Chirer Pulao (Bengali Style Poha with Vegetables)

This ‘Chirer Pulao’ used to be winter favourite of my Mom when I was in school. It is a sumptuous mid-day snack for growing kids packed with seasonal vegetables and nuts. Till date in our home ‘Chirer Pulao’ is one of our favourite nutritious and interesting food prepared by my Mom for Sunday morning breakfast.

As far as the preparation of ‘Chirer Pulao’, it is largely similar to a ‘Poha’, with small differences like the former does not have ‘kari patta’ and is sweeter and is overall Bong. If you are fond of ‘Poha’, you may try different variations like ‘Kanda Poha‘, ‘Mixed Vegetable Poha‘ or ‘Vegetable Oats Poha‘. My version of ‘Chirer Pulao’ is studded with crunchy brown fried peanuts, raisins and lots of seasonal veggies and soft green jewel like green pea (motorshuti/koraishuti) . It is a simple and tasty dish.

In Bengal, ‘Chirer Pulao’ is a staple breakfast dish and has a mild sweetness taste to it. The addition of vegetables to the Bengali Chirer Polao makes this dish packed with nutrients and a healthy menu choice for the school lunch box as well.  Serve the Bengali Chirer Polao for the breakfast along with a hot cup of tea or enjoy it as an evening tea time snack. This Sunday I served it with Banana and Black Berry Smoothie in breakfast!

4

Ingredients to serve 4

  • Flattened Rice (Poha or Chire) – 2 cup
  • Onion (medium) – 1 (thinly sliced)
  • Potato (medium) – 1 (thinly sliced)
  • Carrot – ½ cup (Finely Chopped)
  • French Beans – 6-7 (Finely Chopped)
  • Cauliflower Florets – ½ cup
  • Green Peas – ½ cup
  • Green Chilli – 2 (Chopped)
  • Roasted Peanuts – 3-4 tsp
  • Raisins – 2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Salt and Black pepper – According to taste
  • Oil – 2-3 tsp
  • Ghee or clarified butter – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1” Stick
  • Clove – 2
  • Green Cardamom – 2
  • Bay Leaf – 2

Steps:

  1. First steam the green peas, carrots, cauliflower and beans in a steamer until it is half cooked. Once cooked, remove from the steamer and keep the vegetables aside.
  2. Place the Poha (Chire)in a colander and rinse it well under running water.  Stir the ‘chire’ gently by using your fingers while rinsing, otherwise they will become mushy at the time of cooking. Once washed set aside.
  3. Heat oil and ghee in a heavy bottomed pan or a wok. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamom and clove and allow it to crackle and fry until it exudes aroma.
  4. Add sliced onions and sauté over medium heat till light brown in color.  Once the onions are tender.
  5. Add potato and saute till it is half cooked.
  6. Now add the steamed vegetables, peanuts, raisins, chopped green chilli, salt, black pepper powder and sugar. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. Finally add rinsed ‘chire’ or ‘poha’.
  7. Give the ‘Chirer Pulao’ a gentle stir until all the ingredients come together. Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Allow the ‘Chirer Pulao’ to cook in the steam along with the vegetables. This will take about 3 to 4 minutes.
  8. After 3 to 4 minutes, you will notice the Chire has puffed up slightly. At this stage turn off the heat. Check the salt and seasonings and adjust to suit your taste.
  9. Serve ‘Chirer Pulao’ (Vegetable Poha) for the breakfast or pack into the kid’s school lunch box.
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