February 9, 2011

Puli Aval or Gojjavalakki (Tangy flattened rice)

Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain. It is known by a variety of names: Poha or Pauwa in Hindi, Baji in Newari, Pohe in Marathi, Chindé in Bengali, Chira in Assamese, Phovu in Konkani, Chudaa in Oriya and parts of Bihar and Jharkhand, Atukulu in Telugu, Bajeel or Bajil in Tulu, Chudwey in Urdu(Dakkani), Aval in Malayalam and Tamil, Avalakki in Kannada, Pauaa/Paunva (પૌંઆ) in Gujarati, and Chiura (चिउरा)in Nepali, Bhojpuri and Chhattisgarhi.

Soaked Sweet Poha or Vella-aval (as called in Tamil) was thick mixed with grated jaggery and freshly coated coconut spiced lightly with elaichi  (cardamom) powder was a yummy staple food offered on Krishna Jayanthi festival at my grandma’s. Similarly savoury chivda (Poha dry roasted / fried in oil) or the mahashtrian Patal Pohyachi Chivda  is a favourite snack for the young and old alike !

We use the ingredient Poha / Aval / Avalakki a lot in our breakfast menu, adapting it to the following varieites of poha (also the name of the dish) based on the region / cuisine. 

Puli Aval (Tamil: Puli – tangy, Aval – flattened rice) OR Gojjavalakki (Kannada: gojju – tangy sauce made of tamarind, avalakki – flattened rice) is a snack that can be prepared very easily either for breakfast or evening snack. We even have this for dinner with sweet curd, and the carb requirement are well taken care of ..

This is my mom’s recipe again, and she is a pro making this in a jiffy!

Preparation time: 15 mins ;  Cooking time : 10 minutes ; Serves : 2 generously


Poha / Avalakki / Aval : 1 cup

For soaking:Tamarind extract: 3 tbsp (if using readymade concentrated tamarind paste, use 1 tbsp)
Mysore Style Rasam powder – 2 heaped tbsp
Jaggery – 2 tbsp (grated)
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – ½ tsp

For tempering:Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Channa Dal (Bengal gram) – ½ tsp
Urad Dal (split black gram) – 1 tsp
Dry red chillies – 1 or 2
Hing / Asafoetida – a pinch (skip for GF)
Groundnuts / Peanuts – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a sprig



1)  Wash the Poha twice in running water to remove any dust / stones.
2) In a colander / sieved vessel, soak the poha adding water from top. That way, the poha will not get mushy at the same retaining the requisite water.  Rest for 2 – 3 mins (You may also pulse the dry poha blitzing it coarsely before soaking like we do).
3) To this soaked poha, add rasam powder, tamarind extract, turmeric, jaggery, turmeric and grated mango. Rest for 5- 10  more minutes till the flavours are well absorbed. Mix well if required rubbing the powder and the jaggery in along with the salt.
4) Now in a skillet, add the oil. When hot, add the ingredients of tempering as listed above till the curry leaves are fried slightly and the dals and the groundnut slightly brown.
5) Now add the poha into the skillet and toss for 5 mins. Add 1 or 2 tbsp water if you feel the poha is too dry. Cover and cook for 3 – 4 mins
6) Serve hot as it is or with curd / raitha.

1) Use thick poha for this dish, the ‘paper aval’ or thinner poha will become mushy and the texture will be spoilt.
2) You may also coarsely powder this poha (like Idli Rava texture) and then use it to make the dish !


  1. This is fabulous - thank you so much! It is indeed one of my favourite Kannada "tiffins"...

  2. This is fabulous - thank you so much!

    It is indeed one of my top 3 favourite Kannada "tiffin" :-)

  3. Thanks Nik ! Glad you enjoyed it ! Eager to know what the other Top 2 Kannada Tiffins are :)

  4. They are 'Akki Rotti with nallikai gojju' and 'Paddu with onion / coconut chutney' :-)

  5. it was nice recipe i loved it lovely recipe................. viva hyderabad http://justeat.in/viva-hyderabad/Delhi-NCR


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