Instant Sweet Poha (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)|| Indian Sweet Flattened Rice



This recipe of sweet poha or flattened rice is an easy and healthy recipe that you can make for breakfast or a snack.

What is Poha?

Poha or flattened rice is obtained by first cooking rice (with its husk) and then dried in the sun. This is then pounded and flattened to get poha. There are two main varieties of poha – thick poha and thin poha. Thick poha is what is used in this recipe.

What are the health benefits of eating poha?

Poha or flattened rice is used a lot in Indian cuisine and is healthier than rice because of it’s higher nutritional content and because it contains resistant starch that helps to feed the good bacteria in our large intestine. Poha is also rich in fiber and so it helps in maintaining normal blood glucose levels. Poha is also rich in iron and other nutrients like B vitamins which get removed by when rice is processed. Since poha does not undergo an extensive processing like rice, it’s nutrients are retained.

I have found that my gut can handle poha better than rice. Although I eat rice now on an occasional basis, I feel that I am able to tolerate poha better.

How is Sweet Poha made?

This sweet poha recipe is one that my mom used to make for us as a snack when we were young kids.(In Kerala, this snack is called a s Aval Nanachathu). She used jaggery however I have modified the recipe to use coconut sugar and I also add a lot of nuts and seeds to make it more nutritious.

To make sweet poha, you have to first wash the poha (make sure to get thick poha and not thin poha)in running water using a strainer and then leave it on the strainer for about 10-15 minutes.

Next you add fresh grated coconut, spices, coconut sugar, salt and nuts and seeds. Mix all of them together really well and your sweet poha is ready!

What are the ingredients in Sweet Poha?

Sweet Poha includes the following ingredients:

  1. Thick Poha: Thick Poha is the main ingredient in this recipe. It is important to use thick poha (vs thin poha) in this recipe. Thin poha will not yield the desired texture. You can get thick poha from any Indian grocery store or you can buy it online from amazon.
  2. Fresh grated coconut: You can use fresh grated coconut (by grating the coconut meat from a fresh coconut) or you can get fresh frozen grated coconut from your local Indian grocery store. If you cannot get either of the above, you can use shredded coconut but you will first need to rehydrate it by soaking it in hot water for a few minutes and then draining the water to get rehydrated coconut.
  3. Mixed Nuts: You can use any combination of nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashewnuts etc. I use a combination of walnuts and pecans since I am sensitive to almonds.
  4. Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds increase the nutritional value of this snack recipe and also gives it additional salty crunch.
  5. Ground Cinnamon: Cinnamon helps to control blood glucose levels and hence is a great spice to add all sweet recipes.
  6. Ground Ginger: Ground ginger gives it great flavor as well as aids in digestion.
  7. Coconut Sugar: Coconut Sugar is the sweetener used in this recipe. However, if you like you can replace this with raisins or chopped dates.
  8. Sea Salt: Adding a tiny bit of salt to sweet recipes helps to balance and round out all the flavors.

Instant Sweet Poha (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free)|| Indian Sweet Flattened Rice
Recipe type: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
This easy and delicious healthy Indian snack is made from flattened rice, coconut and nuts and seeds.
  • 2 cups thick poha
  • ¾ cup grated coconut (fresh or fresh frozen*)
  • 1 cup chopped mixed nuts (I like to use a mix of pecans and walnuts)
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar (or raisins**)
  1. In a large strainer, add the poha. Then run the strainer through tap water for about 1 minute washing the poha with your hands. Then keep this strainer on top of a pot or a large bowl for the excess water to go away. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add all the rest of the ingredients. Then add the poha and toss everything well either with your hands or using a wooden spatula.
  3. Serve immediately.
  4. You can refrigerate this for up to 3 days.
*: If using frozen grated coconut, thaw in microwave for 30-40 seconds to get it to room temperature.
**: You can omit coconut sugar and just use raisins or chopped dates instead a sa sweetener.

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