A much loved breakfast, lunch and dinner dish, this recipe is a traditional "hand me down" in our family. For reasons unknown to us, sabudana khichdi was always made whenever our grandma had a fast but for us it is an all time favorite .... fast ,,,ummm ....we 'll think about it after we are done with our khichdi!
Sabudana or Tapioca is a starch extract from the root of the plant called Cassava . It is great to make puddings and is used as a food thickener. This starch is gluten and protein free. This dish takes a little bit of a learning curve due to the starchy nature of tapioca. …just a little care in following directions (and a back up plan ! ) should pay back.
Ingredients: serves 4
Sabudana / Tapioca pearls: 4 cups
Mustard seeds: 2 tsp
Urad dal/Black gram (white split): 2 tsp
Chana dal/Split chick peas: 2 tsp
Jeera / cumin seed: 2 tsp
Unsalted peanuts: ½ cup (roasted and ground to a chunky peanut powder)
Salt: to taste
Green chili: 3-4 chopped fine
Cilantro: chopped fine to garnish
Oil: 2-3 tbsp
Fresh coconut: a handful (optional)
Toss the tapioca in to a colander and wash it making sure the wide powder with the pearls has washed out with the water. Allow it to drain, keep the colander closed so not to let it dry out. If the tapioca pearls soak in too much water than the dish becomes a mushy goo if the pearls are too dry it is chewy and rubbery!!. Keep aside for 3-4 hrs, sprinkle a few drops of water every now and then so it does not get dry and stays moist. Just before cooking add salt to the sabudana as it soaks up the salt really well. Now for the moment of truth …. the squish test…squeeze one pearl of tapioca gently between thumb and forefinger, if it's squishy without any hard parts then it's done, if it is completely squished to powder then it's over soaked.:( If it feels hard ….then it needs to soak in moisture for some more time. Once you have passed the squish test the rest is a breeze.
Heat oil in a pan add mustard when it begins to do the splatter dance add chana dal, urad dal and cumin in this order …after the cumin and the dals brown, add the moist tapioca pearls and turmeric. Reduce heat to medium and let it cook, sabudana needs to cook in a uniform flame, in steam. Keep stirring it every once in a while, at any point if you feel that the khichdi looks dry sprinkle a few drops of water. Make sure it does not form lumps …so keep stirring. When it becomes translucent it is done..garnish with some crushed peanuts and chopped cilantro. Enjoy it hot!!
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