Kanda Poha Recipe

Have you ever heard of kanda poha? If you haven't, don't fret! We will break it down for you. According to Indian Express, this dish is a traditional breakfast staple in India, particularly in the state of Maharashtra. This savory spiced rice meal is easy to throw together to serve to unannounced guests. Because it comes together so quickly, it is a convenient and impressive option to offer any company. Interestingly, it is also customary to serve kanda poha and hot tea for breakfast meetings between families in the context of arranged marriages (via Yatra).

This rice dish is composed of many spices that provide savory and hearty flavors to a fairly straightforward and basic meal. This simple dish is a great one to make when you are craving Indian food. Serve it for breakfast or as a warming snack, lunch, or dinner — it's ready in no time. So, gather your poha and let's get started.

Gather your ingredients for this kanda poha recipe

Whether you are serving this at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you will need to gather up your ingredients. To make this kanda poha dish, you need thick poha rice, olive oil, raw peanuts, a yellow onion, crushed ginger, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chili powder, ground coriander, curry powder, ground turmeric, salt, and the juice of half a lemon. As you'll note, this is a very spice-forward recipe. These spices are what bring the medley of flavors to this otherwise simple rice dish.

Start by soaking the poha

The first step involves soaking, rinsing, and draining the flattened rice. Pour the poha into a medium bowl and cover it with water. Then, carefully rinse off the poha and drain the soaking water. This will not only clean any debris off the poha, but it will also allow the poha to soften in texture. Don't overdo it — Carli warns to "be careful to avoid mushing the poha or the texture of the rice will get too soft."

Then, toast the peanuts

Next up, we will toast the peanuts. To do this, heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add in the peanuts. Allow the peanuts to toast for about 3 minutes, occasionally stirring until they are lightly golden and fragrant. Once you are satisfied with your peanuts, scoop them out of the hot skillet and set them aside. Keep the remaining oil in the skillet since we will use it in the next step.

Add the onion, ginger, and lots of spices

To the pan, add the diced onion, crushed ginger, and the remaining spices: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chili powder, ground coriander, curry powder, ground turmeric, and salt. Give the onion and spices a good stir and allow them to cook for a few minutes until the onion is tender and translucent. Carli notes that "You will begin to notice the flavors of this dish at this point as they are beginning to get very fragrant."

Add the poha, peanuts, and lemon juice to the pan

Next up, add in the soaked and drained poha rice. Carli advises that "the poha should feel wet, but not mushy." Then, add the lemon juice from half of a lemon, or about 2 tablespoons, as well as the toasted peanuts. Stir the poha in with the other ingredients until it is well-incorporated. Cover the skillet with a lid and continue to cook for 3 minutes. Once the 3 minutes are up, remove the lid and give the dish another big stir. Now you are ready to dive in!

Where to find poha

Poha is a staple in many Indian households. It is rice that is parboiled, flattened, and dried (via Tarla Dalal). There are two types of poha: thin and thick. For this recipe, you will need thick poha, but you can use the thin variety in other dishes such as chivda, which is a dried snack eaten for Diwali, Times Food explains. Both types of poha can be found at stores like Walmart, Amazon, or your neighborhood Indian market.

Kanda Poha Recipe
5 from 46 ratings
Kanda poha is a traditional breakfast dish in India. Try this easy spiced flat rice recipe for a quick and delicious alternative to cereal.
Prep Time
Cook Time
kanda poha
Total time: 14 minutes
  • 1 ½ cups thick poha
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup raw peanuts
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ lemon, juice
  1. Place the poha in a medium bowl.
  2. Cover it with water to rinse, then drain and set it aside.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add in the peanuts and sauté for about 3 minutes until they are lightly toasted and fragrant.
  5. Remove the peanuts from the skillet, leaving the oil.
  6. Add the onion, ginger, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chili powder, ground coriander, curry powder, turmeric, and salt to the skillet.
  7. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  8. Add the poha, peanuts, and lemon juice and stir well.
  9. Cover and cook for 3 minutes, then serve.
Calories per Serving 269
Total Fat 8.1 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 43.7 g
Dietary Fiber 1.4 g
Total Sugars 1.4 g
Sodium 203.7 mg
Protein 5.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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