Sabudana Kichadi is my go-to meal whenever I am fasting. Yes, in India when we fast for navratri, shivratri or janamasthmi we have to eat falhar food and not eat any anaaj or ann, I honestly don't know how to describe that in English because only an Indian will understand what I mean. Many times I have to explain my non Indian friends here in the UK that when I say I am fasting I am allowed to eat certain foods like sabudana, kuttu, muriya (sama rice), rajgira, fruits, yogurt and some vegetables like aloo, tomatoes and green chillies too. They mostly compare my fasting with roza (Muslims' fast during Ramadan where they can't even drink water before the sunsets), Hindus way of fasting is different and easy I will say. There are tons of options you can eat while you fast.
So I started making Sabudana Kichadi every Friday because that's when I fast. If you ask me What is Sabudana made of? Well I have been told that Sabudana is the starch (gluten free) that is extracted from tapioca roots, which is later on processed to form pearls that may vary in size. The pearls are produced by passing the moist starch through a sieve under pressure and then dried to give us Sabudana grain.
There is always a question asked -if this helps you lose weight or gain weight?, well it helps you in weight gain - If you are underweight, eating sabudana will help you gain the right amount of kilograms. Since it is very starchy it is very high in carbohydrates and calories. So does that mean that Sabudana is good for health? Well, Sabudana is loaded with good amount of potassium that helps to keep your BP in check. It gives healthy blood flow and lowers the strain on your heart. It is also low in cholesterol and hence can be eaten guilt-free. Sabudana is a great source of protein, which is required for the growth of muscles. But since it is high in carbohydrates and calories, I will say eat it in moderation- like once a week or once a while.
Making sabudana is very easy but you need to master the art of soaking it well otherwise it will become mushy, sticky and chewy. How to make perfect non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi / tapioca pearls? and How long should Sabudana be soaked? So below are my instructions that will help you make good kichadi with every grain separate.
- You need to soak sabudana overnight for best results, however if you are short on time you would still need 4-5 hours of soaking. Please don't use hot water to fast the process, it won't work and your Kichadi will come out really sticky.
- Take a sieve/colander/channi and wash the sabudana with running water.
- In big bowl soak sabudana by adding just enough water to cover them. The water level can be 1 to 1.5 inches above the sabudana. Cover and let it soak for at least 4-5 hours or preferably overnight.
- Sabudana grains will fluff up and when you press a grain it should mash up easily.
- Just in case if the water is extra, keep the sabudana in the sieve/strainer and drain off all the excess water. Make sure there is no extra water. (this step is important).
- Use enough oil, do not use too much oil because when you cook sago on heat it release water which when mixed with oil can spoil the taste giving it a sticky oily feeling. So add just enough oil-not too much and not to less.
- When you add sabudana in the pan for cooking, do not overcook it-cook only it grain becomes translucent and grains are not sticking to each other.
Even when you are not fasting (vrat) you can make it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It is wholesome meal idea and you can add in lots of veggies to make it even healthier like carrots, capsicum, spinach and peas. (remember if you are fasting you will have to check what vegetables you can eat when you fast). Sabudana Kichadi is a great alternative to poha. There is a gujratai way of making it which sweeter and then there is Maharashtrian way of making it which is tad bit spicy and has peanuts too. The best part of this is that you alter and modify the recipe as per your choice-add whatever vegetables you want-with potatoes or without-with peanuts or without-with curry leaves or without; so I am sure you know what I mean now.
What to add in Sabudana Kichadi?
I add carrots, potatoes and green chillies.
I like to add in cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and rock salt (sendha namak) for colour.
Finally I add a good squeeze of lime juice.
You can add curry leaves, peanuts, tomatoes too.
1 cup saubana/sago
1 1/4 cup water for soaking
2 tablespoons oil
1/4 teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds
1 small carrot/gajar chopped
1 meduim sized potato/aloo chopped
1 green chilli/hari mirchi chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder/haldi
1/4 teaspoon red chilli powder/lal mirchi
rock salt/ sendha namak for taste (you can use regular salt if you are not fasting)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons coriander leaves/dhaniya chopped
Wash sabudana in the runny water and then soak it in the water overnight. Strain all the water the next day before cooking (see the tips for help above in the article)
Heat oil in kadai/wok . When oil gets hot add in cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Add in chopped potatoes and carrots. Cover and cook it till potatoes and carrots become soft and are cooked.
Add in sabudana, green chilli, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sugar and salt. Mix well till the grain becomes translucent.
Mix in lemon juice and coriander leaves and that is it. Serve hot.