Monday, August 27, 2018

Meetha Poha - मीठा पोहा - Aval Vilayichathu - Healthy Kerala Snacks For Kids

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Aval vilayichathu, also known as meetha poha (मीठा पोहा) is a traditional snack from Kerala, which can be had as an evening snack and is made with poha/flattened rice. In Kerala, aval (poha) is usually had as an evening snack as it is light and easy to digest. During summer holidays and during exam times this is a common kids snack and I remember my amma used to make this for me to take to hostel as it will stay good for some weeks but I dont remember it lasting for long as my roomies and friends would devour it.

Fast forward, I started to make this for my kids and though my daughter is not-so-found of aval vilayichathu; my son just loves it. So I make this often for him and he snacks on it till the jar is empty. Its healthy, light on the stomach and the jaggery gives minerals much needed for kids these days, plus the healthy fats in coconut and desi ghee; so much better than kids snacking on store bought biscuits, chips etc. So try introducing healthy traditional snacks like this to your kids diet and you will notice a difference in their health and energy.

Aval/Poha: 500 gms
Jaggery: 400- 500 gms (depending on your sweetness)
Water: 3/4 cup
Coconut: 2 handfuls
Cardamons: 10
1 tbsp desi ghee
Lightly roast the poha and once it is crunchy, remove to another plate.
Wash and rinse the same pan and heat it up and add in 1 tbsp ghee and once the ghee melts, add in the jaggery and water. Allow the jaggery to melt and once it is melted add in grated coconut and allow it to cook on low flame. The idea is to remove the moisture in the freshly grated coconut - to help it stay good for long.
While the coconut is getting cooked, crush the cardamons and keep aside.
The jaggery should come to 1 string stage.
Add in the cardamon powder and the roasted poha. Mix well for 2 mins and then turn off the flame.
Once it has cooled down, store in a glass container.
Enjoy this as an evening snack - Adults and Kids can enjoy this traditional snack.

I used red rice poha which I buy locally (I live in Calicut, Kerala). You can use any variety of poha.
I used locally sourced clean jaggery hence I did not strain it as I am sure my jaggery is clean.
I personally do not prefer to use dry coconut flakes/powder as it is de-fattened and maybe devoid of all its nutrients.
No need to add salt as jaggery has some salt content.

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