Friday, July 12, 2013

The pow-pow- sorry phov-phov meal

‘Give me a quick meal to make,’ modern mother’s cry. ‘The kids have to be sent to school, bags are to be packed, mid- morning Tiffin’s to be prepared, where do we have time to prepare breakfasts too?’

Well the Goan Culinary Club always aims to find solutions in a healthy way. And as we rightly pointed out a good breakfast is the ‘need’ for the day. At our last meet we had popular TV and food artist Ms Amita Salatry give us a ‘peek’ into Saraswat styled breakfasts, and with a focus on what the children would like, we delved into a ‘pow-pow’ concept…sorry ‘Phov-phov’ concept. That is what this preparation is normally known as locally.

We always have the feeling that Goan preparations are time consuming. Grate the coconut, grind the masala, and stir on the fire till after about 20-30 minutes we get the desired product. But there are preparations (one of which wiki pedia has rated as a fast food preparation) that might take just 7 minutes of those precious moments…..
Yes we are still on the subject of breakfasts, and this ingredient is with something so easily available in the stores….the Pohe. Mother’s don’t cry for a fast food styled preparation for your children, besides cereals, and if one goes by the definition this ‘phov’ it is a high carbohydrate low fat quick meal that can be made in minutes. 

So what is Pohe? It is made from Poha or rice which is pressed into flakes. Usually before cooking, poha is softened with water and then cooked in to a variety of dishes. When cooked with spices and vegetable, it becomes the poha and sometimes it is also served with sugar, coconut, banana and milk. Bengalis call Pohe - Chirer Pulao.

Say’s Ms Salatary’ Varieties of Pohe are normally prepared during the Ganesh Chaturti and Diwali celebration.’ So let’s take a look and see the difference in the varieties of Pohe made in Goa. Ms Salatary had spoken of Tikat phov(chili powder, haldi, peppercorns, green chilies, cashewnuts, coconut, jaggery) which is part of the Ojhe where the parents send snacks to their married daughter to celebrate Ganesh in her new home. Then there is the batata phov (potato, jeera powder, green chilies and tempered), buttermilk phov (buttermilk, green chilies and tempered), Kalayela Phov (Mixed Pohe with rice, jaggery and coconut),the Solkaditale Pohe (coconut, green chilies, kokum and tempered), and the Coconut milk and milk pohe. These preparations are so different from the traditional Maharashtra styled Pohe (still served in some household in the North of Goa) which have onion, turmeric, rai, chilies, coriander with sometimes roasted peanuts and green peas thrown in for good measure.

So give your child a treat, let the fireworks for the day begin. It is as healthy and appealing as food can get.

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