52. sabudana khichdi
Pearly drops of starch
Sabudana, pearl sago or tapioca are widely used in India for preparation of fasting food. Sabudana is the starch extracted from cassava. The starch is commercially prepared into a powder or flour form,coarse flakes or pearly balls. Before using any form it has to be soaked in water to rehydrate it. Sabudana or sago as its called in India is widely used for desserts, kheers and as a binder in various recipes. Sabudana khichdi is one of the dishes widely prepared during Ekadashi or other fastings. Simple to make and a filling dish as its full of carbohydrate. In India various sizes of sabudana are sold, but I prefer using the medium size sago. Sabudana is available in most indian grocery shops.
Yields 4 servings
1 cup sabudana or sago
2 cups diced potatoes
½ cup roasted peanuts
3 tbsps oil
1 tsp sugar
1½ tsps salt
½ tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp sesame seeds
6 -8 peppercorns
4 -6 cloves
½ inch cinnamon stick
10 -12 curry leaves
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
- Soak the sabudana for at least 6 to 8 hours.Drain into a sieve and wash under the tap. Put the sabudana on a clean kitchen towel to dry a bit.Use a fork to spread them out so as not to break the balls.
- Dice the potatoes about pea size.
- Roast peanuts in the oven at 100°C till the skin comes off easily. Cool them a bit and remove the skin.Grind the peanuts coarsely in a mill or a food processor.
- Heat oil in a non stick pan. When it is hot add the cinnamon, cloves, pepper, curry leaves.
- When it begins to sizzle add cumin seeds and sesame seeds.
- Add the peanut powder, chilli and ginger paste and stir fry for a minute over low heat.
- Add the potatoes and 1 tsp of salt. Mix well.
- Cover the pan with a lid and cook the potatoes over low heat. Stir frequently so that the potatoes do not stick to the pan. If they do, then add about 3 to 4 tbsps of water.
- While the potatoes are getting cooked, add sugar, ½ tsp salt and red chilli powder to the sabudana and mix well.
- When the potatoes are done, stir them gently. Then sprinkle the sabudana over it. Cover and cook for further 3-5 minutes still over low heat. As soon as the sabudana balls appear translucent switch off the heat. Mix gently.
- Add the lemon juice and coriander and serve with a bowl of yogurt.
- The longer the sabudana soaks the khichdi turns out better and not a gooey mass. I usually soak it overnight if I need it the next day for lunch.
- When you drain out the water, make sure you put sabudana on a tea towel or cloth so that they are not wet. If it remains wet, then the khichdi will become sticky.
- Prepare roasted peanuts and store in an airtight jar. Can use them for curries, salads or just to munch on its own.
- Add chopped cashew nuts and raisins if you like along with the coarse peanut powder.
- If you are using the tiny sabudana, soak it for about 1 hour only. Cooking time also reduces if you use small sabudana.