Sabudana Kheer is one of the most commonly made dish during any vrat or fasting or even festivals as an offering to God. Its the most cooked dish during Navratres in North Indian households, and also for Sargi during Karwa Chauth. Sabudana, made out of tapioca roots have always been under scrutiny if they have any health benefits at all. Well, given they are primarily starch, and very less protein and nutrients, it cannot be the most healthy and nutritious food, but in times of fasting when the body needs a good boost of energy, they are the best source to kick off the day in full vigor.
As we know the basic difference between south indian and north indian households is how festivals are celebrated! North Indians will fast, and we south indians will cook eat cook eat :). My first memories of Sabudana, or javvarisi in Tamil, is of my aunt making this as a neividyam(offering to God) every once in a while.
Agreed that Sabudana is high on starch and majorly a carbohydrates rich food, it also is high on folic acid and omega 3, hence adviced for avoiding foetal defects in pregnant woman. Also since they are always cooked with other ingredients, you have more nutirents to consume other than carbs.
How is it cooked?
I used to once struggle with sabudana, people wuld suggest, you should buy the right brand, it should be soaked only for 2 hours etc etc. With the years of experimenting, i guess the trick it simple, pick any trusted brand, and follow 2-3 steps, and you are good.
Washing: Wash the sabudana in running water, until the water becomes almost clear, it will keep leaving some grainy residual, but in 3-4 ashes, the water becomes almost transparent, and that is when you know, you are done washing.
- To make Sabudana Khichdi – After the last rinse, drain out all the water, and fill the sabudana only enough to cover it to the brim. Cover and let it be atleast 2 hours, or overnight. When you chck it post that, it must have soaked all the water.
- To make Sabudana Kheer – After the last rinse, soak it in a lot of water, 2 inches above the top, soak overnight or atleast 2 hours, when ready to cook, add more water if required, and boil it in water till the pearls become transparent, sometimes if you don’t like too starchy stuff, you can drain out the starch and add more water till you attain transparent pearls, at that stage add the milk, it will not become too thick and sticky, it will be perfect consistency.
- 1 cup Sabudana Pearls.
- 1/2 ltr milk
- 3 tbsp condensed milk / 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 pinches cardamom / elaichi powder
- handful of dry fruits (almonds, cashew and pistachios slivered)
- 2-3 strands of saffron, soaked in milk.
- Rinse and Soak as mentioned above. Once ready to cook, add into a bigger vessel, and heat the water to a boil.
- Let it boil till the pearls become transparent. It will be very starchy at this stage, this kheer is supposed to be starchy, if you dont like starchy and like runny consistency, you can rinse out some starch at this stage.
- When the pearls are transparent, add the milk and elaichi powder and the soaked saffron.
- Let it cook for another 10 minutes in simmer. You will achieve a good consistency.
- Switch off and chill in refrigerator for an hour or two. Serve with nuts on top.
- Serve it hot or cold as per your liking.
- Remember this will thicken further after cooling, so cook and reduce accordingly.