This ‘Bengali style poha’ is little different than the other versions of poha made across many states in India. In Bengali we call this Chinrer Polao (Poha is ‘Chinre’ in Bengali), it’s a breakfast dish and mildly sweeter in taste, this includes lots of veggies which makes it very healthy and a perfect food especially for kids. Mom used to cook this on Sundays, that big kadai full of polao, the waiting, the plate full of this yellow goodness and then how we used to devour, I can still remember those good old days. Later I learned this from her. And now I can proudly say that I can make Chinrer Polao just like her, quite an achievement it is! After many failed attempts to make perfect chinrer polao as a kid, I can still remember one day I came from school and asked mom to make some poha for me, she was doing some other work, so she asked me to go to the kitchen and cook some for myself, as it was an afternoon, and she had no mood to cook. I was pretty determined and tried my hand first time on chinrer polao, the complete disaster it was. The whole thing was so bad that I couldn’t able to eat more than two spoons.
With time and experience now I’m a pro when it comes to cooking this. 😀 The most tricky part here is how to wash the poha perfectly if one can do that nicely, then rest of the thing is pretty easy to do.
Chinrer Polao/Bengali style Poha with Veggies
- Flattened rice/Poha/Chinre- 250g
- Onion- 1 medium size (thinly sliced)
- Carrot- 1 medium size (cut into small strips)
- French beans- 6-7 (place the beans horizontally on a cutting surface, and cut into small pieces)
- Cauliflower florets- ½ cup (cut florets into small size)
- Peas- 1 handful
- Roasted peanuts- 3 tbsp
- Raisins- 1 tbsp
- Nigella seeds/Kalonji/Kalojire- ¼ tsp
- Turmeric powder- ¼ tsp
- Black pepper powder- ½ tsp
- Sugar- 4 tsp (adjust as per your taste)
- Vegetable oil
Boil peas, carrots and french beans. Heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan, add cauliflower florets with a pinch of salt. Stir fry until the florets turn golden brown in color. Remove and keep aside.
Place the poha/chinre into a colander. Wash under running water. Just a quick wash is enough while washing use your fingers to move them gently. They will be mushy if washed for a longer time and no need to soak them in water either. Keep aside the poha in colander itself for some time, let the water drain out completely.
Heat 4 ½ tbsp oil in a deep frying pan/kadai (nonstick preferably). Temper with kalonji. Add sliced onions, stir on medium heat until light brown in color. Now add turmeric powder, boiled veggies, cauliflower florets, peanuts, raisins, salt and sugar. Mix well and fry on medium heat for a minute. Add washed poha, mix gently and cook for 4-5 minutes on medium flame. Stir in between. Add black pepper powder, mix well. Remove from heat.
- You can add fried potato strips (‘aloobhaja’ in Bengali) into this, my Mom used to add aloobhaja in ‘chinrer polao’. How to cook ‘aloobhaja’? Check this for reference.
- You can add chopped scallions while adding other veggies, it gives a great flavor and taste to the dish.
- Scrambled egg can also be added for a non-vegetarian version.