Sunday morning breakfast in my home is always Kanda Poha with adrak wali chai. My dear husband, Tushar, has perfected the recipe over the years and like all things that he does he has got it down to a science. His favourite chef is Jacque Pappaine and just like the chef Tushar prefers to chop and cut his ingredients before starting the cooking process.
Tushar likes to chop the onions a little coarse and cut the green chilli first lengthwise and then in little pieces. Here in the USA my freezer is always stocked with frozen peas and so we use those year around. But fresh peas work too. You just have to cook them a little longer. Here’s Tushar’s foolproof recipe for kanda poha:
2 cups thick poha
1 onion, chopped
1 small potato, chopped thin
¼ cup peas, frozen or fresh (optional)
Rai/ black mustard seeds
½ tsp Haldi/ turmeric
1 green chilli
4-5 curry leaves/ kari patta
½ tsp fennel seeds/ saunf
Wash the poha twice in water and keep it aside. It should be wet like a sponge but not soaking in water.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add curry leaves and chopped green chilli, fennel seeds and onion. Let the onions sweat on medium heat till they turn pink.
Add haldi and cook till the smell of raw haldi goes away.
Add the chopped potatoes and the peas and salt them. Cover and cook till the potatoes are fully cooked.
Add the poha and mix the onion-potato-peas together. Add salt and a pinch of sugar. Cover the poha with a lid and let it steam on low for 5 mints.
Turn the heat off and garnish with chopped coriander.
We also like to garnish the poha with sev and where I come from (Indore) we add Pomegranate seeds for added color and crunch. Of course a cup of kadak Ginger tea makes the Poha taste that much better.
The secret to our adrak wali chai is a 50-50 blend of Brook Bond Red Label and Vagh Bakri Chai. We do not like too much milk in it so for every two cups of water we add ¼ cup of 1% milk.
4 tsps of sugar
2 ¼ tsps of chai patti/ tea leaves
1/2“of ginger root
We mix the water, milk, sugar and tea leaves and let it come to a boil on medium heat. We have found that this brings out the most flavor of the tea leaves. Once the chai starts boiling we grate ginger in it and let it boil for a couple of more mints. Turn the gas off and let the tea leaves and the ginger give off their flavors. By the time you strain your tea it should be almost a terracotta color. That’s when you know you have kadak chai.