Best Poha Brands in India For Everyday Use
We picked Tata Sampann Poha as our Top Pick because of its perfect texture and flavor absorbing properties. Here is how we tested six brands of poha in our review lab.
Poha (flattened rice) is a staple in India. Also known as pauwa, sira, chira, or aval around the country, this is enjoyed mostly during breakfast. Not only that, it is used to make a variety of namkeens and snacks like chivda or even eaten raw with curd and jaggery.
Earlier, we reviewed ready to eat poha brands in India and decided that a staple ingredient like poha should be given more weightage.
We picked six popular brands of poha which have shown a prominent presence at local grocery stores or on online portals. After conducting two tests on all brands of poha, we chose Tata Sampann Poha (Top Pick) as one of the best poha brands in India. From the organic category, we chose Organic Tattva Poha as our winner. They both had the best texture and retained a soft, yet firm bite. Here’s how we tested them.
Best Poha Brands in India – Everything You Need To Know
Here is all that you need to know about poha brands, their availability, packaging, price range and types of poha available.
1. Available Quantities
Poha is available in packs of 500 grams and 1 Kg.
Some organic brands also pack poha in small packs of 250-300 grams.
2. Available Variants
Poha is labeled as thin and thick (mota). Depending on your end use, the type of poha can be used. The thick variety is well-suited for making tadka poha with veggies, while the thin variant is better for making dry snacks like chivda.
There are a lot of other types of pohas available in the market like red rice poha and millet aval.
Poha comes packaged in sealed plastic pouches.
4. Price Range
On an average, a 500 gram pack of regular poha is priced between Rs 50/- to Rs 70/-. Organic brands may be priced a bit on the higher side.
Poha Brands in India – Our Review Factors
Our review process for testing the pohas was divided into three phases.
Phase 1 – Dry inspection – The dry inspection stage involved us checking for any bugs and grit, the aroma of raw poha and the thickness. We checked for these aspects because there is a large part of the population that likes to eat raw poha with curd or milk. Another thing we checked was the size of the poha and the edges. As per our research, poha with clear edges will soak water properly while poha with uneven, rough edges won’t.
Phase 2 – Soaking time test – Before we started cooking with pohas, it was important that we washed and soaked them to see how long they would take to soak up enough water to become soft without losing out on their form. We soaked all the pohas for 30 seconds and drained them. We re-soaked the organic ones as they needed some more time.
This also helped us prepare for phase 3 where we wanted to know which poha needs to be soaked or just requires a quick rinse.
Phase 3 – Mishry Secret Sauce – Cooking with poha – In phase 2 we found out how much each brand of poha needs to be soaked individually. A basic recipe including mustard seeds, cumin seeds, onions, capsicum and peanuts was used to make the poha. Turmeric, salt and red chilli powder was used to season the dish.
After this we conducted a taste test which helped us gauge the flavor absorbing quality, taste and texture of the poha.
Poha is basically flattened rice. So it should have that characteristic bite when you eat a spoonful. Mind you, the poha should be soft and yet retain a firm bite.
Grains and cereals when stored incorrectly can acquire a stale flavor and aroma which downgrades the taste of the final dish. We wanted to check all the brands of poha for this particular aspect.
Moreover, how well does the poha absorb the flavor of the spices added. Is it able to take on their flavors nicely?
Does the soaked poha become clumpy and mushy or does it retain its firm form? A good poha shouldn’t be clumpy, but have a ‘khila-khila’ appearance.
Is the poha priced competitively? If it is priced higher than its counterparts, why?
Poha Brands in India – Detailed Review
A tabular comparison of all the brands of poha we reviewed, for their price, quantity, calories, and shelf life.
|Poha brand||Price||Net weight||Shelf life||Calories (Per 100 grams)|
|Tata Sampann||Rs 44/-||500 grams||6 months||354|
|Ahaar||Rs 67/-||500 grams||4 months||367.5|
|Rajdhani||Rs 52/-||500 grams||3 months||390|
|Laxmi (Nylon)||Rs 209/-||500 grams||6 months||Not mentioned|
|Organic Tattva||Rs 70/-||500 grams||9 months||350|
|24 Mantra||Rs 68/-||500 grams||9 months||Not mentioned|
1. Tata Sampann Poha – Mishry Top Pick
What we noticed during the dry inspection – This poha has a mild basmati-like aroma and a slightly off-white color. Most of the poha has a full length, and only a handful of grains are broken. The edges of the poha are mixed, some are clean and some are wavy. Taste wise, this is naturally a bit sweet which indicates the use of good quality paddy.
During our soaking test, Tata Sampann’s poha only needed 30 seconds to turn soft. Within that time frame, it did not become mushy or lumpy. In comparison, the grain size is longer and broader than its counterparts.
Tata Sampann’s poha yielded a bowl of fluffy and khila-khila poha which absorbed the flavors very well. Each bite was consistent and wasn’t undercooked from anywhere. The poha was soft, yet had a firm bite.
When we conduct taste tests, the constant back and forth of multiple tastings can lead to the samples getting cold. We noticed that even after getting cold, Tata Sampann was the only poha from the regular category that did not dry up or become hard.
- Tata Sampann Poha comes in a green pouch pack. The pack is not resealable.
- A 500 gram bag is priced at Rs 44/-.
- Shelf life – 6 months
- Nutritional information is provided on the pack.
- We liked how khila-khila the poha is. It did not become mushy or sticky after cooking.
- The grains are comparatively longer.
- Tata Sampann’s poha is priced competitively.
- The grains are able to absorb and take on the flavor of the spices wonderfully.
- The poha is soft, yet retains a firm bite.
Best Suited For
Poha is a staple in most Indian homes – be it for making a mixed veggie poha, a dry chivda, or eating as it is with some curd. If you are someone who cooks with poha regularly, we recommend the one by Tata Sampann.
2. Organic Tattva Poha – Mishry Organic Pick
Organic Tattva Poha is elongated and has a thicker texture than any non-organic contender. Almost all the grains have well-shaped edges. It has an off-white color. The poha is quite aromatic and has a mild sweet taste in its dry state.
This brand needed more than 2 minutes of soaking before we could cook with it. But once soaked well, the poha made using Organic Tattva hit the bull’s eye texture-wise. The poha had a desirable texture, i.e. it was not clumpy or mushy. The poha grain swelled up well and absorbed all the flavors wonderfully. In the organic category, Organic Tattva poha was a clear winner.
- Organic Tattva Poha comes in a blue pouch pack which is not resealable.
- A 500 gram bag is priced at Rs 70/-.
- Shelf life – 9 months
- Nutritional information is provided on the pack – 350 calories per 100 grams.
- This is certified organic.
- We liked the khila-khila poha. It wasn’t mushy.
- The poha has the signature firm bite.
- The poha is priced competitively.
Best Suited For
If organic is what you seek, Organic Tattva offers one of the best pohas.
3. Ahaar Poha
The Ahaar poha upon dry inspection tasting lacked the distinct sweet taste. It was chewy. These are medium-sized grains that are flat and have a mix of clear and serrated edges.
While the soaking time was short for Ahaar, there were two things that did not work as well – the flavor absorbing capacity and the plumpness of the poha. The poha we made using a standardised recipe, turned out to be very dry and shrivelled. Although the appearance was khila-khila, the bite was too dry and hard.
- Ahaar Poha comes in a pouch pack which is not resealable.
- A 500 gram bag is priced at Rs 67/-.
- Shelf life – 4 months
- As per the nutritional information provided on the pack, 100 grams of the uncooked poha provides 367.5 calories.
- The poha is khila-khila.
- The medium-sized grains lack a sweet taste in their dry form.
- The bite of the poha is dry.
4. Rajdhani Poha Mota
Rajdhani poha is available in two varieties – thick (mota) and thin. For making vegetable poha, the thicker variety is preferred over the thin one.
The Rajdhani Poha has a pale white color. The grains are long and barring a few of them, all of them have plain edges. It is mildly sweet tasting and has a basmati-like aroma. The texture isn’t crispy, in fact it’s a little chewy unlike our winner. Rajdhani poha came close to our Top Pick texture wise, but had a slightly harder bite in comparison.
- Rajdhani Poha comes in a pouch which is not resealable.
- A 500 gram bag is priced at Rs 52/-.
- Shelf life – 3 months
- As per the nutritional information provided on the pack, 100 grams of the uncooked poha provides 390 calories.
- The poha was not lumpy or mushy. It has a khila-khila appearance.
- The bite is a bit hard.
- In its dry state, the texture is very chewy.
5. Laxmi Daily Feast Poha
Laxmi poha in its dry state is extremely aromatic and sweet tasting. This was one of the best tasting pohas in its dry form. The grains are flat, thin, white in color and a mix of clean-serrated edges.
This poha doesn’t require soaking. Within 30 seconds of us testing all the brands, this had turned into a complete pulp. After the results of the soaking test, we made the poha using this brand without any soaking. We gave it an extremely quick rinse and promptly added it to the veggie mix. Even then it clumped up and became mushy. The grains do not retain a bite at all.
- Laxmi Poha comes in a pouch which is not resealable.
- A 500 gram bag is priced at Rs 209/-.
- Shelf life – 6 months
- There is no nutritional information on the pack.
- The poha is extremely delicious in its raw state. The distinct sweet-taste and aroma is unmissable.
- We liked the light sponginess of the grain after cooking.
- Our sample of poha made using this brand was not khila-khila, and had a very clumpy texture.
- The poha is priced much higher than its competition.
Best Suited For
The Laxmi poha is not meant for making veggie pohas, but will be better suited for people who want to eat raw poha with curd or add it to their namkeen mixes.
6. 24 Mantra Organic Poha
Sadly, there are a few things that did not work for the 24 Mantra Organic Poha. The raw poha had a very off-smell. During our dry tasting we found this very hard to chew, but it tasted sweet.
Even after soaking this for more than 4 minutes, the poha did not fluff up as well as the others. The cooked poha was very dry to bite into.
- 24 Mantra Organic Poha comes in a pouch which is not resealable.
- A 500 gram bag is priced at Rs 68/-.
- Shelf life – 9 months
- There is no nutritional information on the pack.
- The raw poha is sweet tasting.
- The raw poha is hard to chew.
- Even after soaking, the poha did not fluff up well and had a dry texture.
Our Top Picks & Recommendations
Why did we choose Tata Sampann (Regular) and Organic Tattva (Organic) as our Top Pick?
A good poha for everyday use should be versatile. There aren’t a lot of families that would buy different types of poha to make dishes at home. Chances are that most of you, like us, would purchase whatever is available and use it for multiple things. Which is why our parameters tested all the brands for their taste, texture and flavor absorbing properties.
We chose Tata Sampann Poha as our Top Pick because it made the fluffiest, most delicious tasting poha. Mind you, the recipe we used for the brands was exactly the same. But the aroma and flavour the grain lent to the bowl was a game changer. The poha was khila-khila, and retained a soft yet firm bite. The same goes for Organic Tattva. Between the two organic brands we reviewed, Organic Tattva was the better pick by a huge margin.
More Staple Ingredients We Have Reviewed
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some interesting FAQs on poha brands.
1. How many calories are there in 100 gm of poha?
On an average, 100 grams of uncooked poha has 350-390 calories.
2. Are these thin or thick pohas?
Apart from Laxmi Poha, which was the nylon version, all the poha brands we reviewed were thick.
3. How many times can these pohas be eaten in a day?
Poha can be consumed 1-2 times in a day. We believe controlled portions and a balanced diet is very important for overall health.
4. Do these pohas contain any preservatives?
No. These brands of poha are devoid of any preservatives.
5. Are these pohas gluten free?
Yes. Poha is gluten free by nature.
After two days of testing the poha for its taste and texture, we chose Tata Sampann’s Poha as our Top Pick. It made the fluffiest poha. We chose Organic Tattva as our Organic Top Pick.
We love adding some lemon juice and bhujia to our bowl of poha. How about you? Tell us about your favorite poha recipe and topping in the comment section below.
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* No part of this review is sponsored by any brand. All expenses were borne by us.