POHA & BEAN SUNDAL – a different kind of salad

In India, poha (rice flakes) is a staple breakfast in many households because it is quick to prepare. Just soak poha in water for fifteen minutes and it is ready. Poha is unique because rice is flaked in the husk and handmade following traditional methods. Poha is the name of the dish as well as the name for rice flakes in Hindi.

My Amma (mum) likes to make sure there is enough protein in each meal and this is one of her recipes where she uses poha the same way you would use rice in rice salad. It is a lovely, gluten free and vegan lunch dish.


100g black eyed beans, soaked overnight

150g poha

50g onions, finely diced

100g carrots, peeled and grated fine

75g coconut, shredded (I use frozen)

60g raw peanuts

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2-3 dried red chillies, cut in half

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

A sprig of curry leaves, leaves only

2 tablespoons lemon juice or to taste

Salt to taste


Discard the soaking water for black eyed beans. Rinse and boil beans (the beans should be submerged in water) in a saucepan with a generous pinch of salt. Boil for 15 to 18 minutes until soft. Strain and rinse under cold water. Set aside.

Soak the poha in warm water for 10-15 minutes.

Heat oil in a medium sized wok or kadai. Fry the peanuts on low heat for five minutes until pale brown. Add the red chilli and mustard seeds. Fry a couple of minutes or until you hear the seeds crackle.

Throw in the curry leaves and after 30 seconds, fry the onions for two to three minutes. Then add the turmeric, salt, and boiled legumes. Stir fry a couple of minutes before adding the soaked poha. Give it a good mix to incorporate everything. Cover with a lid and cook two minutes. Remove from heat.

Mix in the shredded coconut and carrot. Sprinkle the lemon juice. Taste to check seasoning and adjust accordingly. Serve warm.

Feeds four people

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