By DK on Oct 15, 2012
I have loved this kichidi as long as I can remember. My mother makes such a perfect version of this, rich with separate pearls and abundant of peanut powder (and chillies). I started considering it the best version after I tasted it at few friends house. Theirs was mushy and bordering bland. May be I was unfortunate to not enjoy the classic, but given that my mother learnt it straight from the experts, I think I cannot be far off.
She customized the original recipe given to her to suit our tastes and preferences. She never added potatoes and coconut which is usually a regular in this kichidi but adding them is easy. The addition of turmeric and asafoetida is more of a South Indian's adaptation 'cos I don't think my mom considers any dish complete without these two ingredients :).
I use her recipe to make this whenever I have the urge to eat it (and esp. when I am homesick). This is one of my comfort foods. It reminds me of my mom's kadai (oh yes! Of all the things....don't ask me why though), the delicious aroma wafting from the kitchen, the excitement I felt upon entering the house to get that familiar smell and to know that she made it especially for me. As a child, I always used to think Maharashtrians have it easy 'cos with dishes like this, fasting is worth looking forward to ;). The chewy Sago coated with nutty peanut powder, the slight sweet- spicy combo from the sugar and chillies, a light tanginess from the lemon and abundant of freshness from the herbs makes for a satisfying meal.
mom's kitchen notes
Prep Time: 2 to 4 hours
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Serves: 2 people
- 1 cup Sabudana (Sago), see Tips
- 1/2 cup Peanuts, see Tips
- 1 small-med Potato, cubed(optional), see Tips
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 2-3 green Chillies, or as per taste
- 1-2 tsp Sugar, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric, see Tips
- Pinch of Asafoetida, see Tips
- Salt to taste, see Tips
- Few sprigs of Curry leaves and Cilantro to garnish
- Lemon juice to taste, freshly squeezed
Tips1. Sabudana: Depending upon the type and quality of Sabudana (Sago), you might need to soak them for 15-20 minutes (Smaller pearls fall under this category) or 5-6 hours/overnight (the large pearls). I generally use the larger variety for this recipe.
2. Peanuts: You might not need to use the whole amount. While my mother and I prefer it with abundant of peanuts, you might reduce (or use) the amount preferable to you.
3. Potato: My mother never used Potatoes, hence I don't either. But for a typical Maharashtrian styled Kichidi, you might want to add the potato. Also given the fact that while making during the Fasting period, potato would add to the heartiness needed to nourish the body after fasting the whole day.
4. Turmeric and Asafoetida: I have heard that many families do not add these ingredients during the fast. If you are one of them, then skip them.
5. Salt: Use Rock salt ( Sendha Namak) instead during fasting.
I generally like to soak this only for 4-5 hours instead of typical overnight since I want a more firmer consistency (to avoid mush). Wash the sabudana well until the water runs clear.
Soak this, with enough water to cover it, for about 5 hours. If you do not have the time, you can warm the water (not hot) and soak it for just 2 hours.
You know the sabudana is ready for use when you are able to press it with your fingertips, but it does not disintegrate easily.
Drain the sabudana well. This step is extremely crucial to avoid mushy texture.
The pearls should remain separate when you take some in your hands. This is crucial for that perfect kichidi texture.
Dry roast the peanuts. I used the already skinned ones, but you can use the ones with skin, rub them with yours hands (after roasting) and peel the skins.
Cool them a bit and then drop them to your food processor.
Grind them to a fine powder. Set aside.
Take a skillet and add 1 tbsp butter/ghee (or 1-2 tsp oil if watching calories). When hot, add the cumin, thinly chillies, asafoetida and turmeric (if using) along with curry leaves. If using potatoes, add them at this point. Cook until they are soft.
Add the sabudana next
and give it a quick toss with the rest of the ingredients.
Next goes the peanut powder. You might not need to add all the powder (see Tip 2), sugar and salt.
Mix to combine. If you think its a little dry, then sprinkle some water (very little).
Garnish with Cilantro and lemon juice. Serve hot.
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