Learn how to make Puli Aval which is a popular South Indian breakfast recipe made with flattened rice or poha and tamarind. It's vegan, healthy, and can be made in 15 minutes.
What to make for breakfast
We all struggle with this question every once in a while! The family is bored of eating the same old and breakfast every other day.
There is no time to cook an elaborate meal on busy mornings. One has not really experimented with other snack options and is still making the same old recipes.
But all said and done, skipping the first meal of the day is not a good idea. However, I would choose to skip breakfast rather than eating unhealthy breakfast foods.
Having a nutritious, well-balanced breakfast can give you energy, keep you satiated and prevent you from overeating during the day.
Why is breakfast important
Starting off the day with a full, nutrient-dense meal also allows you to keep making better choices throughout the day, including zapping those late-night snack cravings.
Here are few TIPS that I follow when it comes to eating right.
- Breakfast should contain at least 300-350 calories, and we should be chewing, not drinking, our morning meal.
- Include fresh produce in the meal. More produce equals more fiber, which can help us stay fuller, longer.
- Steer clear of sugary beverages like tea or coffee. If making a smoothie, try to not use honey or maple syrup. Add fruits that are naturally sweet.
- Try to also incorporate some kind of protein in the meal.
- And yes, please avoid processed foods at all costs.
What is Puli Aval
Puli means tamarind and aval means poha or flattened rice in Tamil. It's a traditional South Indian breakfast or snack recipe. I have learned this recipe from my mom.
South Indian Puli Aval is flavored with tamarind making it unique and different in comparison to the Maharashtrian Kanda Poha.
This no-onion, no-garlic snack is so easy to make and nourishing to taste, that it is a great vegan breakfast option!
Also, flattened rice or beaten rice is easy to digest. Hence it's used in many breakfast and snack recipes. Plus, this snack is also healthy made with less oil.
Why make this
- It uses basic Indian pantry ingredients
- A different poha recipe
- It literally can be made in 15 minutes
- No chopping required
- Is a vegan breakfast/snack option
- Delicious to taste
Ingredients needed 🧾
Poha - It's also known as flattened/beaten rice. There are two kinds of Poha – thick and thin. The kind you buy depends on the recipe you want to make.
While most Indian grocery stores like Patel Brothers carry Poha, it is also easily available on Amazon.
There is another variety of Poha called the Red Rice Poha which can be substituted in any recipe. If using that, then the soaking time will increase. Also, soak it in some water so that it softens well.
Tamarind - I prefer to use tamarind pulp or paste. Just dilute it a little and use it. You can also use regular tamarind. Soak a lemon-sized ball in warm water for 10 minutes.
Then squeeze out the juice from it and use that juice in this recipe. You can discard the squeezed-out pulp.
Spices - curry leaves, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, and dried red chillies are all you will need.
Nuts and lentils - roasted peanuts, urad dal, and chana dal are needed for this Indian breakfast recipe.
How to make it 🔪
Soak chana dal in a bowl of water for 5 minutes. This helps soften them and makes it easy to chew.
- Wash the thick Poha/flattened rice let it rest in a strainer. Add turmeric powder and tamarind paste over it. Lightly mix it with the Poha so that the tamarind coats well with it. Keep it aside for now.
- Heat oil in a pan. Once it's hot, temper mustard seeds, and once it begins to crackle, add urad dal, chana dal, curry leaves, dried red chillies, and peanuts.
- Saute 4-5 minutes and then add the soaked flattened rice along with salt. Give it a good mix and take it off the flame in 1-2 minutes. Puli Aval is ready. Simple and tasty!
Serving suggestions 🍽
Enjoy this dish as an evening snack or for breakfast. It has a nice spicy and tangy taste plus it's super easy and quick to make.
Top recipe tips 💭
Soaking chana dal in water will make it softer and easy to chew. Tamarind gives it a tangy flavor. Substitute it with lemon juice if tamarind not available. However, it would not taste the same.
To make tamarind paste at home, soak a lemon-sized ball of tamarind in warm water for 10 mins. Squeeze to extract the juice and use.
Cooking in mustard oil gives it an authentic South Indian flavor. However, you can use Avocado or Olive oil as well.
For a different flavor, add a tablespoon of sambhar powder or rasam powder as well. In place of peanuts, you can also add chopped almonds or cashews.
While this traditional Indian breakfast recipe doesn't call for any veggies, you can add onions, carrots, or peas to make it more wholesome.
Use thick Poha in this recipe. Do not soak the Poha in water. Always just rinse it under running water for 30 seconds and keep it aside.
You don’t need to cook Poha for long. 1-2 minutes is enough. This will ensure that the Poha doesn’t become lumpy. It should hold its shape.
This snack stays well in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can easily make it in advance and store it in the fridge.
Easy breakfast recipes
Did you try this recipe? Please let me know how it turned out by leaving a comment below or sharing a picture on Instagram @cookilicious with the hashtag #cookiliciousveg. I love hearing your feedback!
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Puli Aval Upma | Tamarind Poha
- Soak chana dal in a bowl of water for 5 minutes.
- Wash the thick Poha/flattened rice let it rest in a strainer.
- Add turmeric powder and tamarind paste over it. Lightly mix it with the Poha so that the tamarind coats well with it. Keep it aside for now.
- Heat oil in a pan. Once it's hot, temper mustard seeds, and once it begins to crackle, add urad dal, soaked chana dal, curry leaves, dried red chillies, and peanuts.
- Saute 4-5 minutes and then add the soaked flattened rice along with salt. Give it a good mix and take it off the flame in 1-2 minutes.