Why is it that we simply abhor a lot of stuff our mothers prepared when we were kids but hanker after the same once we are on our own? I could reel out a whole long list of things my mum used to coax me to eat. But it is now, years later, that I look forward to visiting her and eating her cooking. Each time I’m there (well even on the phone lots of times!) I make it a point to ask her how she makes this or that.
The beauty of a simple thing like rava upma became apparent to me only after I had to take over the reins of my own kitchen and struggle to make dishes to tempt my palate! This sabudana khichdi is made in typical Maharashtrian style, probably a result of my mother’s upbringing in Mumbai till she got married and moved toDelhi.
This manner of preparing sabudana is far removed from the javvarusi upma prepared by Tam brams. I have a preference for the Maharashtrian variety. Maybe because the sabudana grains are less sticky. Maybe because of the addition of groundnuts. Or maybe simply coz amma made it like that!
It tastes especially good eaten fresh and hot on a rainy or cold day. Well, I can’t really claim it was cold today (what can you expect in Chennai after all!), but the clouds played their part well in keeping the sun hidden and the weather cool through the day, prompting me to whip this up.
Maharashtrian Sabudana Khichdi
Sabudana (javvarusi) – 1 cup
Groundnuts (roasted and without skin) – ¼ cup
Green chillies – 3-4
Asafoetida (peringayam) – a big pinch
Curry leaves – a few
Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Jeera – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds (kadugu) – 1 tsp
Grated coconut (fresh or kopra) – 2 tbsp
Oil – 1-2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Soak sabudana in just enough water to cover it for 2-3 hours. The grains will absorb water and should turn white and soft
Dry grind groundnuts, green chillies (reserve one for spluttering in oil), curry leaves and coconut into a coarse powder
Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds and add asafoetida and the reserved green chilli (halved)
Drain any extra water and add the sabudana to the pan
Keep heat between low and medium and keep mixing every few mins till sabudana grains turn translucent – about 10 mins (Note: If it is too hot, the sabudana will turn sticky and bunch up)
Mix salt and raw jeera to ground powder and add to the sabudana in the pan. Mix well
Cook for another 5 mins (test sabudana to see if it is soft and well-cooked)
Take off heat, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve
NOTE: You can leave out curry leave while grinding the powder and add them along with green chilli after spluttering mustard seeds