Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Come say 'Hello'

At a different kind of milestone

A few months ago, I completed a year of my blog, and many of you wished me then. However, there is another day that is also very important to me, and that is the day when the blog really became public, because Manisha announced and endorsed it on her very popular blog. Until then, I was writing in my own little corner. A few friends who knew about it perhaps read it, but after that day, I was out there for the world to see. I got new readers, some of whom stop by regularly, made some new friends, and found out about many fascinating blogs, but I also suspect that there are some people who might be reading along, but have stayed silent so far for whatever reason. I do that too. So, on this day, I offer you the chance to delurk. Treat this as an open house, and come stop by. If you prefer to stay anonymous, tell me something about yourself. Or not, of course.

Since the post that Manisha linked to was a take on sabudana khichadi, I thought it was only fitting that this post should be about the classic, authentic sabudana khichadi, the real deal. It is truly one of my favorites, but the main thing about getting it right is the quality of sabudana, and how much water it absorbs. I even had one batch that practically turned to powder the minute I added water to it. Ever since, I have been mostly getting sabudana from our regular grocer in India, for the last few years. It sounds like a stretch, but then, on an average, I make sabudana khichadi only a few times in a year, and I want it be as perfect as it can be.

To test the quality, wash about a teaspoon of sabudana, and let it soak in a very small bowl, with just enough water for it to absorb. Cover, and let it sit for a few hours. Then separate the grains and press one of them gently to check. It should be soft and swollen, there should be no leftover water, and minimal powdery stuff. If not, you can use the batch to make sabudana wadas, thalipeeth, kheer, dahi sabudana, or something like that, which can be a lot more forgiving. With these parameters at hand, go ahead and soak a larger batch. Rinse the grains once, and then add just enough water to cover the grains, and not any more.

Sabudana Khichadi

Sabudana Khichadi


1 cup sabudana, soaked for several hours (or overnight) in minimal amount of water
1/2 cup of peanuts, coarsely powdered in a food processor
2 Tablespoons of grated coconut (optional)
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2-3 Tablespoons ghee
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
2-4 small green chilies
1 small boiled potato (optional)
4 stalks of cilantro, finely chopped (optional)


In a wide bowl, separate the sabudana gently with fork or finger. If there is too much powdery residue, shake off the sabudana in a sieve, and pour it back into the bowl. Add the peanuts, coconut, salt and sugar to the sabudana, and mix evenly.

Chop the chilies, about 1/2 inch wide. If using the potato, chop it into small pieces.

In a large and wide pan, heat the ghee, and add the cumin seeds. When they start to sizzle, add the chilies and stir for a few seconds. Add the potato and stir it around till it gets coated with ghee. Add the sabudana mix, and stir together until the grains get coated too. Keep stirring occasionally for about 10-15 minutes on medium high heat, until the sabudana is well cooked. The stirring is necessary to make sure that the grains do no clump together. If needed, you can add a little more ghee. When completely done, add in the cilantro. Best eaten right away.


Anonymous said...

I'm a fan of your blog. I've been visiting it for a while now. Do keep those recipes coming! Being an Indian in the US who is far far away from home,I really look forward to them.

Richa said...

soaking sabudana to get the right texure is definitely an art ;)
i've sub'd pista for the peanuts, was real good :)

LVI said...

I've been a silent visitor to your blog as well... I love your writing style... Your ma pa tofu was the post that caught my attention, and I got introduced to shiokfood as well...

sra said...

ET, when you say soak sabudana in minimal amount of water, does that mean the water should initially stand just above the sago? What I noticed is that it gets absorbed very quickly, even when the recipe says soak overnight, so should we leave it at that? I made sabudana khichdi just once, in the MW, and it was not a very wholesome experience soaking and cooking it - it still remained hard in parts.

Saswati said...

Congrats ET....i dont make sabudana khichdi as iam paranoid about the soaking part:( yours looks perfect:)

Anita said...

Hello, ET...[and when are you going to de-lurk> :D ET has other connotations...]

Miri said...

I found your blog with your chai scones recipe , I remember that clearly....and I don't think I lurk all that much :) Congratulations on one year and some great recipes!

Arundathi said...

I confess I lurk. Will be out in the open now! :) Love sabudana khichdi, but am too scared about the soaking. Tried doing this many times and its never come out right. :(

bee said...

manisha is a rabblerouser, isn't she? that's why i love her. glad to have found your blog.

shyam said...

Aha... it took me a while to realise that it was the sabudana that was the culprit in my soggy disasters. I always thought it was me doing something wrong - until I discovered that the quality of the sabudana is ALL IMPORTANT! :) -

Ashwini said...

I am not a lurker at all, in fact you have probably tired of my comments by now but still :)
What is this minimal-shinimal? I have never had good experience with sago and I know it's because I dont soak it well (I get mine from India too)... so please share some of your insights. How much water would be a great start :D

Vaishali said...

Sabudana khichdi is an old favorite. Your version looks beautiful, Evolvingtastes. I love how separate the grains are.

Rupa said...

Congrats!! Sabudana khichdi is my favourite..Yours looks perfect..

Cham said...

The crucial part in sabudana is soaking, wonderful post, now i know how to proceed 4 the kichdi. I love ur blog....

ServesYouRight said...

Lovely post - I am the queen of sabudana disasters!

So nice to hear of the post that set the ball rolling.



musical said...

I do value this day, that's how i found your blog too :). And sabudana khichri is a simple and yummy way to celebrate a delicious year.


Divya Vikram said...

I love ur way of writing..Love this khichdi..havent made this..will try it

प्रिया said...

You know what? I got some couscous from the grocery store last week, just to try it out... actually I like the sound if it... "coucous" so I wanted to buy it! ;-)

Then I asked Minoti of 'वदनी कवळ घेता’ how to cook it. She recommended your blog for the couscous version of 'sabudana khichadi'. And when I hit your blog, I found this milestone post about the real khichadi and reference to the couscous post as well! :) What a weird co-incidence! I tried the couscous and have written a comment about it on that post. I loved your blog. Nice pictures, nice recipes and you write well too. Keep 'em coming!

Poonam said...

Congrats, its been such a long time since I made subudana khichadi...yours looks very tempting!

Manisha said...

I was wondering where all the sounds of merry-making were coming from... it was all these people delurking and Ashwini. ;-)

And, I like to share especially when it's a good thing so I had to lead folks to your blog. And what a great blog it is! I stand by what I said last year - well-written, chockablock with info and to-die-for recipes with equally sumptuous pictures.

Congrats and thank you for the time and effort you put into each post! I am in awe!

evolvingtastes said...

Bina, having a fan just sounds totally precious! Thanks for de-lurking, and for being the first one to do so. You are most welcome to return too.

Richa, you might not know, but I will always remember you being among my earliest visitors who commented!! Soaking sabudana for khichadi might be some kind of an art, but it really isn't that difficult. Having said that, I still have to send up a prayer every time I soak a batch.

LVI, so glad that you decided to de-lurk, and thanks for your comment. Shiokfood's recipes are always on the mark.

sra, yes, the water should be just above the sago, barely so. I have noticed that in India people sometimes soak the sabudana for just a few hours and their khichadi still turns out wonderful - I imagine it is due to the hot weather or something. So, overnight is not really necessary. 5-6 hours is often plenty. If all the water is absorbed, its ok as long as the grains have plumped up completely. If not, add a touch more water. The grains have to be soft, but not too glutinous before they are cooked. AND separate.

Saswati, I hear ya! It can be daunting until you get used to it.

Anita, umm, like what, you mean like I am from an another planet?

Miri, right, you aren't a lurker at all! But very nice to hear how you found the blog.

Arundathi, lurking is fine, but glad to have you come and say hello now.

bee, oh totally. It came so out of the blue that I had nothing to say in my defense.

shyam, that sabudana, I tell ya, quite the culprit, but if one is willing to practise, it will eventually get easy.

Ashwini, I doubt there is such a thing as too many comments! As for the minimal (shinimal), its hard to describe, but one really has to know when it is 'just enough'. I could try measuring the amount of water, but again it depends more or less on the grains, the weather, size of bowl, etc. Let me see if there are ways to turn it into a science.

Vaishali, thanks. Since ghee is somewhat inherent to the taste of sabudana khichadi, I wonder how it would taste with oil or another butter substitute, if you had to veganize it. Have you had any experience with it?

Rupa, thanks, and welcome here!

Cham, thanks for letting me know.

Smita, thanks much!

musical, you are one of the people I know will always stop by, so thanks a million for that.

Divya, thanks.

प्रिया, that is definitely a strange co-incidence. Glad to have you here. Thanks, and a warm welcome!

Poonam, thanks, and hello after a long time!

Manisha, thanks man, you have been sort of an unofficial cheerleader for the blog, and that means a LOT.

Cynthia said...

Thanks for the soaking tips!

TheCooker said...

As usual late for the party.
Hope you have some khichadi saved for me.

Anjali said...

ET the sabudana khichdi and chakli look yummy. Try soaking sabudana in butter milk and you get a whole new dimension to the khichdi. Am warming up to your blog. Luck for more.

Priyanka said...

ET, i aslo add curry leaves to the "phodni" when making sabudana khichdi- one of our favorites....we can feast on it even when we are fasting:)

Lakme said...

Congrats on the anniversary- you know I've visited several times and tried many of the recipes. The family loves your doodhi with peanuts, your brinjal rassa, your moong etc.

All good wishes for happy writing and happy cooking.

evolvingtastes said...

Cynthia, you are welcome!

TheCooker, late or not, you are always welcome. And of course I haven't saved any khichadi for you - I'll make it FRESH when you want.

Anjali, thanks for your wishes. The buttermilk tip sounds too good not to try!

Priyanka, yes, I have heard some people add curry leaves, must try it myself. I have had a version with some smashed (Thechlele?) ginger which was very good, and once I had sabudana khichadi with turmeric at a friend's place, which was most unusual.

Lakme, thanks for letting me know - it is so gratifying to hear that you and your family have enjoyed the recipes!

Pacchai Milagai said...

congrats to you. I love your blog as you know I have been an avid reader since the start almost. hope to read many more interestong posts and recipes.

evolvingtastes said...

Yes of course, pacchai milagai. I hope you are doing well and everything is coming along fine.

Priyanka said...

Actually gujaratis usually make sabudana khichdi with the mustard seeds phodni, turmeric and whole peanuts instead of the roasted crushed version like ours. But i prefer the typical marathi khichdi.

Anonymous said...

I loved this stuff, when I first moved to Pune. No longer do...probably because it's so common here. :)

evolvingtastes said...

Shantanu, yes, some things can lose their charm after being too familiar or too easily available.

Chips said...

Late to the party, but wanted to de-lurk and leave a comment appreciating your wonderful blog. Your recipes are simple but delicious and I love the way you introduce them. Congrats!

evolvingtastes said...

chips, this is one ongoing party, so I am really glad you decided to stop by and de-lurk. Thanks for your appreciative words!

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