Sabudana Khichdi (Sago)

6 Aug

When Indians fast for religious purposes, most of the times, they end up eating more because the “allowed” food is rarely prepared and is tempting when the tummy is growling. I am not sure if all the attempts of sacrificing our favorite daily food reaches God and if he blesses us based on this type of sacrifice, people will hardly get blessed! We eat more than usual at times of fasting.  In many western parts of India, the most famous fasting food is Sabudana Khichdi. Sabudana is sago. It is a processed food through a plant and looks like white pearls. Many get it confused with tapioca. Well, I am more interested in eating rather than knowing what it is! this dish does need overnight soaking. Just a heads-up.

Tip: Be careful with soaking the sabudana in water. You don’t want a soggy or sticky khichdi.  If you see sabudana sticking while its getting cooked, splash a little milk about 1-2 tsp in it. Khichdi will become soft and not sticky.

All you need:

  1. 1 cup Sabudana (found in Indian stores)
  2. 3 tbsp Ghee or clarified butter/ Oil
  3. Green Chillies – as per your spice level, I use Serrano so half finely chopped is good enough for me.
  4. 1 Potato boiled and thinly diced (optional)
  5. Cumin seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  6. 1 cup roasted peanut powder (Roast peanuts without the skin on a pan. Cool and grind)
  7. 1 tsp sugar
  8. Salt as required
  9. 2 tbsp Cilantro chopped  (for garnishing)
  10. Lemon juice or wedge (for garnishing)
  11. Yogurt as needed (optional)

Ready, Set, Go:

  1. Wash Sabudana thoroughly but gently – 3-4 times. Do not rub or crush it in hands.
  2. Drain all the water except for a little that is about 1/4 cup or just covering the base of the vessel in which the sabudana is soaked. Cover and soak overnight. Next day, check if it breaks easily if you press it between fingers. And they should not stick to each other otherwise you will end up having a rock like texture and will be hard to chew. If they don’t break easily, add just a little water in the vessel not more than a quarter cup and cover for an hour.
  3. Mix in half the peanut powder and salt in the sabudana gently.
  4. Heat ghee/oil in a pan on a medium heat and add as soon as the oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let it change color in about 10-15 seconds.
  5. Add green chillies and the potato pieces here. Let it cook for less than a minute.
  6. Stir in the sabudana. Mix gently.
  7. Add remaining peanut powder and sugar. Check the salt.
  8. Keep stirring for around 5 minutes and turn the heat low.
  9. Cook for around 7-8 minutes. Check if the sabudana is no more white from inside. If you see its still white, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  10. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lemon wedge or sprinkle lemon juice. Serve with yogurt!

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