Batata Poha is a quick saute of flattened rice a.k.a beaten rice and potatoes scented and flavored with curry leaves & chillies and tempered with cumin & mustard seeds in hot oil. Beaten rice is de-husked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes.
Poha or flattened rice can be purchased at any Indian or Pakistani store and is ready to use straight out of the bag. It is important to purchase the right kind of poha for the right dish though. This one requires the fat variety as the thin variety turns to mush under the onslaught of moisture and heat.
This is one of those dishes that is big on simplicity and equally big on technique. One of the most common mistakes with this dish is add water either while cooking the potatoes or while sauteing the flattened rice.
In fact, it is best to leave water out of the equation for most part using it only while running tap water over the flattened rice in a sieve, simply to rehydrate it.
In order to quickly and effectively cook the potatoes without water, the potatoes need to chopped thin so it can be cooked by sauteing.
Once you follow these few simple steps, perfect batata poha is a given and that in itself is no small feat! Because as we all know, some of the greatest culinary challenges lie in the simpest of preparations - think, poached egg!
If anything, Batata Poha is a perfect example of a handful of simple and frugal ingredients coming together in perfect harmony to create what can only be described as satisfying and delicious.
A sprinkle or fried peanuts or some fresh grated coconut and chopped cilantro and you've managed to dress up an already lovely meal.