Delicious Sabudana Khichdi (Sago cooked to perfection flavoured with chilli-peanut powder.)
The first time ever that I ever had Sabudana Khichdi, was when my good friend L, made it. I was so completely love with the dish…She makes it so delectable taking time to soak it to a particular consistency, sauteing it in spices, with little pieces of potatoes peeking here and there and flavours it with a flourish with roasted ground powder of red chilli and peanuts. It was unimaginably delicious…The next time around, whenever she would make it, she would reserve a small portion for me, to partake and enjoy. Sabudana Khichdi is a pretty tricky proposition …It matters how you soak the sabudana and one should not soak for too long, or in too much water that all you get is starchy mush, or on the other hand, a little less water and it would roll off like balls of mercury away from your palm.
Here I am posting my tried and tested method of making this amazing khichdi. It`s almost comfort food for me now. On a cold night, we would love to snuggle up to watch a great movie, eating cups of steaming hot khichdi….
1 pound of Sabudana.
1 cup of raw peanuts.
5-6 red chillis
3 Medium potatoes cut in to big cubes.
2 spoons of jeera.
5 green chillis slit vertically
Salt to taste.
A pinch of turmeric.
- Depending on the time you have to prepare, first toss the sabudana in to a collander and wash it under the tap. Allow it to drain but keep the collander closed so that the moisture is retained. If you feel that the sabudana is getting too dry, go ahead and sprinkle a few drops pf water so it stays moist. Keep it this way for 3 hours at least. Just before cooking add 1 1/2 spoons of salt to the sabudana as it soaks up the salt really well.
- Pop the cubed potatoes with a sprinkle of salt, in to a microwave safe glass bowl and cook it with water for 5 mins. Drain all the water after its cooked and let it stay. It will finish cooking in the khichdi.
- Take a dry kadai and dry roast the peanuts first and then add the red chillis. Keep the flame on medium low and roast so that this unhurried method, enhances the flavour of the peanuts.
- Grind the roasted peanuts and red chillis together to a near fine powder in a mixer and store it in a container sealed with cling film. This forms the sole “masala” for the khichdi. Make this powder ahead, so it can be used whenever you want to make this khichdi.
- In a kadai, add a spoon of ghee and a spoon of oil and when it begins to smoke, toss the jeera, slit green chillis and the curry leaves.
- In a few minutes, toss in the cooked potatoes which already has the salt in it and a pinch of turmeric. Saute it for a couple of minutes before adding the sabudana.
- At this stage its important that the gas stays at medium low. The sabudana needs to cook in a uniform flame, in steam. So try to use a vessel thats not too high. Keep stirring every 4 minutes or so and keep covered.
- Take care that the sabudana doesnt form clumps. Use a wodden spatula and keep seperating and stirring them every once in a while. At any point if you feel that the khichdi looks dry sprinkle a few drops of water.
- It should take approximately 20 minutes to slow cook in steam. Now add 4-5 spoons of the peanut-chilli powder. If you feel that its too dry, add a spoon of ghee as this enhances the overall flavour.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and a spoon of coconut. Squeeze fresh lemon juice as garnish.
- Keep closed until its time to serve. Best eaten HOT!!!
- Sabudana is something that is not at all standardised in its performance, in my opinion. Every brand reacts ever so differently.
- My opinion would be to try this whole thing in a quantity of say 1/2 cup. The spices are also completely left to the individual`s opinion. Try it once and then you can benchmark the spice and salt levels that work for you.