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a set of hands holding a plate of tamarind poha

Puli Aval Upma | Tamarind Poha

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.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 489.09kcal


  • pan



  • 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.


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. This will ensure that the Poha doesn’t become lumpy. It should hold its shape.
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. You don’t need to cook Poha for long. 1-2 minutes is enough.
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. This snack stays well in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can easily make it in advance and store it in the fridge. 


Calories: 489.09kcal | Carbohydrates: 90.58g | Protein: 11.52g | Fat: 8.82g | Saturated Fat: 1.08g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 10.61mg | Potassium: 269.5mg | Fiber: 5.65g | Sugar: 7.45g | Vitamin A: 150.83IU | Vitamin C: 25.94mg | Calcium: 69.39mg | Iron: 2.36mg