Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana khichdi is a very popular breakfast (/snack) item in the western state of Maharashtra in India. They even make awesome sabudana vadas (fritters) that are simply delicious. In South India I have usually found that people stick to making sabudana kheer (pudding or porridge). I don't know, but I prefer the khichdi to the kheer. Well, on second thought, the kheer is pretty yummy too! Sabudana is made from tapioca/cassava and is called Tapioca Pearl in English.

I learned how to make this beautiful dish from my Avva, my maternal grandma. She used to make the best sabudana khichdi on earth!

I buy sabudana from the Indian store. If I am going to make it for breakfast, I just prep it up the previous night. That way it is all ready to be cooked when I wake up the next morning.

Here's the basic recipe. You can add potatoes, onions, and sometimes I add tomatoes too, since I love tomatoes!


Sabudana- 2 cups

Peanuts, roasted- 1-2 handful (if you are like me, you'll go overboard with nuts!)

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Green Chilies- 3-4 slit lengthwise

Red Chili Powder (optional)- 1-2 tsp

Cooking oil- 6-8 tsp

Salt to taste

Sugar* (yes, sugar!)- 2-4 tsp

Fresh cilantro to garnish

*Sugar is used in a lot of Maharashtrian and Gujarati foods. It in fact adds a nice sweet backdrop to the dishes, that just somehow nicely balances out with the salt and spice elements.

Important Step- Prepping the Pearls:

Rinse the sabudana with water twice or thrice (just like rinsing/washing rice before cooking).  Then sprinkle some water on top to soak.

*You need to be careful with this. If you put too much water, you will end up with a soggy mess. If you put too little, you will end up with half-cooked mess. So my way of ensuring that I am sprinkling the right amount of water is by making sure that the topmost layer of sabudana is just very slightly submerged in water. Cover the container and leave it alone for at least a couple hours. (Leaving it overnight is perfectly fine).

Tapioca Pearls- sabudana

Soaked and ready to be cooked


1. Coarsely grind the roasted peanuts. A coffee grinder works very well. Or you could use a traditional pestle and mortar.

2. Loosen up the soaked sabudana with the help of a spoon, or even better, your fingers. Otherwise it'll become a lumpy mess. Add the peanut powder to this. Add salt, red chili powder, and sugar to this, and mix it all up.

3. Get your kadhai or wok or pan going on the stove, add oil, and splutter cumin seeds.

Optional: At this point, you could add a diced potato and 1/2 an onion, finely chopped, and green chilies. Some people even add garlic. But personally, I like only potatoes in my sabudana khichdi. I do like tomatoes too- though sabudana khichdi purists might smirk at this idea! ;)

If you do add potato, onion, etc. fry it so as to cook. And then go to the next step.

4. Add the sabudana mixture (step 2) into the wok/pan, and begin stirring it all.

Note: If you don't stir and mix, the sabudana has a tendency to stick to the bottom, and then it might get burnt. So do stir! 

5. After about 7-10 minutes, the sabudana will have cooked to a nice soft and spongy texture. The coarse peanut powder adds some crunch. Garnish with fresh cilantro. Squeeze some lemon juice for a fresh citrusy burst before serving. Yum!

Sabudana Khichdi 



Priya said...

Sago pearls rock!

Dreamer said...

I knoooooooooow!

Spartan said...

Yum! You make a mean sabudana khichdi - remember it from my last day at Bellevue

Dreamer said...

Yes and I think of u every time I make sabudana khichdi! :)