- 200 g chire (beaten rice)
- 30 g vegetable oil
- 4 pcs bay leaves
- 2 pcs cardamom
- 1 pc cinnamon
- 2 pcs cloves
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 50 g potatoes
- 50 g carrots
- 80 g cauliflower
- 25 g onions
- 6 g ginger
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 pcs green chillies
- 2 g turmeric powder
- ¼ tsp gorom moshla
- 20 g cashew nuts
- 20 g raisins
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 8 g salt
- 30 g sugar
- ½ tsp ghee
Chirer polao is a quick, simple and delicious dish that is commonly served as a snack or for breakfast in Bengali homes. Chira/chire (known variously as pohe in Marathi, aval in Tamil and Malayalam, etc.) is an affordable and widely available staple. While chirer polao may not occupy as glorious a place in the Bengali household as, say, kande pohe does in Marathi households, it is loved nonetheless, and is ideal for school tiffin, especially during winter when vegetables such as cauliflower, peas and carrots start to make an appearance in the markets.
- Use the thick variety of chire (beaten rice) as it won't break as easily when stirring.
- Sift out dust or any fine particles present in the chire. Wash thoroughly and soak in water to soften. The soaking time depends on your chire. We soaked ours for 15 minutes. Strain when the chire is soft, but not mushy.
- Cut potatoes and carrots into 1-cm cubes. Cut cauliflower into 2-cm florets. Slice onions. Slit green chillies. Finely chop ginger. Smash garlic using a mortar and pestle. Roughly chop curry leaves.
- Heat vegetable oil in a kadai. Temper with bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and cumin seeds.
- Add potatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Then add carrots, cauliflowers, and cashew nuts consecutively, frying each for 30 seconds before adding the next.
- Add onions, ginger, green chillies and raisins, and fry for another 30 seconds. Add curry leaves and garlic.
- Season with salt and sugar. Add turmeric powder.
- Mix everything well and continue frying until the raw smell of the turmeric goes away. This should take around 3 minutes.
- Now, add the soaked and drained chire. Gently fold it in so that the chire doesn't break.
- Cover and steam on the lowest possible heat for 6 minutes.
- Finish with a sprinkling of gorom moshla and ghee. Cover and rest for two minutes before digging in.