Can any ‘Upas’ season kick off without the all-time-favorite dish from Maharashtra – Sabudana (Sago) Khichadi? Over the years, when asked the question ‘What would you like for breakfast?’ by my mom, the standard answer from friends visiting from outside Maharashtra has always been ‘Sabudana Khichadi! (or Poha). In a recent conversation with a friend, when I mentioned I was planning to do a few posts on ‘Upas’ dishes, she said “hope you don’t forget Sabudana Khichadi”. So here goes the recipe from my mom’s kitchen. There are, am sure, many varieties to the prep across households…but this is how we make it at home.
- Sabudana (Sago) – the large variety – 1 cup
- Groundnut Powder – 1/2 cup (roasted groundnuts, coarsely ground)
- Green chilly – 1 large or two small, cut into slices
- Jeera – 1/2 tspn
- Ghee or Groundnut Oil – 3 to 4 Tablespoons (in liquid form)
- Salt to taste (1/2 to 3/4th tspn usually suffices for the above quantity of Sabudana)
- Sugar – 1/2 tspn
- Boiled Potato (Optional) – 1 -medium-size, cut into 1 sq cm slices or cubes
The Sabudana needs to be soaked for a good 5-6 hours. So if you plan to make the khichadi for breakfast, it is best to soak the Sabudana the previous night. Wash it gently and soak it in water that is about level with the quantity of sabudana. The resultant soaked sabudana has to be soft. There are many varieties of sabudana available- some tend to need more water to soak and some less. So if you feel that the sabudana is still hard after a couple of hours, add some more water to it.
To get started with the Khichadi, add salt, sugar and the groundnut powder to the soaked sabudana and mix well.
In a pan, heat the ghee/oil, add the jeera, then the green chillies and fry till the chillies turn a little whitish in colour. Then, if you are adding potatoes, add the sliced potato (along with a little salt for the potato only) and stir till the potatoes turn a little brownish. Then add the sabudana mix prepared earlier and mix well. If the sabudana is a little hard, sprinkle some milk to soften it up. Keep stirring as it cooks. The sabudana usually gets cooked in 2-3 minutes.
Garnish with freshly grated coconut, coriander or even squeeze a little lemon juice over it – to add to the taste. Serve hot.