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.
Eat this tasty snack for breakfast or teatime, hot and fresh.
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
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.
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.
You’ve eaten aloo parathas or Indian breads made with whole wheat flour and a stuffing of spiced mashed potatoes. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t like them. They’re so yum, you can have a hearty breakfast of them or even have them as part of a meal.
This recipe is a twist on the regular aloo paratha. Instead of filling the spiced potato mix in the dough after binding it, in my version, I mix the mashed potatoes and spices with the dough and bind them all together. Believe it or not, this way, when you cook the parathas, they’re so soft and melt in the mouth that you won’t be able to stop at just one.
Children and especially older people love them because as I said they’re so soft. Not just that, they taste awesome too. So next time you plan to make aloo parathas try them my way. Infact, my granny made these for mom for her tiffin box and all mom’s classmates would pounce on them and polish them off in the wink of an eye.
So here’s the recipe.
Aloo Parathas With A Difference
The epitome of homemade, eat them freshly made, hot from the tawa(skillet).
500 gms boiled, peeled and grated potatoes
3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon chilly-ginger paste
salt to taste
A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1/2 cup oil
Some flour to sprinkle on the discs while rolling
Put the boiled and grated potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Add the three cups of whole-wheat flour to the potatoes.
Add the onions, spices, chilly ginger paste, salt and the fresh, finely chopped coriander to the potato flour mix.
Now put in the oil, a little at a time, gently binding the dough as you go along. The dough should be firm, not too soft.
Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls.
Put a skillet on the stove on medium flame.
Take a ball of dough and with a rolling pin, roll out a circle of approximately 5 1/2 to 6 inches. You may want to sprinkle flour to help roll out the circle of dough.
Now, lay the disc on the skillet and cook on each side till brown spots appear. Reduce or increase the flame, adjusting it to control the heat while cooking the paratha. Spread a teaspoon of butter or ghee on the cooked paratha. Similarly make the remaining parathas.
Sprinkle a little dry flour on the discs while rolling them out. This will make it easier to roll them out.
To keep the parathas hot while you finish making them, keep them wrapped in a clean, cotton cloth napkin.
Oh, how my nephew loves these delicious egg sandwiches. He says they’re the best breakfast in the whole world. Grandma’s recipe, made with love by my sister for my nephew and her hubby. Whether it’s at home for breakfast or for a picnic, these egg sandwiches are always in demand.
My mom makes delicious food, and I’ve learnt most of my cooking from her, the complex, the artistic, the simple. This is a really simple, easy peasy recipe, but so delicious, the way only grandma can work magic.
Have these sandwiches with tea or coffee for breakfast or with soup for dinner. They can also be made for a party or an occasion. I promise you’ll enjoy the feast.
These sandwiches are ideal for older people too, because they’re so soft and yet so healthy.
Here is the recipe.
Makes 6 half sandwiches
6 bread slices well buttered
3 boiled eggs, grated
40 gms butter, softened
Some roughly ground pepper
Salt to taste
1 In a medium sized bowl mix the grated egg, softened butter, salt, and pepper well.
2 Spread a thick layer of the egg mixture onto a slice of buttered bread. Cover this slice with another slice of buttered bread. Make the remaining sandwiches the same way. Cut each sandwich into half to make a total of six sandwiches.
3 If not eating right away, wet a clean napkin, squeeze out all the water and cover the sandwiches and keep in the fridge. However, the sandwiches are best eaten immediately.
Have this delightfully luxurious, toasted sandwich for breakfast. The sandwich will make you drool and the kids won’t get enough of it. You can have it with a glass of cold milk in these summer months, but even tea or coffee will do fine. And perhaps a plate of chopped mixed fruit.
Please roast the cashew nuts whole, before chopping them into pieces, because pieces will burn easily. You can roast them in the oven or on a skillet (tawa).
Chocolate and Cashew Nut Sandwich
Makes 6 half sandwiches
6 bread slices
6 tablespoons chocolate spread
2-3 tablespoons roasted and finely chopped cashew nuts
1 Toast the bread slices until golden in colour.
2 Layer the toasted bread slices with chocolate spread and sprinkle cashew nuts on 3 slices in an even layer.
3 Now put the remaining 3 toasted slices on the ones with the nuts, press gently, cut each sandwich into half and serve immediately.
Variation: Chocolate, cashew nut and cardamom sandwich- Add some freshly ground cardamom powder with the cashew nuts into the above sandwich.