Now I have this new entry into my kitchen that tastes even better (Thanks to Mrs. Lilly Lobo for her simple recipe)

What makes this dish a winner is that the tempering of basic spices is followed by browning of onions to a golden brown that lends a lovely sweetish flavour to an otherwise spicy dish. If you love the 'bariyan' (fried onions used to garnish biryanis) then you'll definitely love this pou. You can skip the grated coconut if you run out of it or are not a fan of it (or any random reason). Make sure you use the thin/light flakes of beaten rice, not the thick variety or you'll regret it.

Masala Pou (Mildly Spiced Beaten Rice)
Prep time: 5mins | Cook time: 8-10 mins | Serves 4

You Need:
1. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan and toss in the mustard seeds, when they pop, add the cumin seeds and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the curry leaves and then the green chillies and fry for a bit. 
2. Toss in the sliced onions and fry on a medium flame till golden brown. Add the turmeric powder and remove from fire.
3. Add the sugar, salt to taste, grated coconut and the beaten rice. When it is cool enough to handle, mix well giving the beaten rice a little squeeze. Sprinkle a little water (about 1/4 cup) into the mixture and mix once again - do this when you are ready to serve as the beaten rice can turn soggy if you do it a lot in advance.
4. Serve with piping hot tea or coffee.

You need to use the thin variety of beaten rice that is popular in Mangalore. The thicker version is used in the preparation of Maharashtrian Poha that requires soaking and is hard if used otherwise.

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