Sabudana Khichdi is a popular Indian breakfast recipe made with sabudana (sago/tapioca pearls), potatoes, roasted peanuts, and a few basic spices. This easy, simple, and gluten-free sabudana recipe is a preferred food choice in India during the fasting season. Here is how to make the perfect, non-sticky, Maharashtrian style sabudana khichdi that is delicious and soft, not chewy, sticky, or mushy.
I've used raw peanuts with skin so roasting them is required. You can also use the roasted unsalted peanuts in which case roasting can be skipped.
Heat a pan on medium-low heat, add the peanuts, and dry roast them until they are slightly golden and crunchy.
Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely. I leave mine in the pan for another 30 mins and stir in between to prevent peanuts from burning. Then transfer on a plate to cool completely.
Peel the skin off by rubbing the peanuts between your palms (it's easier to do so after roasting). Store them in an airtight container until ready to use. This can be done ahead of time.
When you are ready to make khichdi, coarsely crush the roasted peanuts in a mortar pestle or food processor. I prefer a coarse consistency so it's a mix of peanut powder and bits of peanuts.
Rinse the sabudana well (4-5 times) till water runs almost clear. This is important to get rid of all the starch. Then soak them in 2 cups of water for 2 hours. They will double in size.
Using a sieve, drain the remaining water completely, and cover the sabudana overnight or at least for 4-5 hours. I usually refrigerate them overnight. In the morning, take them out of the fridge. They should be completely dry with no water left.
Fluff the sabudana pearls using a fork to separate any that may stick without breaking them. This helps in giving the perfect texture to these pearls.
To check if sabudana is soaked properly, press the pearls between your thumb and index finger. If it mashes easily indicates sabudana is ready to use. If the center feels hard, soak in 2-3 tablespoons of water for another 30 mins and test again.
Add the coarsely ground peanuts, salt, and sugar. Mix well and keep aside. Mixing ground peanuts with sabudana helps to keep the pearls separate.
Making Sabudana Khichdi
In a pan, heat ghee on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for few seconds.
Stir in green chili, potatoes, and a sprinkle of salt. Mix well and cover and cook for 5-7 mins (or until potatoes are cooked). Stir intermittently to avoid the potatoes from sticking. Alternately to cut down the cooking time, use boiled potatoes.
Once the potatoes are cooked, turn the heat to medium-low and add the sabudana peanut mixture to the pan. Mix well with a light hand so the sago pearls don't break. Cover and cook for 5-7 mins stirring intermittently.
When the sabudana pearls turn from white to transparent you know your khichdi is ready. Turn off the heat.
Make sure not to overcook, overmix the khichdi, or else it will turn sticky.
Finish off with some lemon juice and coriander leaves (cilantro) and give it a final mix. Perfectly tasty, soft, non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi is ready!!
Serve it hot on its own or with a bowl of yogurt and/or fruits on the side. Pair it with chai for that wholesome breakfast or snack. You can also serve it with some green chutney during non-fasting days.
Here are some pro tips to make that perfect, fluffy, non-sticky sabudana khichdi:Rinse the sabudana well until water runs clear to get rid of all the starch which will prevent stickiness later.Soak sabudana in enough water for 2 hours. (1 cup sago soak in 2 cups), they will double in size.Drain the water completely, cover, and refrigerate overnight. Refrigeration allows the excess water to be soaked by sabudana and end result is fluffy and separate tapioca pearls. If they are stuck just fluff them with a fork.If you don't have the time to refrigerate overnight, do it for at least 2-3 hours. Alternately spread them on a plate or paper towel to dry them up. The presence of water will make the khichdi mushy so ensure the pearls are dry.Soaking time: Depending on the quality of the sabudana the soaking time varies. So experiment with your variety. I have observed this process of soaking and refrigerating overnight works with the most quality of Sabudana available in the USA.Check soaked sabudana by pressing between your thumb and index finger. It should mash easily. Grind the peanuts coarse so there are bits of peanuts as well as a powder. The powder helps keep the pearls separate and the peanuts add a nice crunch. Don't overcook: Sabudana cooks fast so overcooking and too much stirring will result in sticky and goopy (mushy) khichdi. You can tell sabudana is cooked when it turns from white to transparent color. Don't cook beyond this point.Some lumps are expected and normal since it is starch after all. Just fluff with a fork and it should separate easily.Use Ghee: use enough ghee to make khichdi It prevents the tapioca pearls from sticking. Skip ghee to make it vegan and use just oil.To make this recipe even quicker, prep these ahead of time by a day or two - boil the potatoes, and soak sabudana and keep refrigerated. Roast peanuts and store airtight or use roasted peanuts.