A medley of sabudana (sago or tapioca pearls), sweet potatoes, carrots, cilantro and walnuts, sautéed and cooked with Indian spices. A popular breakfast dish in India, and since Sabudana is naturally grain-free and gluten-free, it is also eaten on days of fasting.
Sabudana – 1 1/2 cups
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced finely
2 carrots, diced finely
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs fresh thyme. Remove leaves from stems and chop.
A handful fresh cilantro,
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 jalapeño, de-seeded and minced
1/2 tsp. red chili powder
A pinch turmeric powder
Salt, to taste
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Oil – 2 tbsp.
A breakfast delight and a festive treat for those fasting days, Sabudana Khichdi is a healthy carb and protein packed dish, to provide you the necessary energy boost and kick-start to the day. It is naturally grain-free and gluten-free, thus the perfect and one of the most popular savoury treats when one is fasting. A plateful of this khichdi can drive away those hunger pangs which come knocking. There is certainly no compromise on the flavor, especially when it is tossed and cooked together with the other ingredients. Typically, potatoes, curry leaves and peanuts are it’s best mates. In my case, I give it a twist, with a local touch of California walnuts, fresh and woodsy thyme, carrots and sweet potatoes. It compliments the weather nowadays too, with Autumn in the air, and a comforting bowl of Sabudana Khichdi.
Sago pearls are not the easiest to cook with, though. They have a tendency to clump up and stick together during the cooking process. The most necessary step is to soak the pearls overnight, at least 8 hours, till they completely absorb all the water. I soak them in the morning. By the evening once they are ready, I keep them in the fridge overnight. And they are ready to be transformed into khichdi in the morning for breakfast or brunch.
Once cooked, the khichdi tastes delicious. In my version, the walnuts taste terrific, they give the necessary crunch and especially compliment the sweet potatoes and soft sabudana. Sweet potatoes, another vegetable popular for those fasting days, and otherwise too, sweet and delish. A touch of fresh thyme and carrots, along with the customary spices and cilantro and jalapeños, it is one flavor-packed and yummy khichdi to be devoured and savoured.
Rinse the sabudana with water thoroughly till the water runs clear, to remove any excess starch. Soak in water, just enough to cover it, say an inch over the sabudana. Soak overnight or at least 8 hours, till all the water is absorbed. Drain in colander to drain any excess. The sabudana should be soft.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and bay leaf. Add the potatoes and carrots, sauté and cook till they are almost cooked.
Add the thyme, jalapeños and walnuts. Stir well.
Add the sabudana and stir well. Add the remaining spices and salt.
Cover and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and squeeze fresh lemon juice. Serve.