few sprigsCilantro or coriander leaveschopped finely
Take sabudana in a colander and wash under running cold water till water runs clear. You need to make sure to get rid of all the starch.
Then soak in the water for 3-4 hours or overnight (depending on your sabudana type and quality). The one we get here in the USA needs overnight soaking. (*see the soaking tips below to avoid stickiness).
After the soaking time, tapioca pearls will swell up almost all the water and there will be hardly any water left. Transfer the soaked sabudana in a colander and let the excess water drain for 10-15 minutes.
How to check sabudana is soaked properly and ready for cooking? When you press one soaked pearl between your finger and thumb, it should mash very easily without any effort.
Dry roast the peanuts on medium-low heat with stirring constantly until peanuts get light brown color.
Let it cool down and then roughly crush them using mortar and pestle or a food processor or blender. Make sure to keep it coarse (not fine powder.)
Making Sabudana Khichdi Recipe:
Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle a bit.
Then add chopped green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds.
Then add cubed potatoes and sendha namak. Mix well and cook until tender. You can use boiled potatoes as well, if so just fry for 2 minutes only.
Once potatoes are cooked, add crushed peanuts and coconut. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Then add soaked-drained sabudana. If sabudana are drained properly, they will stay separated. Otherwise, they will stick to each other.
And cook for a few minutes until sabudana pearls are soft and transparent. Make sure to stir once or twice, so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. If you overcook the sabudana then it will become chewy and will stick to each other and make a big clump.
Lastly add sugar, lemon (lime) juice and cilantro. Toss well and it is ready to serve.
Sabudana Soaking Tips:
Get rid of the starch: Use the colander and wash the sabudana really well and make sure to remove all the starch to avoid stickiness later on.
Shape of the container used in soaking: Use a wide and shallow bowl. You can use a wide pyrex bowl or baking dish but not the deep prep bowls.
The amount of water used in soaking: Use 1:1 ratio for sabudana:water. Meaning for 1 cup of sabudana use 1 cup of water. Or another rule of thumb: add only enough water that pearls are just submerged in water (about ½ - 1 inch of water above the pearls). If an excess amount of water is used then sabudana khichdi becomes sticky and pearls clump up together.
How much soaking time required? Personally, I find overnight soaking works best for the sabudana I get here in the USA. But I have seen my mom and MIL soaking for only 3-4 hours in India. So the soaking time depends on the type of sabudana you have. So experiment with your sabudana type and decide.
Drain the excess water after soaking: There should not be any moisture left in soaked sabudana in order to get non-sticky khichdi. They have to be completely dry. If you followed the above soaking water amount then you might not have any water left. Even if you feel there is no water left after soaking, Still keep them in a colander for 10-15 minutes to drain excess water. You will get about 1-2 tablespoons of drained water, trust me.
Sabudana Khichdi Cooking Tips:
Do not stir too much while cooking otherwise pearls will stick to each other becomes a clumpy mess. Just toss or stir till everything is combined.
Do not overcook them, otherwise, pearls become chewy. Just cook for a few minutes or until most of the pearls become translucent.
Few lumps here and there is normal because it is made of starch after all. Break them using a fork and you’ll be good to go.
Sugar makes them sticky. So always add sugar and lemon juice at the end, toss well and you are done.