This is a very traditiional breakfast food, served in Maharashtra , and made usually by the ” Bamans/Bramhins”. Luckily i was half of one so got to taste this delicacy many a time as a child. The sago or tapioca pearls are made from the sap of the tapioca,( Dont ask me how, because i have never researched that).
To date there are several tradional eateries in my town of Pune, where this is served only once or twice a week, depending ontheir menu or when it used to served as a fasting food.Some oof those places like ” Sri Uphaar Gruha”, maintain their tradition.Another place where i would eat this a lot was at Deccan Gymkhana Tennis Club, where an old guy called Appa was running their canteen. 2018 when i went to look alas, the whole place had chnaged and the canteen disappeared. Even Sri Uphaar gruha had moved from its share a bench with some unknown stranger and only 15 seat capacity to just down the road in a more spacious place. Fortunately the food was still good
Ok before we meander too much lets get back to the job in hand .
- Sago/ Sabudana pearls(large sized )- 200 gm/ approx 1 cup
- peanuts shelled, peeled roasted – 2 T/ 40 g
- Green chilli- 1 medium
- Potato 1 medium(125 g or so ) cooked and peeled
- Salt to taste
- Sugar- to taste
- cumin / jeera seeds- 3 gm/ 1 t
- Ghee/ clarified butter- 10 g/ 2t
- Oil- 10 g/ 2 t
- Red chilli powder – pinch
The pre prearation starts the night before, when you soak or just wash the sago pearls. What i like to do is just wash in a strainer and wash a few more times after and they will swell up./Alternately you can also soak with the barest minimum water to just come up to the surface level of the pearls in a bowl.Beware too much water and the tapioca starch in it will make it into a sticky yuckey goeey mess. Practise and experience helps.
The next morning the soaked pearls should be swelled up and easy to separate not clumped up. To the sago we add crushed peanut+chilli which we blitzkrieg together in the blender. ( Not too fine mind it , we like some texture in it).We also add salt and some sugar to taste. its not a sweet dessert so the sugar is just to balance the chilli and make it oomph.
Heat the oil and ghee and add the cumin, cook it till turns browner but not burnt then add the cubes of potato and saute them till they are coated and not very mushy. The next step is crucial too to ensure you dont get stodgy khichdi.
Add in sago mix and stir very lightly.keep on a medium/ low heat and cover just for a minute. you might need to add more oil/ ghee .Any longer and the pearls over burst and get mushy, we just want them translcent and slightly sticking to each other.
Garnish with chopped coriander and shredded coconut and or cucumber and yoghurt relish and sing an ode to ye olde masters Appa..