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. It is a nice and tasty lip smacking snack for the evening. Quick and easy to prepare.
      Try adding aalle (ginger), kando barik (chopped onion) kotambari pallo(coriander leaves) to the recipe.

      Garnishing with sev and tallile biyo would make it more yummy

    2. Hi Kamath

      Thank you for the suggestion! Aiee does that many/most times and it is an excellent phovu recipe also; With time, I will post that separately.

      Thank you for sharing your tips!

    3. hey arun,
      before adding the poha, give a phadna w/ ghee, sasam and karbeu. this releases some more water from the soi sugar mixture, and aids wetting of the pohu.
      lovely pics w/ the recipes….makes one want to get cooking!

    4. Thank you Prabha and sorry for the delay in replying to your comment.

      Yes, the web has become the new meeting place for konkanis and I just love it; There is all kinds of information being put up by regular folks and as you observed our traditions and heritage is now more alive than before.

      And … re bringing back fond memories of childhood! That is the Tambdo phovu for me too. Unfortunately, M needs coaxing to make that on weekends 😛

      Go ahead, it is a simple recipe and beats the preservative laden cereals we get here. Let us know how it goes!

      and start your own blog! heeee heeee!
      and THanks

    5. Hi Arun,

      On a lark i decided to google konkani recipies,and i was pleasently surprised to see so much. My roots are in karwar- kumta and sirsi.I was amazed to see so many keeping all those traditions alive.especially the food. Thank you for the amazing blog related links.The recipie that made me howl buckets was tambodo phovu.I think my childhood is bundled into that platter. you made me want to cook especially for my children. Thank you again.

      Wish you the very best.

    6. Hi Ujwal:
      I too detest the cornflakes/cereals! Have it perhaps once a fortnight! I’d rather have just plain bread toast and jam.
      On weekends, we have the traditional phovu, or batate phovu. Sorry, you don’t get the ‘thin’ phovu. Perhaps you should carry some from India? or ask your relatives or friends to bring some for you when they visit.

      Yes, simple and delicious! Hope you get to eat it soon.

    7. Me and my hubby both hate Cereals/Cornflakes fr breakfast. So It is traditional breakfast for us everyday. We do not get thin phovu here and its kind of thick which tastes better whe used for batate phovu.. Its been ages since we had kallayile phovu.. Its so tempting.. 🙂

    8. Hi Arun,

      Thanks for the mail. I have subscribed to your blog.
      Hope to see some interesting content. 🙂


    9. Hi Poornima:
      Awesome! Hope all is well!
      Should stop by Hudgod on my next visit there! 🙂

      Heh, considering your work schedule, you may want to consider “Subscribing” by EMAIL to my blog content; See top of right sidebar for link. Then you don’t have to keep checking back here; you will get an email with the text of my post. Convenient!

      Best Wishes

    10. Sorry, could not reply. Was bit busy with work. Currently, I am working for a global software consulting company in Bangalore. Actually I am from Hudgod, a village near Honnavar. Your blog is interesting and reminds me of native. Will drop in often to check the entries. 🙂

      Thanks and Regards,

    11. Hi Poornima:
      Thank you for visiting and sharing the tip!

      WoW! realized I have not had vatanachi usli in a loooooong time!
      Thanks for the reminder!

      Where are you now and what do you do? you can always email me at:


    12. Hi Arun,

      Came across your blog. Honnavar is my native, though have relatives in Kumta too… Dad loves kalayile phovu 🙂 . Try it with oatnachi(green peas) ushli. It will be good..


    13. THank you Harish:
      Where are you now? and what do you do?
      I was recently in Kumta;

      and we have many relatives in Honavar;
      Bunder – Prabhu’s;
      Late RD Bhat – Ram Muth
      Prabhu Electric folks,
      and many others.

      Thank you for stopping by.

    14. Hi,
      happened to visit your website. nice and interesting collection. By the way I am from Honavar. Nice to know that you are from Kumta.

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