Phovu, pronounced Fo, is a typically celebrational sweet from around Goa.
It reminds me of Müsli, for the choice of ingredients is similar to that, just the Indian way, with rice flakes, Jaggery, Coconut, and Raisins.
Sounds simple enough and quick to prepare.
With a healthy touch of natures resources, enjoyed as in between snack, dessert or even breakfast, you can adapt this health bomb easily into your daily diet.
The Rice flakes sweet, Phovu, is actually a dish prepared by and only by the Hindus for Diwali.
Diwali is the feast of light which is one of the main feasts in the Hindu calendar.
One could compare its importance to the Christians Christmas, in general, these 2 feasts hold many similarities, with a difference that Diwali is celebrated around the beginning of November according to the calendar.
It is custom to give and receive gifts, so the Phovu sweet is one of those gifts to friends and neighbors.
My husbands family has 2 Hindu maids working with them, they bring Homemade Phovu for the whole family and my husband, of course, loves all kind of sweets and healthy ones even more since he is a Gym owner.
I totally adore this sweet too, especially for breakfast, it kind of gives a boost for the day.
I thought I would break down the ingredients for you, to understand what health benefits you can take out of this dish.
Rice Flakes, also called flattened or beaten rice are flat dry oat like flakes.
The rice for the process is first boiled and then rolled out/flattened.
They easily absorb liquid and so swell on.
Markets sell different types and qualities of flattened rice.
The healthiest versions are the brown rice flakes.
It prevents diabetes, heart diseases, and high cholesterol and helps you to lose weight.
Jaggery is an unrefined concentrated cane or coconut sugar and is sold as blocks or pasts.
The process involves heating the syrups in a shallow large pan boiling it up to 200 C.
The Cane Jaggery is yellowishly called “The white” jaggery, so the Coconut Jaggery is “The black” sugar.
The later one is much thicker, you could call it impure.
I love the black Jaggery, which is mostly used for Goan sweets but even the white Jaggery can take you to heaven.
Jaggery is very healthy because of its wholesome sugars, and nonchemical refinement.
Indian Ayurvedic medicine considers jaggery beneficial in treating throat and lung infections, plus it regulates the acidity levels in the stomach.
A great alternative to simple sugar.
Coconut is well known to us.
The hard white coconut is scrapped and used in curries and sweets.
Locals eat the inner flesh directly only of freshly harvested Coconuts, those contain a jelly-like texture, which is also called Tender Coconut.
It is rich in Protein, healthy fats and Vitamins & Minerals.
It destroys intestinal parasites, helps the digestion in general and benefits muscle build up.
Raisins are known to boost energy and build strength, it is cholesterol-free, fat-free, aids digestion enhances bone health and treats Anemia.
They are rich in Iron, B Vitamins and Antioxidants.
The health benefit combination is directed more towards women.
Here is the traditional “recipe” on how to make Phovu.
Feel free to share it with your family and friends!
Phovu – Rice flakes sweet Serves 1
1 ½ – 2 Tbs Jaggery
2 handful of Brown rice flakes
4 Tbs freshly scraped Coconut
a couple of Raisins
The Rice flakes have to be washed with water and impurities removed.
This is important since you don’t know where it might have been lying around till it reached your kitchen.
Remove all the water and keep them standing to dry or try out my little trick.
I use a hair dryer to dry them, don’t tell anybody, it is easy and quick!
Scrape the freshly cut Coconut with a traditional stool scraper or use an easier way like I.
I had bought an electronic orange juicer whos top can be transformed into a coconut scraper, which very uses full since scraping can be annoying and tiring.
Freshly ground coconut is called Zun in Konkani, Goa.
In a bowl combine the Jaggery, flakes, scraped Coconut and Raisins and mix well.
Smash the Jaggery pieces into smaller pieces while mixing it all properly.
The dish can be kept for some days in the fridge but is best consumed fresh since the coconut ends up dry after a little while.
Juicy Coconut gives the dish good fresh flavors and is 100 times better than dried one.