As most of you already know, spices are a highlight, almost a centerpiece of my culinary adventures.I find myself distorted when I have to make a meal without spices.Luckily enough, as destiny had it,I got married to P who is a big lover of spicy food too.We both share a fathomless love for all spicy things.No meal for us is complete without a dollop of hot indian pickle or chutney.
But,when it comes to breakfast, we like to keep it simple,mildly spiced or sweet most of the times.It is one of those few things which matches between our tastebuds.Generally, weekends are when I whip up something special,that is when we are not eating at iHOP.At home too, I prefer making pancakes or french toast mainly because if not those items,P will skip breakfast.To break the league from those sweet breakfasts and casseroles for brunch,I made this mild spiced sabudana khichdi this weekend.It took me by a storm of surprise when P gobbled up a full bowl of it without uttering a single word.
After he finished his bowl, I gazed at him in astonishment to which he replied that “it” was something addictive! Well if I may say so myself, this tapioca preparation is addictive.”Sabudana” is hindi for tapioca and “khichdi” is a generic term used in India for any kind of comfort food prepared with lentils, rice, grains, vegetables and/or nuts thrown all together.My mom used to make this dish with lots of vegetables, nuts and dryfruits.She usually made this during the fasting days when Hindus follow refrain from grains and meat.But otherwise too, it makes for a healthy brunch or snack.Its sort of a symphony of textures in your mouth-nutty, salty, sweet from the dry fruits and gooey from the starches.All in all keeps your belly happy!I make it quite often when I want something quick and light.I found these bunch of grape tomatoes the other day at farmers market and they tasted perfect & little sweet in here though mom always used chopped, sour tomatoes.
Now,coming to the art of tapioca soaking.It took me a while to learn this.As you all know, tapioca is a kind of starch, so if not soaked or cooked properly, it can become a sticky, jelly like within minutes of heating.This doesnt matter much if you are making a pudding but for dishes like this,care has to be taken.If your tapioca is soaked properly, it wont even need 30 seconds to cook- trust me on this one.And if your tapioca is not soaked properly no matter how much you cook it, it will remain chewy and eventually stick to your gums. I m writing my way of dealing with tapioca to prevent that,I hope it will be helpful.I would request if any of you have something to share on your tapioca experience, please do.
Ingredients: [Serves 2-3]
- 3/4 cup tapioca pearls [sabudana]
- 1 cup water
- 1 large boiled potato, peeled & cubed
- 6-8 grape tomatoes, halves [or 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes]
- 1/4 cup peanuts, lightly toasted [substitute with any other toasted nuts you like]
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
- Handful of chopped apricots & golden raisins
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice [adjust to taste]
- Salt to taste
- 3 tbsp canola oil
- Chopped cilantro
- In a wide-mouthed, heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Once the oil starts slightly smoking, add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
- Next add the boiled, cubed potatoes and saute them for 5 minutes till they do not change color but start to crisp.
- Next add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder and chopped chilli and saute for 3-4 minutes more.
- Add the toasted peanuts, dry fruits and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add the soaked tapioca pearls along with salt and chopped cilantro next.Immediately remove from heat.The heat from the pot is enough to cook up the tapioca.This step is important to ensure that the pearls do not stick to each other.The more you cook the pearls over heat, the more translucent and sticky they become.
- Squirt fresh lemon juice over the tapioca and serve warm.