Poha: raw rice for hikers

The Indian breakfast of champions! The convenience food that replaces bread! The rice you can eat raw!

I stumbled across poha in my local Indian supermarket and I’m feeling inspired. Wikipedia describes it as “an indori rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes… (which) can be eaten raw by immersing it in plain water or milk, with salt and sugar to taste, or lightly fried”. Perfect for ultralight camping.

The classic recipe is a spicy breakfast dish with peanuts, raisins, mustard and chilli. I decided to purchase the pre-packaged dish (just add hot water, cup-a-soup style…) to see if I liked poha – see photo.

It is pretty spicy and I’d reach for the muesli before this first thing in the morning, but I can certainly see myself using the rice. It’s available as a standalone product so you can choose how you’d best like it.

I can’t wait to try some paella-style dishes with poha.


Poha worked well on the trail as both a curried rice dish, and plain, as a side to other dishes. Rather than individual grains of cooked rice, cooked poha is more akin to mashed potato. Different but good.

Replace one cup of regular rice with 180g of poha – this serves 2 as a side.

Have you tried poha? What’s your go-to recipe?

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