Thanks to a ready supply of fresh spices from his family’s herb shop in Berkeley, California, and the influence of his mother-in-law, Bonnie Mukherji, Aaron Murdock cooks mostly South Asian–style food at home. He starts many dishes by popping mustard seeds in a skillet.
Poha is a popular breakfast food throughout South and Southeast Asia because it’s quick to cook. Rice growers make this flattened or pounded rice by parboiling the grains and then roasting and flattening them with rollers.
Murdock gets his poha from Vik’s, an Indian grocer in Berkeley, where you can get various popular poha garnishes like sev (crunchy dried chickpea noodles), curry leaves, and grated coconut. “You can add slivered almonds or golden raisins,” says Murdock. “One of my sons adds lots of Maggi Hot and Sweet Sauce to it.”