Aval, called poha in Hindi and flattened rice in English, is very easy to cook and aval usili is even more easier to make. If you like aval and if you have it at home, then you can make this dish in 5 minutes. No great masalas are used here, but the flavor is great (and so is the taste :-)).
Ingredients (2 servings):
Aval (thick) - 2 cups (using a measuring cup)
Black pepper powder - 1.5 teaspoons
Cumin powder - 1.5 teaspoons
Cooking oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - 1/4 teaspoon
Dried red chilli - 1 cut into half
Curry leaves - a few
Salt to taste
1. In a bowl, wash and soak the aval with just enough HOT water to cover it and set it aside for about 5 - 7 minutes, after which the aval would have become soft (but not mashed... if you add more water while soaking, it gets mashed).
2. Take a small pan, heat some cooking oil, add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. After the mustard splutters, add asafoetida, urad dhal, dried red chilli and curry leaves and fry until the urad dhal turns light golden brown in color.
3. To the contents of the pan, add the softened aval, black pepper powder, cumin powder and salt, mix everything well and turn off the stove after 2 minutes. Aval usili is ready in 5 minutes.
1. If you have whole black pepper and cumin seeds, you can make a freshly ground powder out of it and use that in the usili. Anything fresh is always better, ain't it????
2. I use thick aval as opposed to thin aval as the latter gets mashed very easily.
This makes for a really quick snack (like I said before, only if you have aval at hand ;-)). Often, I make this for breakfast because, by the time I get up, soak the aval and get ready to go to work, it would have become soft and I can make the usili in 5 minutes and have a tasty, hot breakfast :-). I like it with plain yogurt, but it is good as is.