khichdi is made with tapioca pearls, cubed potatoes,
peanuts, green chilies and lime juice, garnished with
pearls taste like nothing by themselves, but when combined
with cumin seeds, green chilies, grated coconut, roasted
peanuts and lime juice in sabudana khichdi, they take on a
new life for breakfast and beyond.
small white beads are hard in their dry form but become soft
and translucent when cooked.
from the tapioca or cassava root, the pearls are then shaped
into globules, roasted and sun-dried. They are packed with
carbs, but devotees will point out that they also are rich
in calcium, fiber and iron.
tapioca pearls absorb the flavors of their teammates
graciously, so they can work just as well in sweet puddings
and savory items such as fritters and the vegan-friendly and
gluten-free sabudana khichdi, which is akin to spiced-up
Israeli couscous. The classic dish from the Indian state of
Maharastra also is a favorite during upvas, a time of
cooks have different theories on whether to soak the dry
pearls in water or not and for how long. Some swear by
soaking them overnight while others contend soaking them for
three to four hours would suffice. Some soak the pearls in
yogurt, saying that it prevents them from getting sticky
when sauteed with the chili-coconut mixture. Some add the
yogurt along with the rest of the ingredients when cooking
the pearls. But they all know better than to overcook them
because the pearls will become chewy.
trial-and-error days of making the sabudana (translates to
tapioca in Hindi), I found that if the pearls were soaked
overnight in plenty of water, they were soft the following
day, but they almost lost their round shape and ended up as
one big gummy mass when cooked. These days I soak them
overnight with just enough water to cover the pearls
completely to get the perfect texture and shape.
start off by rinsing the pearls well in cold water (about
three times) by swirling my fingers amid the beads to get
rid of the excess starch. After draining the water in a
colander, I transfer them to a medium-sized bowl, add salt
to taste and water, stir to combine, cover and let them soak
I have found that the pearls retain their shape and come out
just as soft when they are rinsed, drained, salted, spread
out in a baking tray with little bit of water for about four
hours, and they get a sprinkle of water every hour so that
they dont dry out.
the right texture is not difficult to master, and when you
do, the wholesome and wonderful sabudana khichdi comes
together in minutes.
to taste, divided
russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
tablespoons vegetable oil
teaspoon cumin seeds
serrano chilies, chopped
tablespoons grated coconut
from 2 limes
cup lightly salted roasted peanuts
cup fresh cilantro, chopped
tapioca well, by swirling fingers to get rid of the excess
starch. Drain water, and repeat process about 3 times. Add
salt to taste and mix well. Transfer to shallow pan and
spread the tapioca. Sprinkle a little water on top, cover,
and let it sit overnight or at least 4 hours to soften.
the peeled and cubed potatoes for 5 minutes; set aside.
oil over medium-high and add cumin seeds. Stir for about 1
minute. Then add potatoes, chilies and salt to taste. Reduce
heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring
coconut and stir for 2 minutes. Then add the softened
tapioca. Add lime juice and combine well. Taste and add more
salt if need be. Add peanuts and turn off heat when all is
combined well. Garnish with chopped cilantro.