The two ingredients and their treatment is the key for getting the recipe right. First one is Sabudana. There are various sizes available in market. The smallest one is of the size of mustard seeds and the largest is about 2 mm in diameter. You need to select the 2 mm variety. Select a good brand, so that there are no impurities.
The next step is to soak them. This is rather tricky, because you should know the exact amount of water to be used. For the size, which I recommend, needs soaking in water, just up to the level, of sabudana itself. (Smaller size would require lesser water.) You need to soak the sabudana for two to three hours. After soaking, you should be easily able to separate the pearls, with your fingers. And at this time your fingers should not get wet at all.
If you could achieve this, then half the battle is won. But don’t worry. If you feel there is little water, spread over a plate, and leave for half an hour, in open air.
The second ingredient, which is crucial, is roasted peanuts. If you find the process tricky, then you can use store brought roasted (most of the time, they are fried) peanuts. In case you decide to roast them at home, sprinkle some water on raw peanuts, and roast on medium flame, in a pan. You need to turn them, every now and then. They should be crunchy, but not burnt.
You can roast the peanuts, in microwave oven too. Sprinkle some water and put them in microwave safe bowl, and cook on high for 2 minutes initially. (Stir after 1 minute.) You need some more minutes, to complete the process. (For me, it takes two more minutes.) The exact time will depend on the power of oven, size of bowl and quantity of peanuts. For microwave cooking, remember that there is always some “standing time” required. Whichever method you use, after roasting take them out on kitchen towel, and cover them with another towel. Leave them till they are completely cooled.
The next step is to peel them. For peeling, rub them with your hands and then blow off the separated skins. Then grind them to a coarse powder, as seen in the photo.
In case you don’t mind the skin on your peanuts, you can grind the unroasted peanuts, and then roast them in a pan, on slow fire, using very little oil. You need to be very patient till they become very crunchy. Take care not to burn them. This is of course a short cut, as the skins have little bitter taste.
After you have both these ingredients ready, the proceed as under :-
- 1) Separate the sago pearls by hand, and add salt, sugar, and peanut powder . Mix thoroughly, and break all the lumps.
- 2) Finely chop or coarsely grind the chilies.
- 3) Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan and add the chopped tubers, (if using). Add little salt and cook them on low heat. Remove and keep aside.
- 3) Add 1 tablespoon ghee to the same pan, and after it is heated add the cumin seeds. The ghee should be so hot, that the cumin seeds should crackle immediately.
- 4) Then add the green chilies, and fry a little.
- 5) Then add the sago mixture. And keep on turning the mixture, till all the pearls turn golden brown. No pearl should remain white.
- 6) Then add the remaining ghee, fried tubers, grated coconut.
- 7) Remove from heat and sprinkle chopped coriander and little lime juice. (Some people, do not eat coriander for “fasting”)
You can have curds or coffee with it. If cooked this way, you will get the best tasting khichadi.
Do try it.