Sabudana Khichri

4:25 AM

For the first 21 years of my life I had no idea that a savory recipe with sabudana does exist. till that time sabudana for me meant an anemic looking 'Sabu' or a sweet gloopy mess of sago pearls which we would get as a meal during long suffering sickness. I though loved the other sweeter version of the same sago which is soaked and mixed with freshly grated coconut,milk and sugar, A fasting dish that maa or Dida would consume while following some religious ritual  and refrain from consuming regular grains like rice or wheat.

But much later when Delhi happened to me and I moved there for higher studies, one fine autumn morning I discovered this delicious avatar of  the boring sago.the first thing that caught my attention was the size of each sago pearl,almost 4 times bigger than what I had seen till then. I instantly fell in love with that ghee laced, buttery potato and crunchy peanuts speckled dish. It was almost a riot on your tastebud. the crunchy peanuts in the backdrop of soft ghee laden sago and potato with a balanced sweet, spicy and salty taste makes you crave for more. 

Since then it has become like a staple breakfast dish for me. whenever my body craves for some carb, I make it. Luckily for me even my family (dont ask about the soon to be three years though, she has completely different choices) loves it. I even introduced it to my mom and she preferred it more than the soaked sabu version which often induces heartburn and gas.

So here is my recipe of the simple sabudana khichri, a vrat food or a staple for people who observe fast during the nine days of navaratri festival. If I understand correctly for Vrat you need to make it with sendha namak or rock salt and follow some other specifications as well. Am really not sure of that. Do follow mine if you want a tasty dish for  breakfast, dinner or snack. but to make this dish you need to prepare and plan little ahead. Soaking the sabudana at least for an hour is very important for having a dish that is not gloopy.

Sabudana Khichdi
(serves 3)

Sago pearls: the bigger variety: 1 cup
potato: 1 large
Mustard seeds: 1/3 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Hing/ asafetida: 1/3 tsp
Green or red chillies" 3-4 or as per your heat preference
Lemon juice: 1 t bsp
Sugar: 1/3 tsp
dry roasted peanuts: 1/4 cup
Coriander greens: handful
Oil/ghee: 1 tsp+1 tbsp

First wash the sa budana under running water till the water rund clear. now soak it for at least an hour. Make sure the water level is such that it just covers the pearls. More water will make the pearls soggy and slimey when cooked. You know the pearls are ready when they look trasparent and you can press through it without adding ,much pressure.

Boil the potato till its cooked through, not mushy. peel and chop in small cubes. 
Chop the coriander greens finely.
Crush the roasted peanuts in coarse pieces.

Heat 1 tsp oil in a frying pan or kadhai (I use a non stick frying pan) and fry the potato with little salt till they take a nice faint golden hue. take out and keep aside.
In the same pan heat 1 tbsp oil and temper with mustard seeds and cumin seeds. once they start to splutter add the chopped chillies and hing. stir and immediately add the soaked sago pearls. Keep the heat on low and stir with salt and sugar. Keep stirring or it would start to stick to the bottom of the pan. Once you see that the pearls are turning transparent mix in the potatoes and half of the chopped coriander. Mix properly and add the lemon juice and  salt as per tatse. Mic and check the seasoning iff needed add more lemon juice, salt, sugar or chilli. Once you are happy with the taste sprinkle the peanuts on top with the rest of the coriander leaves. finish off with a dash of ghee for flavour.

Serve piping hot with a wedge of lime and hot cup of tea or coffee.

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