A quick gluten free snack: Flattened rice with coconut (Avil nanachathu)

DSC_0605One snack my mom made often when we were kids was this one made of flattened rice with coconut. It is so easy to put together especially now that we have frozen grated coconut available easily. Amma had to grate fresh coconut using her coconut scraper which was a laborious task. And one that she used to do every single day since coconut is a mandatory ingredient in most Kerala recipes. Anyways, once you have the grated coconut handy, then you just need to bring all the ingredients together.

DSC_0606Now I make this on weekend mornings for breakfast when I am not in the mood for anything elaborate but when I am not in the mood for my regular cereal either. I add raisins and nuts too to the poha and it is just perfect! Oh the simple pleasures! The sweetness of the coconut and raisins with crunchy almonds! Another traditional version of this ‘avil nanachathu’ uses jaggery and is cooked to make the poha more crunchy too and that version can be stored for a longer time. This version here however is a ‘quick make and eat’ version!

If you are not familiar with ‘poha’ or flattened rice, here’s a picture and you can get it at any Indian grocers or online.

IMG_0491For grated coconut, I always use frozen fresh grated coconut – Daily Delight brand



  • 2 cups thick poha (flattened rice)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (or frozen fresh grated coconut that has been thawed)
  • 1 tbsp sugar/ cane sugar
  • 4-5 green cardamom pods, shelled and crushed (or 1/4 tsp cardamom pow)
  • 2 tbsp almond slivers
  • 2 tbsp raisins


Place the poha in a large strainer and wash it under running water for about 1 minute. Set aside the strainer to drain any excess water. (If you don’t have a large strainer, wash the poha in any pot and strain using paper towels or kitchen cloth)

Meanwhile in a medium bowl, mix the coconut , cardamom and sugar. Add the poha and mix well. Sprinkle with raisins and almonds.


I used ‘thick’ poha but you can also use thin poha for this recipe and only difference will be that the poha will be softer than the thicker one. Either one works well for this recipe but the thinner one should not be washed or soaked for too long as it can get sticky.

IMG_0494 IMG_0493 IMG_0496 DSC_0607

(Visited 796 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a comment

  1. So, what’s the texture of the flattened rice? Is it dry and crunchy like cereal? It looks like it in pictures, but then you soak it in water, so my guess is I’m wrong. And you don’t have to cook it?

    • hi Angie yes poha – the thick variety that i have used here is a bit on the hard side though not crunchy. And then when you wash it with water it gets a little softened and becomes the texture of slightly undercooked oats. For this recipe, no cooking needed. But poha can be sautéed with onions and spices and cooked for a few minutes to become another savory poha dish. There is also a variety of poha that is called ‘thin poha’. That cannot be soaked for too long and gets sticky but can be used to make another easy savory snack. I had posted that recipe before: https://cook2nourish.com/2014/10/21/puffed-rice-savory-snack-poha-chivda/
      Hope that helps. 🙂

  2. This is a new rice for me – makes me want to try and make my own. What rice works the best Indu? Soak it, flatten it and dry it – very different. I’ve never used rice for sweets/snack/cereal but your recipe sounds healthy and easy. Thanks for sharing with Fiesta Friday!

    • hi Judi I have never tried making flattened rice myself. As I understand it is quite an arduous process and requires machines.So I just buy flattened rice from the Indian grocers. yes I hope you can try it. And thanks for co-hosting!

      • The article I read reminded me of Selma’s sourdough starter where the starter is spread out, dried and then cut in little pieces so she could mail it to me from the UK! I plan to do that this week with some of my starter, Rosebud!

  3. Thanks for Easy to make GF recipe. I notice that coconut is often use in GF recipes as it adds moisture. It remains of my cranraisns bread I need to share. I need to get it copy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.