Saboodana Khichdi, fresh from the pan.

Just like Julie Andrews sings These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things in the 1965 musical Sound of Music and goes on to tell us some of her favorite things in the song, if I sang this song, which I love, I would mention Saboodana Khichdi made by mom.

The recipe for this savory tapioca pearls snack, usually eaten for breakfast, at tea time, or during periods of fasting, because it doesn’t contain garlic, onions or even asafoetida, is an heirloom family recipe. And you must try it to believe how tasty the dish turns out.

I’d rate it as a slightly difficult dish to make because the saboodana or tapioca pearls must be bought fresh, not powdery in the packing, but whole rounds. They must be soaked in just the right quantity of water- just enough to soak them overnight, but not completely drowned in water. When you soak them in water like this they will swell up by the next morning. And you can move ahead with the recipe.

The swollen saboodana after soaking in water overnight

Roughly ground, roasted peanuts.
Potatoes chopped into small cubes, chillies, coriander, curry leaves, and lemon for garnish.
Saboodana mixed with sugar, green chillies, coriander, peanuts and salt.
Ready to eat Saboodana Khichdi

Saboodana Khichdi

Eat this tasty snack for breakfast or teatime, hot and fresh.
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Vegetarian
Servings 4 persons
Author Meenal Jhala

Ingredients

  • 200 gms saboodana or tapioca pearls
  • 6 tbsps ghee or clarified butter
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, chopped into small cubes
  • 1 cup roasted, peeled and roughly ground peanuts
  • Some finely chopped coriander
  • 2 to 3 finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lemon cut into 4 slices

Instructions

  • Take a medium sized, flat, broad based vessel. Put in the saboodana and soak in water about 1/4 inch above the level of the saboodana. Don’t let the saboodana drown in too much water. Let soak overnight. In the morning, the saboodana should have soaked in all the water, swollen up and if you press one, it should not have a hard centre.
  • Put the ghee in a thick bottomed pan and heat on medium flame. When hot put in the cumin seeds and curry leaves and fry till a nice aroma emanates, about one minute. Ensure that the cumin seeds do not burn and turn black. 
  • Now put in the chopped potatoes into the ghee and add just enough salt for only the potatoes. Cover the pan with a thali, put some water on top of the thali and let the potatoes cook on a slow flame.
  • Meanwhile, lightly toss the soaked saboodana in its vessel. Add the green chillies, finely chopped coriander, sugar, roughly ground peanuts and just enough salt for the saboodana. Remember, you’ve already added some salt to the potatoes.
  • Now, bring down the cooked potato pan from the flame and put the saboodana into the pan, quickly and gently tossing and mixing. 
  • Put back the pan on the flame and cook on low flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Your saboodana khichdi is ready. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve hot.

Notes

The soaked saboodana should not be soggy and should not have a hard centre when pressed. It should have swollen when soaked overnight and the water should have been absorbed.
When tossing the saboodana before adding the peanuts, green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and salt, toss gently to separate the pearls so that they don’t stick to each other, so that when you add this saboodana mix to the pan of cooked potatoes, they do not stick and form lumps but are beautiful, separate, pearls.

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