An easy to prepare single pot dish can be eaten as breakfast/snack or a light meal – red poha diabetes friendly or red aval diabetes friendly.
With the festival of Krishna Janmashtami just gone by, one cannot forget that ‘poha’ or ‘avalakki’ is considered Lord Krishna’s favorite. This dish is a a healthy, nutritious dish for anybody, not only diabetics. The Red Poha made a delicious after school snack for my kids.
Creating recipes with a cause!
DFT goes easy and cooks one pot meal for you!!
Firstly a bit about ‘red poha’ –
‘Poha‘ or ‘aval’ or ‘avalakki’ is flattened rice. Rice is first parboiled, then flattened by pounding to remove the husk and dried. The drying process takes about 2 days. During this process partial fermentation takes place thereby bringing forth probiotic bacteria (making it beneficial for the gut helping in the absorption of nutrients) and additional B-Vitamins.
Red rice as some of you might be aware, is red due to ‘anthocyanins’. Such anthocyanins are infact used to produce natural food coloring.
Red rice is unhulled or partially hulled (the thicker bran removed) with the germ left intact. This germ (note the picture below) is rich in iron, protein, fiber. It is the embryo of the cereal. Generally the germ, also rich in polyunsaturated fats causes the grain to go rancid sooner. Which is why the germ is removed to increase the shelf life of the grain. This would mean sacrificing the nutrients as mentioned above.
(although the image here is that of a wheat kernel. a rice kernel would be quite similar)
Red rice, therefore, is nutritionally superior with the germ retained which is a concentrated source of nutrients such as vitamin E, folic acid, thiamine, magnesium, and zinc. Would you agree when such benefits are naturally available, there would be no need for vitamin and mineral supplements if these grains/cereals are consumed whole?
It also has a beautiful nutty flavor.
Parboiled, flattened, dried red rice is red poha or red aval or red avalakki. The quick cooking quality of poha, makes it an attractive option for breakfast/snack/quick light meal.
Using red poha is beneficial in diabetics due to the slower release of carbohydrates due to all the above mentioned additional nutrients. Having said that,poha has carbohydrates and therefore, needs to be consumed in a balanced manner with added vegetables with a watchful eye on portion size. Adding lemon juice to the preparation helps in better absorption of iron provided by the germ in the grain.
Did you know that red pepper (red capsicum) is the most nutritious of all the colored peppers since it is allowed to mature for longer? Red bell peppers have 11 times more beta-carotene and 1.5 times more Vitamin C. However all peppers are excellent sources of vitamins A, C, potassium, folic acid, fiber.
On to the recipe now.
The recipe is a healthy nutritious one for anybody, not just diabetics.
Recommended portion size – 1 cup per person
- 1 cup red poha
- ½ cup of finely chopped green beans
- ½ cup of finely chopped carrot
- ½ cup of finely chopped cabbage
- ½ cup of finely chopped red pepper (red capsicum)
- 2 tablespoons of freshly grated coconut
- 2 finely chopped green chilies
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon of yellow split peas (chana dal)
- ½ teaspoon of split black gram (urad dal)
- 1 pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons of finely chopped fresh coriander
- ½ teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)
- ½ to 1 cup of water (this varies according to the thickness of the poha) hence add smaller quantity first, then small amounts can be sprinkled as needed.
- in a thick bottomed pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil.
- splutter mustard seeds, then add chana dal and urad dal, stir.
- add a pinch of asafoetida.
- once the dals begin to turn brown, add the finely chopped red pepper. stir and cook for 2 minutes.
- then add finely chopped beans, carrot, cabbage. stir and cook for 3 minutes.
- now pour in 1 cup of water. bring this to a boil. cook until the vegetables become just tender.
- now, add turmeric powder, grated coconut, salt to taste for the entire dish. mix.
- finally add the red poha, stir and cook for a minute. this is sufficient to make the poha tender.
- switch off the heat. add freshly chopped coriander and lemon juice, mix well. allow this to sit for another couple of minutes.
- stir again and serve as is or with a chutney such as coconut chutney.
adding lemon juice is optional but beneficial.
avoid asafoetida if on gluten-free diet.
Non-starchy vegetables used in the recipe are high in fiber, have low Glycemic Index. Generally non-starchy vegetables have 5 g of carbohydrates in 1/2 cup cooked or 1 cup raw. Most of this is fiber and hence need not be counted unless you eat more than 1 cup of cooked or 2 cups raw at a time.
For more info. regarding non-starchy foods read here (diabetes.org)
I am neither a nutritionist nor a dietitian. My knowledge and information is based on my research and reading from different resources. Please consult your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet.
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