Sabudana (Sago/Tapioca) Khichdi
Today’s recipe is one of my all time favorites! Though I have always loved eating Sabudana, I started cooking it myself recently. Until then it was only the sabudana khichdi from neighbor’s houses (Thanks Poonam aunty, I know you read my blog!!) and my office cafeteria! Sabudana is the Hindi name for Sago Pearls or Pearl Tapioca. I have never tried the instant variety that’s available in the US, I always use the good old regular sabudana from the Indian store. It can be slightly messy to cook with if you don’t know what to do. I learnt this very recently, thanks to my SIL Bharati and my friend Megha. Both of them always make me sabudana khichdi when I visit them Megha and I have gossiped so much over a cup of chai and a plate full of sabudana khichdi!! This is a very easy and quick recipe, if you have planned in advance. The actual cooking time is only 15-20 minutes.
And this khichdi is a true treat for peanut lovers!! This is peanut extravaganza, really! But don’t worry if you are not a fan of peanuts, I shall definitely suggest a way to make this khichdi without them or with very few of them There are many ways to make sabudana khichdi, this is my favorite one. I use a lot of finely ground peanuts so that each sabudana pearl is coated in the peanutty goodness. I use my trusty coffee grinder to grind the peanuts. They should not be powdered very fine, they should be coarse like sand, so they have some texture. You may also grind them coarsely if you like to bite into peanuts. I always like to but raw shelled peanuts and dry roast them myself. You can roast them in the oven or on the stove top in a dry skillet. If you don’t want too many peanuts, just reduce the quantity of ground peanuts or use a couple of Tbsp of peanuts while tempering.
Tip: To roast the peanuts in the oven, heat the oven to 300 F and spread the peanuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Toss the peanuts once every 3-4 minutes so they don’t burn on one side. To roast them on the stove top, add the peanuts to a skillet and heat on low-medium heat; and roast for 8-10 minutes. Then cool completely before powdering or you’ll end up with peanut butter!! You can make the ground peanuts in advance and store them in an air tight container in the freezer. Peanuts can go rancid very quickly.
Here are a few things to keep in mind to make perfect, non-sticky sabudana every single time:
- You need to soak the sabudana for 4-6 hours before cooking. So plan ahead and soak them in the morning (to make them for dinner) or overnight to make them for breakfast.
- Wash the sabudana in water twice or thrice. Preferably use a flat bottomed vessel for soaking. Cover the sabudana pearls with water so that the water just covers the top. So when you are soaking, there must be about 5 mm of water over the sabudana. If you can, fluff up the sabudana pearls using a fork, every one hour. The sabudana pearls when soaked perfectly, it will almost double in volume.
- Other than sabudana khichdi, I love gorging on sabudana vada and kheer. I already have the kheer recipe up on this page. Here’s a quick bonus recipe for sabudana vada. Soak the sabudana. Boil and mash some potatoes. Combine 1 cup mashed potatoes, 1 cup soaked sabudana, salt to taste, 1 tsp cumin seeds, chopped green chillies, curry leaves and cilantro leaves. Form into 3 inch patties and deep fry on medium heat until golden brown. Serve with green chutney and sweetened yogurt.
- In India, sabudana khichdi is consumed mostly during fasting. So it is kind of a heavy and rich dish and can make you groggy on weekdays. This is a perfect weekend breakfast/brunch recipe.
There’s one other thing I wanted to share with you all. Nancy of Spice Foodie hosts an event called Your Best Recipes (YBR) every month. You can send her the link and a photograph to recipe you think was the best in your blog in that particular month. And Nancy has a grand roundup at the end of the month. This is a great way to show off your best recipe and to meet a lot of new bloggers Click here to see March’s roundup and don’t forget to send your entries this month!!
And stay tuned, we have a wonderful guest post by an amazing blogger next!! Be sure to come back here and read more about her and enjoy some pulao
Sabudana (Pearl Sago/Tapioca) – 2 cups (not the instant cooking one)
Peanuts (dry roasted, cooled and finely ground) – 1 cup
Green chilli/Serrano pepper (minced) – 2-3 no.
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp (optional)
Potato (cubed) – 1 medium (optional)
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Oil/Ghee – 3-4 Tbsp (preferably ghee)
Asafoetida (hing) – 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cilantro/Coriander leaves (chopped finely) – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste
Kala Namak (Black Salt) – 1-2 tsp (optional, but recommended)
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Lemon juice – 1 Tbsp (or more to taste)
Water – to soak the sabudana plus more for sprinkling
- Soak the sabudana according to the instructions mentioned above.
- Heat the oil/ghee in a heavy bottomed or non-stick pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the asafoetida (hing) and cumin seeds and let them brown, for about 30 seconds. Then add in the green chilli, curry leaves and the red chilli powder, saute for just about 30 seconds. If you are using potatoes, add them now along with some salt and cook them until tender and light golden brown in color.
Note: Usually deep fried potatoes are added in sabudana khichdi, but that is too much of indulgence for me! So I just saute the potatoes, just don’t turn and toss them too much. This way they’ll form a nice brown crust and will turn out crispy and delicious! You may also use boiled potatoes here and saute them for a while before adding sabudana
- Then add in the soaked sabudana and mix to coat all the sabudana pearls with the oil. Sprinkle the sugar, more salt to taste and some water over the top and mix to combine everything together. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring once every 5 mins. Try to scrape the bottom while mixing. The sabudana pearls will become translucent when they are done. You can taste to check, they will taste chewy and will not be hard in the center.
- Once the sabudana is cooked completely, add the ground peanuts and lime juice. Toss to mix and turn off the heat. Finish with the finely chopped cilantro leaves.
Drizzle more ghee on top before serving if you wish to! Sabudana khichdi is usually served with sweetened plain yogurt.
Tip: To make sweet yogurt, just combine some plain yogurt and a couple of Tbsp of sugar and whisk to mix well. The sugar must completely dissolve. Serve chilled.