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Thursday, August 2, 2007

SABUDANA KHICHDI / JAVIRSHI UPPUMA / SAGO KHICHDI/UPPUMA

SABUDANA KHICHDI / JAVIRSHI UPPUMA / SAGO KHICHDI/UPPUMA
SABUDANA KHICHDI as the name suggests is a khichdi made from sago. In the south we call this Javirshi Uppuma.


In Maharashtra, this dish is made for fasting. But I can say that we used to feast on this fasting dish. The texture of the sago pearls should be slightly moist and transparent. It shouldn’t be too dry and rubbery and although many people recommend cooking it in the microwave I still prefer cooking this on a slow gas for it gets cooked on steam and hence becomes light and fluffy. Traditionally in Maharashtra it is cooked using ghee, this is what my Mother-in-law says and they also use a teaspoon of sugar in their recipe. But I use oil in my recipe and only a pinch of sugar. The reason this dish is made for fasting is because it is extremely filling and doesn’t make you feel hungry fast.

We usually use the medium size sago pearls for this recipe. But recently I heard from one of my friends that she did try making the same with the small sago pearl. Please don’t try with the small pearls if you are not well versed with making this recipe.

This recipe is easy but many find it challenging. I have to thank my mother who taught me some techniques to get it perfect. I also learnt to perfect it over the years for my husband (Yo) who absolutely loves this dish. The reason many people don’t get this dish right is because they don’t soak the sago properly. Either they put too little water or too much water so either the khichdi gets too dry and chewy or mashes up into a glue like mix.

The most important thing in this dish is the soaking of the sago.

Soaking the sago overnight

I soak the sago overnight as I feel this gives full justice to the sago getting soaked and also increases the volume of the sago and hence the quantity of the final dish.  I rinse out the sago (just like we rinse out rice) and when the water is clean, I add water till it forms a thin layer above the sago. Then I cover and keep it overnight. In the morning the sago pearls have soaked and doubled up and completely soaked in the water. This sago is now ready to cook. This method does not work when we want to make sago uppuma on the same day that we soak. This only works if we have planned to make the dish for the next day. Below is the recipe with 2 -3 hours of soaking for people who want to relish it when they feel like it.

Here is the recipe of Sabudana khichdi. Enjoy it for breakfast or evening tiffin with tea or on a day when you are fasting.


Ingredients
Sago (Sabudana) – 2 cups
Potatoes – 2
Green chilies – 2-3
Ginger - 1 small piece
Peanuts roasted and powdered – ½ cup
Salt to taste
Asafetida – a pinch
Oil or Ghee – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsps
Freshly chopped coriander leaves for garnishing.
Freshly grated coconut for garnishing
Lemon juice -1 teaspoon (optional)
Method
Wash the sago nicely and soak it in water for 2-3 hours. The water should be enough for the sago to immerse and a little more. (Depending on the quality, sometimes the sago needs to be soaked overnight in a little bit of water. Its best to soak the sago overnight for best results).
Add some salt to the sago and mix well and keep.
Boil the potatoes, peel and chop them into cubes.
Roast the peanuts, de-skin them and powder in a mixie. (It’s best to use freshly roasted and ground peanuts for the fresh taste). If you are allergic to peanuts or don’t like peanuts you can avoid this in the recipe. The peanuts powder is used to separate the sago.
Make a paste of the green chillies and ginger in the mixer/ blender.
In a pan, Heat oil or ghee, Add cumin seeds and asafetida, once the cumin starts to fry, add the green chillies and ginger paste and allow it to fry for a minute or two. Then add the boiled and chopped potatoes and let it mix well with the masala. Add some salt so that the potatoes also catch some salt, mix well and allow it to fry for 2-3 minutes. Incase you are avoiding peanuts, then allow the potatoes to get cooked for a while longer (about 4-5 minutes). Keep the gas on a low flame. Now add sago and stir. Cook uncovered for some time and keep mixing so that sago will not stick to the bottom. Cover with a lid and let it rest for 2-3 minutes. Now uncover and add the peanuts powder and mix well.
Cover the pan and keep for 1-2 minutes. The gas should be on a low flame. When you open the lid you will see that the sago is nice and transparent, that means it’s done. Remove from flame. Keep covered for 5-7 minutes before you serve, so that everything gets cooked in steam.
Serve hot garnished with coconut and coriander leaves and lemon juice.

Note: The Peanuts powder and potato help in separating the sago.

Variation:
-You can add finely chopped green chillies and grated ginger instead of making a paste.
-You can add grated boiled potato instead of the chopped one.

Tip:
-You can add the peanut powder and salt to the soaked Sago before putting it in the pan for cooking.
-While making the khichdi, do not keep the pan covered for more than 1-2 minutes, else the sago will mesh together to form small elastic balls. Sago cooks very fast especially if we have soaked it overnight. You can’t leave this dish unattended.
-Khichdi tastes excellent if tossed continuously while cooking.

 

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