Bataka Poha

Bataka Poha

Growing up our mornings were crazy rushed and we normally inhaled cookie crisp out of our TMNT cereal bowls for breakfast. This was the 90’s and no one cared how much sugar you ate for breakfast! While we were huge cereal (aka sugar) fans, by the time the weekend rolled around we craved a break in routine and this was a Saturday morning favorite. It was also when we were allowed to drink chai (Indian tea) which was a double win!

Fast forward 2 decades and not much has changed, we’ve replaced the sugary cereals with overnight oats/smoothies/avocado toast but nothing compares to a hot breakfast made with love.

Ok so if you’re not Indian you may be wondering, what is Bataka Poha? Bataka translates to potato. And poha is flattened rice that has a much different texture than grained rice and does not need to be boiled like grained rice. It plumps up when added to a liquid and it is very important to rinse the poha in water and let it sit while you prepare the rest of your ingredients. This will help ensure your poha doesn’t get clumpy when added to the onion/potato mixture.

Bataka Poha is also great as a snack – it’s hearty and savory. The potatoes and onions coated in the spices add a rich flavor while the poha adds a nice chewiness finished by the slightly toasted cashews – it all comes together for the perfect bite each time! This recipe can be easily doubled and if you have leftovers, try sprinkling them with a little water before heating to ensure the poha stays fluffy.

Pairs With: Masala Chai (seriously don’t skip this!)

Serving Size: Makes 2 servings


  • 1.5 cups of thick poha
  • 1 small potato finely diced and rinsed (either red or white)
  • 1/2 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 serrano diced (use 1/2 for less spice)
  • 1.5 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/8 tsp asafetida (optional)
  • 1/4 cup cashew pieces
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • salt to taste (we generally use 1/2 to 1 tsp)
  • lime juice to taste (we use about 1/2 of a lime)


  1. Place poha in a colander over the sink and run water over it until all the poha is evenly soaked in water and let it sit
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil
  3. Add the mustard seeds, turmeric, cumin seeds, asafetida, curry leaves and cashew pieces and let cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally – the cashews should get lightly brown. If you don’t have access to curry leaves its ok to skip, you can use a little more lime juice!
  4. Lower heat to medium low and add in onion, serrano pepper and potatoes and mix well – before adding the potatoes rinse the diced potatoes this will remove the extra starch
  5. Cover the skillet and let cook for 10 mins until the potatoes are almost cooked through – stirring occasionally
  6. Add in salt, lime, sugar and let cook another 3-5 minutes until the potatoes are fully cooked through
  7. Turn off heat and add in cilantro and mix well
  8. In the colander the poha should be slightly damp, run your fingers through it breaking up any clumps
  9. Add poha to the potato mixture and gently fold until everything is combined well
  10. Garish with cilantro and extra lime if desired and serve hot!

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