Poha/Avalakki (Vegetarian Indian) – Instant Pot Recipe

Poha/Avalakki (Vegetarian Indian) – Instant Pot Recipe

I’m yet to write a post about my life-saver Instant Pot, which is my 2nd most important kitchen gadget after the Vitamix. I’ve been cooking so much in the Instant Pot that I forget to take photos or write about it. This one was however too good and way too fast to forget to blog about. Avalakki is a very popular breakfast dish as well as an evening snack of Karnataka, the state in India where I’m from. The dish, made with flattened rice (also called ‘poha’), is tempered with coconut, peanuts and curry leaves. This is served either with chutney or as is. 

One of the main advantages of flattened rice over normal rice that I’ve found is that it feels lighter and yet fills me up while it still has the carbs of the rice. This keeps me from overeating and a small cup satisfies me while a small cup of rice leaves me hungry. The flattened rice also cooks much much faster. Adding in vegetables with it gives it a great flavor that works for any meal.

poha instant pot recipe

In the saute mode of the instant pot, add 2-3 tsp of oil. When it becomes hot enough (I guesstimate), add mustard seeds. 

Once the mustard seeds splatter indicating doneness, add tempering lentils (bengal gram, black gram and some peanuts). This combination is the basis of almost all South Indian dry curry preparation. 

Poha in Instant Pot

Poha in Instant Pot

The tempering lentils are done when they start to turn a light brown in color.

To this, add in curry leaves, chopped green chillies and chopped ginger. I like to slice my green chillies lengthwise so that I can pick it out easily when serving to the kids.

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After sauteing all this together for about 2-3 minutes, add chopped onions and any other vegetables you have. I added only potatoes since I was short on time.

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Saute the onion and potato/vegetable mixture with salt and turmeric powder for about 4-5 minutes. While that is cooking, wash your poha thoroughly in running water. Depending on the thickness, I either squeeze out the water or just let it be a bit wet.

Poha in Instant Pot

Add it in the Instant Pot with 1/4 cup water and put it on manual for 4 minutes. Use quick release to open and add chopped cilantro leaves, grated coconut and lime juice to garnish. 

Poha in Instant Pot
Fluffed up in the Instant Pot and chopped cilantro leaves mixed in.


Poha in Instant Pot
Final photo from sanjeevkapoor.com (he’s a famous chef) because we ate it all before I could think of photos!


Joining Meatless Monday with Deborah (Confessions of a Mother Runner) & Sarah (A Whisk & Two Wands)

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  • I have been intrigued by the instapot and was wondering if I should get one? Is it really different and do you use it a lot? Thanks for linking up today!

  • Chaitali Shah

    Yum, sounds delicious! I keep hearing about the instant pot too and was wondering if it was worth it, especially for vegetarians. I’d love to hear more about it 🙂

  • Confused Cook

    Hard to follow and random portions are mentioned. Need “Ingredients” and “Step by Step” sections to actually execute.

  • Ushmana

    Any recipe with instant pot is straight up my list, and Indian flavors are to die for! I love the spices included in this but is it alright if I do not add peanuts to my combination of lentils?

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