poha with yogurt and honey fried bananas

Since we moved into out new house, with all that extra kitchen storage space (read: more than 2 cupboards), we have become considerably less organized.  We’ve lived here a mere 7 months and already one particular cupboard, home to more dry goods and spices than two people should ever reasonably possess, has reached the breaking point.  There’s the bag of dried mushrooms which, like a worn out carnival trick, amuses itself daily by falling on my head.  There’s the bin of salt that fell into a freshly made bowl of chicken stock, dousing me in chicken, and leaving sadly inedible stock in its wake.  There’s the jar of chili flakes that went crashing to the floor, glass breaking, and red pouring everywhere.  Hugo, the cocker spaniel, came dashing into the kitchen to investigate the crime scene and sneezed for the next 4 days. 

You get the picture.  I finally staged an intervention this weekend, which resulted in some interesting discoveries: forgotten salt we brought back from Vietnam last year, 11 different types of flours, 4 bins of cocoa, and a bag of poha (rice flakes) that I picked up from an Indian supermarket and have been carting around since 1996 (ok, maybe 2006 since I would have been 13 in ‘96.)  Clearly I need to be banned from the dry goods isle. 

So the poha: I figured the time had come to use it or loose it.  Poha is the rice equivalent of rolled oats and, from what I understand, is typical breakfast and/or snack food in many parts of Northeast India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.  My long overdue first attempt was prompted by an easy breakfast recipe in Mangos and Curry Leaves by Naomi Dunguid and Jeffrey Alford.  It’s nothing more than the rice flakes rinsed and soaked in warm water and then mixed with yogurt and topped with honey fried bananas.  The bananas were of course totally insane (fried in butter and honey, what’s not to like?), but I think the verdict is still out for me on the Poha itself.  Maybe because it’s a little unfamiliar, I couldn’t help but think I would have liked the dish more just with plain yogurt. 


I’d like to give the poha another try – maybe next time in a savory preparation.  And now that I can actually find it in my freshly organized pantry (pictured above), I hope to get around to that sometime within this decade.  Serves 2 for breakfast, a snack, or a light dessert. 

For the Poha with Yogurt

  • ½ cup poha (rice flakes)
  • 1 cup greek style yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • pinch of ground cardamom (optional)
  • a few drops rose water (optional)

Place the poha in a strainer and rinse well under cold water.  Place in a small bowl and cover with very hot tap water (not boiling water.)  Let sit for 10 minutes, then drain well.  Mix together the drained poha, the yogurt, and the honey and divide between 2 bowls.  Top with the fried bananas bellow. 

For the Fried Bananas

  • 1 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 ½ tbsp honey
  • 1 medium ripe banana, sliced

Set a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the butter and honey and stir until melted.  Add the banana slices, using spatula to spread them out.  Cook 1-2 minutes until the bananas begin to caramelize, then flip and cook and additional 1-2 minutes to caramelize the other side.  Serve over the poha and yogurt. 


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