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Gimme, Gimme Bateta Poha

Gimme, Gimme Bateta Poha

bateta poha 1

Let me introduce you to the most wonderful breakfast/brunch/lunch in the whole entire world. Well, almost. Not counting ice cream. Ice cream IS a breakfast item, right?

flattened rice poha

Poha (pronounced: puhwa) are cooked, flattened and dehydrated grains of basmati rice. You can find them in most Indian grocery stores packed in regular plastic bags. The bateta part is cubed, deep fried potatoes, but you probably worked that one out already; bateta-potato-bateta-potato-bateta-potato. They do sound similar.

flattened rice poha

The ingredients in this dish vary from region to region and family to family. I’m making a classic Gujarati version, which of course must be like all Gujarati dishes are: hot, sweet and sour. This dish is very forgiving, so if you want to omit certain ingredients like onions or not add too much chilli then that’s totally up to you. At home we add plenty of peanuts and cashews to bulk the dish up for a more filling meal. If you’re ever stuck for making something for a large amount of people then this is the perfect recipe. You can make a huge amount in one go and feed an army of hungry people.

bateta poha 2

Bateta poha is great with plain yogurt and a cup of chai, but if you’re feeling a bit fruity then try out a variation with some pomegranate seeds and/or soaked sultanas.


2 tbsp sunflower oil
¾ cup onions, chopped finely
2 tsp cumin seeds
4 medium hot green chillies (more or less according to your taste)
1 tbsp ginger, minced
¼ tsp asafoetida (optional)
1/3 cup mixed nuts of your choice (I used redskin peanuts and cashews)
1 tsp turmeric
8-10 curry leaves
2 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 cups poha (flattened rice)
2 tsp sugar (or to taste)
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
1 tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp fennel powder (optional- I like fennel powder)
5 cups half-boiled water
¼ cup chopped coriander

Enough sunflower oil to deep fry


1. Place the poha in a small-holed colander and pour on the half-boiled water. Set aside.

2. Wash and dry the cubed potatoes, then deep fry in sunflower oil until golden. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pan and add the chopped onions, ginger, nuts and chilli. Cook until aromatic and the nuts are golden. Do not let it turn too brown.

4. Add the cumin seeds, turmeric, asafoetida and curry leaves. Sauté for 30 seconds. Add the fennel powder and the potatoes and mix carefully and thoroughly.

5. Separate the now cooled poha grains gently with a fork and add to the pan. Season with salt, sugar, lemon and pepper. Gently toss in the pan and remove from the heat. Garnish with chopped coriander.

6. Serve to hungry friends and family only if you’ve managed to refrain from scoffing the whole lot after cooking.

bateta poha 3

Don’t wait for me. Just dig in.

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Visiting mum

Sunday 19th of August 2012

Can I make a big batch and freeze in portions in ziplock bags?


Sunday 26th of August 2012

Yes, definitely!

TJ Michaels

Tuesday 6th of April 2010

Wow, this looks fabulous! Bet it's aromatic as well.

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets

Friday 2nd of April 2010

Gorgeous colors, Sanjana, and I'm pretty much guaranteed to love all foods Gujarati. My best friend keeps telling me I'd love poha, but I haven't had time to trek out to the indian grocery. This is motivation if ever there was any 8).

Cool Lassi(e)

Tuesday 30th of March 2010

Hey dear, I sent plenty of entries(last minute) for the event a few minutes check out. Check your spam folder too.. The poha is making me hungry. So let me go and have my late lunch. Tata.

Jhonny walker

Tuesday 30th of March 2010

o wow...looks great..and now I don't even wanna have my sandwich lunch :(

anyway, I posted an entree for your wear your food competition. Here is the link.