There are days when you have absolutely nothing on hand and you’re terribly hungry and you put together something in a jiffy with whatever bits and pieces you have. And surprisingly, it is these days when you come up with real gems. One reason could be coz you’re so hungry you fail to realise the absolute lack of anything particularly noteworthy in whatever you’ve cooked and devoured. The other reason, which I tend to believe, could be coz you have neither time nor stuff to experiment and so you simply stick to basics and come up with a winner.
Yesterday was one of those days for me (I realise these days are coming in quite frequently nowadays!). I had run out of vegetables and provisions and I’d hurt my leg and was not in a position to step out to replenish my stock. I had just half a cup of rice – lumpy at that – leftover from morning and a quarter cup of uncooked poha (beaten rice/aval) in the kitchen cupboard and no vegetables save a few peas, some sweet corn and, thankfully, green chillies and lemon in the refrigerator.
I was reminded of an awesome dish prepared in a jiffy with rice leftover from the previous night by my neighbour from Delhi, a Maharashtrian girl. Inspired by her, I tried to redo what she did. It is almost how you make a regular poha, except that I did not have onions (which I feel really add to the typical poha taste) and I had only a bit of poha and some rice. But the end result was really tasty and satisfied my hunger pangs quite satisfactorily.
Lest you think I’m unnecessarily gloating over yesterday’s lumpy rice-poha, let me tell you I made exactly the same thing again today (that’s what you see in the pics), except that the rice wasn’t lumpy and i (sheepish grin) did add onions. If I remember right, my friend said it was common practice in Maharashtrian households to make this dish with whatever was left over from the previous day’s dinner, be it rice, rotis or even veggies.
Leftover Delight : Rice-poha upma
Rice and other leftovers that you want to use up – roti, subzi (curry/vegetable), salad, bread, idli etc
Poha – wash under running water and drain in a colander (vessel with holes)
Peas – a few (you can also use chopped onion and/or capsicum, potatoes and carrots if available)
Onion – 1 (chopped)
Green chilli – 1-2
Red chilli powder – a big pinch or two
Sugar – a big pinch (optional)
Urad dal/chana dal/ground nuts – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Juice of half a lemon
Oil – 1-2 tsp
Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, cumin and other dals/nuts
Add chopped green chilli, onion and other vegetables that you’re using plus red chilli powder
Add salt, rice, poha and other leftovers
Sauté for a few mins and take off heat
Squeeze lemon juice, sugar (if using), mix well and dig in!
PS: This friend adds a pinch of sugar to most curries/vegetables and snacks to keep up a family tradition, and i must say here the addition does taste good!