Tambdo Phovu – Red Flattened Rice

Pics how to make Tambdo Phovu poha, red flattened rice by Arun Shanbhag

Phovu (beaten or flattened rice) freshly mixed with few spices is a staple of Konkanis. Growing up, we’d eat tambdo phovu (tambdo – red) nearly every day for breakfast. If not for the main dish, at least as a side. I prefer it sprinkled with a little sev, or served on the side (see pic below). When visitors arrive unannounced, the women would quickly mix this as a snack. Since this is simply ‘mixed’ it is also called Kalayile (mixed) phovu.

Tambdo phovu is very easy to prepare and inexpensive. The biggest expense would be the coconut and in the Konkan, every family would have their own coconut trees. You could mix as little or as much as you’d want. It doesn’t spoil, though the phovu may soften a bit.

The key ingredient here is the phova piTTo (powdered spice mix). Earlier, this would be made in every home, but now families simply buy it in the market. On every visit to Kumta I pickup a pound to bring here, and also for my aunts and cousins living in Mumbai.

M recently developed a taste for it and now makes delicious tambdo phovu. I get it at least once on the weekend. I count my blessings, else I’d have to make do with chemical laden, starchy mush called cereal.


  • Phovu (thin flattened rice, 2 cups)
  • soyi (grated coconut, 1/2 cup; we use the frozen variety, microwaved to thaw)
  • Kotumbari (coriander seeds, 1 tbsp)
  • Jirae (cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp)
  • Tambdi mirsang (dried hot red peppers, 4 medium sized)
  • Saakar (sugar, 1 tsp)
  • MeeTh (salt, to taste)


  • Roast the coriander and cumin seeds; then the red peppers separately in a wee bit of oil.
  • Collect in a steel bowl, along with the soyi, poha piTTo, sugar and salt.
  • I use a pestle (of mortar and pestle) to first crush the seeds, the red peppers and then crushingly mix with the phova piTTo, soyi, sugar and salt.
  • Mix in the phovu in small amounts.
  • Moisture from the soyi should be sufficient to soften the phovu, but you can sprinkle a few drops of water.
  • Serve with some sev on the side.

My Konkani Recipes:


Kumta related posts:

  • Kumta: Jewel of the Konkan
  • Kumta: Field of Dreams
  • Kumta: Main Street
  • Kumta Street Vegetables
  • Kumta: Girls Making Papad & Part-2
  • Kumta: School Kids
  • 42 thoughts on “Tambdo Phovu – Red Flattened Rice

    Add yours

    1. Hi Rachna:
      This is made with the regular white poha;
      Using that masala powder makes it red!

      In lieu of poha masala powder, use some “ussal” powder, or just be creative!

    2. Hi Latha:
      I think the reason your Konkani friends have not shared this with you is, because this is considered a ‘simple’ and quick breakfast; representing our humble lifestyle. For guests and friends, certainly we want to share our richest and bestest! 🙂

    3. That looks delicios but i’ve never had this. I have a really close Konkani friend and i’m surprised that i’ve never had them make it?? I’ve been to Kumta – its a nice laid back town. Will surely give u’re recipe a try!

    4. Did not end up blogging about it but I did make the buns!! I used half whole wheat and half all purpose flour- not as bad as the all-maida ones. And you know what – They taste so much better!

    5. Ha ha Lakshmi!

      The roles appear reversed! Usually its me salivating over your (and your moms) culinary creations!

      Surprised – thought this would be common in your neck of the woods too.

      Let me know how it turns out!

    6. I can do anything to get a bowlful of that avalakki – i am salivating here.

      I have bookmarked this – will try and let you know results.

    7. I’ve had flattened rice as a snack, but never as a meal! It looks incredibly good.

      I should just compile the recipes and attempt to make them when I have my own place and (therefore) my own kitchen!

    8. I used to love this as a side to konkani buns (bhubus rotti is the other name I believe). Yummy. I usually make the more time consuming batata phou instead. And you know what, I will make buns and some kashay on the side too. Its going to be rainy this weekend – perfect for some hot buns 🙂 I may even blog about it after 😛

      Oh Sudeepta:
      Buns are a big favorite. But M WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT MAKE THEM! They are TOO fattening!
      Yes, whenever in the Kumta, the local restaurants actually sell buns! Yaay!
      If I run the DC Marathon, you’ll have to make Buns :-))
      And absolutely Kashay; forgot to mention, I make that every weekend! The bestest!

      and please do blog about the buns!

      Hope the kids are being spoilt by their great anmma! 🙂


    9. Arun,

      I know that flat rice (Aval in tamil) sprinkled with water, is mixed with jaggery and coconut and eaten as a snack. But yours is a new one to me. Looks delicious (Thanks to M :-)). I will try your version this weekend.


      Hi Viji:
      Yes, Phovu (avalakki) with coconut and jaggery is another of the traditional varieties; this is a spicier version – good no?
      Let me know how it turns out. BTW, if you don’t have “phova piTTO” you can use the standard ‘sambar’ powder.

    10. Great recipe. I have bookmarked Pittu pd from Shilpa, will make your dish with it. Looks great. We make Avalakki Uppittu or a dessert with avalakki, this is new to me!:))

    11. I feel bad for M-vaini. I know it is difficult when you don’t like phovu and have a phovu loving husband ;). Don’t be in a wrong impression that we “develop a taste for it”. Its just that after a while we understand that it is easy to make this phovu, saves loads of time and we get good feedbacks for so less work :D. (I am assuming she is like me..haha).

      Btw…I have also developed a taste for it these days 😉 and make it once in a while.

      Hi Shilpa:

      Well, you are onto something!
      I showed M your comment and she agreed with you.
      *cries* who’ll make Tambdo phovu for me? *cries*
      She also agreed that its easy to make and she likes it occasionally (and in small quantities).
      I guess its all compromises; I tolerate that “kuLita saar” :-||

    12. Hi Sia:
      Good to hear that Phovu (avalakki) is also good for the jaw; Yes, munching and grinding it can give someone a jaw-ache if they are not used to it.

      I am only familiar with a sweet one that we make during Ganapati puja – with lots of soyi. Is that the one you are talking about!

      And absolutely, please post on your Avalakki recipes!

    13. arun, i grew up hating avalakki be it spiced version or sweet. my appa is a huge fan of this and him being a dentist would give long lecture on how good it is for our health as well as for jaws 😉 its only when i came here i really started appreciating it and we make it at least once in a month, spiced one for me and sweet one for K 🙂 wonder why i haven’t blogged abt it till now.

    14. Hi Arun

      I think phovu is flat rice and charmuro is puffed rice – but then again I could be wrong.


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