Growing up, I always saw my Ajji (Grandma) make Sabudana Khichdi on certain day of the week, oblivious to this particular ritual of fasting. All the adults were handed a plate of pearly breakfast on Saturdays to begin their fast. Soft white pearls cooked in ghee with chilies, potatoes and topped with generous amount of lemon juice. How could someone resist it? I would look at them in awe, wondering if they were doing something extraordinary to deserve this plate of delicious breakfast. Sometimes I would ask Ajji for Sabudana Khichdi and her reply would be,’not unless you start fasting.’
The main reason I started observing fast was to have Sabudana Khichdi 3 times a day 😀 I finally got into the league at 15! Now my Ajji handed me Sabudana Khichdi every saturday without a word. 🙂 It is a bliss to feast on Sabudana Khichdi, I don’t know why they call it a fast?!!
Eventually I ate various versions of Khichdi. Some added milk to the Khichdi while others replaced potatoes with pumpkin. The most interesting was to see yellow Sabudana Khichdi with onions. Afterall, everyone’s style of cooking is different, is what I would like to say..
With time my Ajji taught me her tips and tricks to make Sabudana Khichdi. And those helped me sail through my initial days here in US. I would like to share them here because you guys deserve a good Sabudana Khichdi too..
How to make Sabudana Khichdi?
To make delicious Sabudana Khichdi, the most important step is to soak sabudana well. I have few tips to get well soaked sabudana pearls.
- Traditionally, sabudana is soaked overnight, but you can easily achieve the same texture in mere 2 hours. Only the technique of soaking changes.
- You need to atleast give 2 hours of soaking to make sabudana fluffy and soft.
- If you are going for a 2 hour soak, make sure you use a plate/bowl with larger surface area. Preferably a slightly deep large plate will work best. If you are going for overnight, a simple mixing bowl works well.
- For soaking, you need to add water such that the sabudana will just soak. For 1 cup sabudana, around 3/4 ish cup water.
- After 2 hours, most of the sabudana will soak and fluff up. Sabudana usually doubles up. You can check if the sabudana is well soaked by pressing single sabudana pearl between thumb and index finger. If it breaks, you are good to go. If you feel the center is hard, it needs some more time to soak.
- If you feel that the sabudana has fluffed but looks soggy, transfer it to a plate lined with double tissues and let it sit for few minutes.
- If the sabudana has not fluffed up well, let it sit for another 30-45 mins.
After the most important part is done, then comes the potato.
You can either add boiled potato or slice raw potato and cook it over the flame. I feel the boiling part is time consuming. Also some potatoes are more starchy and may end up making the Sabudana Khichdi soggy and sticky. So I simply chop potatoes into thin slices and then soak in water for 2-3 mins. Do not make chunky pieces, it may take long time to cook. Make sure you drain the potato slices well before adding to the tadka.
Traditionally, Khichdi is cooked in ghee but now any refined oil except olive oil works best. Heat oil on medium flame in a heavy bottom pan. Once the oil feels hot, add 1 tbsp of cumin seeds. Wait for the seeds to crackle, then add chopped chilies. I would recommend adding 4-5 finely chopped chilies (Indian or Thai chilies).
Let the chilies fry for a second and then add potatoes. Cover the pan with lid and cook potatoes on medium flame until tender (About 4-5 mins). Make sure you keep a watch on the pan and not let the potatoes burn. Once the potatoes look tender and cooked, reduce the flame to low.
Add sabudana, peanut powder, salt and sugar. If you feel overwhelmed to all ingredients at once, you can mix all the ingredients beforehand and then add it to the pan. Either technique works well.
Give it a good mix and let it cook for 5 mins on low flame with the lid on. Turn off the flame and serve with fresh curd and finely chopped coriander/freshly grated coconut/lemon juice.
Enjoy it with a hot cup of tea!
Note: Do not use raw peanut powder. Peanuts need to be roasted well and then de-skinned to make peanut powder for Sabudana Khichdi. You can either roast in microwave in bursts of 30 seconds for 2 mins, or roast in a pan on medium flame (preferable) until golden brown.
- 1 cup sabudana around 180grams
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 small potato
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds/jeera
- 4-5 Thai chilies/Indian chilies
- 3 tbsp roasted peanut powder
- 1 tsp salt or as per your taste
- 1 tsp sugar
- Follow the tips to soak sabudana well.
- In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil on medium flame.
- Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
- After the seeds crackle, add chilies and fry for a second.
- Add potatoes to the tadka, mix and cover the pan with lid.
- Cook the potatoes until tender on medium flame.
- Once the potatoes look tender, reduce the flame to low.
- Add sabudana, peanut powder, salt and sugar.
- Mix everything well and cover with lid. Cook for 5 mins. Do not increase the flame. Make sure the Khichdi does not stick at the bottom.
- After 5 mins, turn off the flame and serve in a plate.
- Garnish the Sabudana Khichdi with chopped coriander, fresh grated coconut and lemon juice.
IF YOU TRY THIS RECIPE,
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