What makes the excellent breakfast? According to those that swarm each morning to Aaswad Uphar and Mithai Gruh in Dadar, Mumbai, it’s a plate of steaming sizzling poha (flattened rice). Whether it’s kanda pohe (onion poha), batata pohe (potato poha) or the spicier vangi pohe (brinjal pohe, flavoured with conventional Maharashtrian goda masala), this breakfast staple is the hottest promoting class at the eatery that’s in any other case identified for its fiery misal pav. “We have a kiosk at the airport and even there, if there’s poha on the menu, people opt for that over any other breakfast dish like sandwiches. It’s made fresh, nutritious and easy to digest — what more do people want,” says its proprietor Suryakant Sarjoshi.
On most days, he says, they find yourself making pohe twice a day — as soon as in the morning and as soon as in the afternoon, as a result of the demand is so excessive. On the weekend, when non-regulars lastly discover the time to make their option to south Mumbai, the kitchen at Aaswad prepares poha twice in the morning itself. “It’s a classic,” says Sarjoshi.
This breakfast dish has just lately been in the information, due to an utility made by the Indori Mithai Aur Namkeen Nirmata-Vikreta Vyapari Sangh to grant a Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the Indori Poha. “We’ve sought the tag for four dishes — apart from Indori Pohe, there’s laung sev, khatta-meetha mixture and dahi ki shikanji which is unique to Indore,” says Anurag Bothra, secretary of the affiliation, including, “The Indori Pohe, unlike the Maharashtrian version, is a full meal in itself. Most commonly, it is served with sev on top, but there’s also usal pohe, with a spicy gravy poured over it. This is heavier than the regular pohe you get in Maharashtra.” The affiliation, Bothra says, shouldn’t be staking a declare on Indore being the birthplace of poha. “Rather, the Indori Poha has a separate character and taste, and this is what we want recognised,” he provides.
Shorn of all the bells and whistles which have made the Indori Poha so distinct, the poha, in its most simple kind, is a wholesome dish that, based on nutritionist Kavita Devgan, is sadly misunderstood. “Most people consider poha just a high carb snack. They don’t understand its health benefits. In fact, very often, people go off it when on a weight-loss diet, considering it to be a high-calorie dish, which is wrong. They need to be educated about how to make it right — with lots of vegetables to increase the fibre content and boost its value and cut its calories down,” says Devgan.
Poha is helpful for delivering iron into the physique as a result of it has a barely increased iron content material than the rice from which it’s made. This, says Devgan, is due to the pounding course of itself, used to create flattened rice from rice. “But for the iron to be properly absorbed by the body, there needs to be some vitamin C, which is why we usually squeeze lime over poha before eating it,” she says. It can also be simpler to digest than rice, she says, even when a single flake of poha appears heavier in quantity than a single grain of rice.
At Aaswad — and throughout Maharashtra and different components of the nation — poha is one among the quickest dishes to arrange. This, maybe, is what accounts for its recognition, as does the undeniable fact that the fundamental elements to make a easy kanda pohe — onions, poha, inexperienced chillies, curry leaves, peanuts and lime — are inexpensive.
If the GI tag is granted, it is going to actually elevate the profile of what’s in any other case a humble dish, accessible to all, says Devgan. “It will help the businesses who make this poha get global recognition for sure, but I don’t know about the benefits for the common man in this process. In fact, I’m worried this might push the price of this highly affordable snack up,” she says.
What is a GI tag?
A geographical indication (GI) is used to indicate the title or signal of merchandise particular to sure geographical areas. The tag is granted by the authorities, consistent with the definition offered underneath Article 22 (1) of the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. This definition states: “Indications which identify a good as originating in the territory of a member, or a region or a locality in that territory, where a given quality, reputation or characteristic of the good is essentially attributable to its geographic origin.” India, as a member of the WTO, enacted the Geographical Indication of Goods (Registration and Protection) Act, 1999, and, since the Act got here into pressure in 2003, has registered 323 items. Among the meals merchandise registered underneath the act are Dharwad Peda (Karnataka), Tirupathi Laddu (Andhra Pradesh), Bikaneri Bhujia (Rajasthan) and Hyderabad Haleem (Telangana).