You know me by now. Food is another word for memories in my world. Every dish reminds me of people, places and things that have happened in my life. From the baby steps of cooking I took, to the more recent self made recipes, I’ve always learnt from the people in my life. This is a special one recipe as it was one of the first few I learnt from my late Mother-in-law, even before marriage happened. Sabudana Khichdi or boondi as one of my closest friends named it. This dish is made with Sago.
Have you noticed the pearls like appearance of Sago or sabudana? In the days that I learnt how to make this dish, I was naive enough to think that sago grew this way naturally. It was only much later did I realise that Sago is processed plant starch and is made from Tapioca or Cassava root. So the pearl like shapes are factory made and don’t look like this naturally.
Sabudana Khichdi is a very popular and common recipe made in Maharashtra. This is particularly popular when you’re fasting. Growing up, my family didn’t really fast as such. So my first introduction to Tapioca Sago was in college, when I met my significant other. He would bring it as his packed lunch to college. It became such an immediate hit in my group of friends, that he would bring two boxes packed to the brim. We’d demolish it in a few minutes. Thats when it got its name Boondi, as it resembles Boondi a little – Boondi is fried savoury chickpeas balls. Sabudana Khichdi, peanutty, salty and slightly sweet, now always reminds me of my first introduction to my late mother-in-law and college days.
How do you make it then?
Sabudana intimidated me initially. When I’d soak it, it would either be too mushy or under-soaked and extremely firm. That’s when my mum-in-law taught me the trick. Its about how much water you use when you soak the sago. Its a foolproof recipe and I’ve always achieved the best results.
Wash the sago thrice in water, and then pour the sago into a bowl, add water to the sago so that it is just about immersed in water (water level should be about 1 to 1.5 inches above the sabudana pearls) . Let it soak overnight. The next day, press the sabudana pearls, they should easily squish, that’s when you know they are ready. Be patient, follow this process and you’ll never be disappointed.
In Maharashtra, this dish is typically eaten when you’re fasting, but its such a delicious dish that I promise you it’ll make a regular appearance. Remember that sago can get very sticky because of the high starch content, so remember to use a non-stick pan. Otherwise be prepared for rigorous post-meal washing!
Sabudana Khichdi has such amazing ingredients. Peanuts lend the crunch and earthiness, where the combination of sugar, salt and lemon juice only makes things better. This dish also is gluten-free and vegan is the perfect addition to your meal plans, as you could batch cook this. I always serve the khichdi with a side of my peanutty yogurt, seasoned with salt, sugar and red chilli powder. Perfect always.