Sabudana Khichdi

Recipe for Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana, also known as Sago or tapioca pearls, are made from the roots of the cassava/tapioca plant. In India, many recipes are made from Sabudana, including Sabudana Kheer ( a dessert made with sago and milk), Sabudana Vada ( fritters made with sago and potatoes) and Sabudana Khichdi ( a popular breakfast recipe).

Since Sago comes from the root of a plant( and hence is not a grain or cereal), it is commonly eaten during fasting days. It is high in carbohydrates and keeps you energetic and full for a long time.

Sabudana is quite popular in the Indian state of Maharashtra. It is commonly eaten at home and is also available as a street-side food.

So, let’s start with this quick and easy Sabudana Khichdi recipe.

Ingredients needed to make Sabudana Khichdi ( for about four people):

  1. Sabudana ( Sago): 3 cups
  2. Oil: 5 tablespoons
  3. Peanuts: 2 tablespoons
  4. Potatoes: 2-3 medium-sized, chopped
  5. Peanut Powder ( made from roasted and coarsely ground peanuts): 4 tablespoons
  6. Sesame Seeds Powder ( made from roasted and coarsely ground sesame seeds): 4 tablespoons
  7. Asafoetida: 1/2 teaspoon
  8. Curry leaves: 8-10
  9. Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon
  10. Green Chilies: 2-3, finely chopped
  11. Salt: 2 teaspoons
  12. Cumin Powder: 1 teaspoon
  13. Sugar: 1 teaspoon
  14. Lemon Juice: From 1 lemon
  15. Fresh coriander leaves: for garnishing

Method to make Sabudana Khichdi:

  1. Wash the sago and soak it overnight. While soaking, the water should just reach the surface of the sago. Excess water will make it sticky.

    Here is what raw sago looks like:

    Here is soaked sago:

  2. The next morning, you will observe that the sago has absorbed the water and has swelled to almost double its size.

  3. Mix salt, cumin powder, peanut powder and sesame seeds powder with sago and mix well.

  4. In a pan, heat about three tablespoons of oil. On low to medium heat, fry peanuts. When they turn crunchy, take them out and keep them aside.

  5. In the same pan, with the leftover oil, fry the potatoes. Once cooked completely, take them out. Keep them aside.

  6. In the same pan, with the leftover oil, fry green chillies, asafoetida, cumin seeds and curry leaves.

  7. Add the sago mix made in step 3.

  8. Mix everything. Keep the heat between low and medium. Cover with a lid and cook till the sago softens ( around 5-7 minutes). Stir in between and add two tablespoons of oil. Once the sago is fully cooked, add the fried potatoes and peanuts.

  9. Add lemon juice and sugar. Taste and adjust the salt. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Serve hot.

    Sabudana Khichdi is ready. The best way to verify that the sago is cooked well is to taste it and see if it feels soft. It should not be hard or chewy.

    Sabudana Khichdi can be eaten as is or combined with sweetened yoghurt (yoghurt mixed with sugar) and any Indian pickle.

    Sabudana Khichdi

Some additional Notes:

  1. Sago can be sourced from any Indian store.
  2. Sabudana pearls usually come in 3 sizes- very fine, medium and big. Medium-sized pearls work best for this recipe.
  3. The soaking of sago is a very important step in this recipe. The amount of water has to be just right. If you put excess water, it will absorb a lot of oil during cooking and also become sticky. If you add less water, the pearls won’t become soft after cooking. They will come dry, chewy and hard.
  4. Peanut powder and sesame powder can be easily made at home by dry roasting the seeds on low to medium heat, and then course grinding them when cooled. If you find this tedious, you can buy pre-roasted peanuts and sesame seeds and grind them coarsely at home.
  5. Cooking the sago on low to medium heat is very important. If you cook on high heat, it may stick to the base of the pan, and that portion will become dry and crunchy. When you slow cook the sago with a lid, the water will slowly evaporate and collect on the inner surface of the lid. When you open the lid occasionally to mix and stir, put this collected water back into the sago and mix. Then close the lid and continue cooking until the sago is completely cooked. That way, you don’t need additional water during cooking.
  6. Try variations. For example, skip the potatoes and fried peanuts. Just cook the sago with loads of peanut and sesame powder. It tastes great too.

    Sabudana Khichdi

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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