nutrition, recipes

Poha – Ayurvedic Cooking

I had the pleasure of enjoying a weekend at the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque New Mexico learning how to cook traditional Ayurvedic recipes from Usha Lad and Dr. Vasant Lad. The recipes they shared, handed down over generations, are nourishing, balancing, and delicious! I am sharing this one with you first for two reasons: 1) because it was my favorite and 2) because Poha is easy to digest and balancing to all of the Dosha’s (or vital energies) represented within us, according to the Ayurvedic system. Poha is great for breakfast, or it can be used to accompany the main meal.

Poha is uncooked basmati rice that has been rolled thin in the same way that rolled oats are made. It cooks quickly and does not need water, other than what is absorbed in rinsing.

Recipe By Usha Lad


  • 3 cups poha (thick)
  • 1/3 cup safflower or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5 curry leaves, fresh or dried
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch hing
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 small chile, chopped fine (jalapeno or saranno)
  • finely grated coconut, cilantro, and lime for garnish


  1. Wash the rice flakes twice; drain well.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves.
  3. Stir until the seeds pop, then add the turmeric, salt, and hing.
  4. Next add the cilantro, onions, and chile. Cook until soft and slightly brown.
  5. Stir in the rice flakes, cover, and turn off heat.
  6. Garnish with finely grated coconut, cilantro and a lime wedge. Serve immediately.


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