This is the dish that took me years to master. I think I came close to perfecting the art this time. The day I made it, I actually ate it 4 times. For breakfast, as a midmorning snack, for lunch and an evening snack.
My entire extended family knows that this is a favourite. I once went to Bombay with a friend and over the two weeks that we were there, we got invited to all my relatives' places for all meals. Whenever it was a lunch or dinner, my aunts served us Avrya Bendi and at snack time we got Batat Phow and sabudana khichdi. I joke that my friend must have believed these to be the entire universe of amchi cooking. But there are some items that I truly never tire of eating.
I once soaked the sago overnight and I got a glue of some sort the next morning instead of a khichdi. I tried soaking for an hour and then making it, it turned out to be too hard on our teeth. Finally, I soaked the sago for 2-3 hours, drained the water and then left it overnight. That seemed to do the trick. And the more oil you use, the better the dish turns out. At these times I always hear my Amma saying, "haath ghatti kornaka, chikke chadavat tael tup sollari, randap chang zatta" (Don't hold your fist too tight, if you use a little extra oil or ghee, your food will turn out tastier.) I did use a little more oil than I normally would and the dish did turn out the way I'd expected it would.
1 cup Sago (Sabudana)
2 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Green Chilli paste
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
1/4 cup Roasted Peanut (coarsely powdered)
Salt to taste
Soak the sago for 2-3 hours, drain, and keep aside overnight. (If making in the morning, that is). When you are ready to make the dish, mix the peanut powder with the sago.
Heat oil in a kadhai and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the green chilli and ginger pastes and the curry leaves. Fry for a minute or two. Add the sago-peanut mixture and salt. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.
Remove the lid and allow portions of this to crispen. Those will be the tastiest bits of this dish. Fasting or no fasting, this is one dish I absolutely dig.