Tips to make it fluffy and separated
If I ask you to name the most popular food item sought for during fasts then of course you would say Sago or Sabudana, as we normally call it.
Calling it number 1 fast food would not be wrong.
But do you have any clue as to why it is preferred during fasts?
It is allowed in fasts as it is a non grain food and is made either from the starch extracted from the roots of a plant called Cassava or from the centre of sago palm stems.
Well, it is a storehouse of starch and carbohydrates, with very little protein, vitamin C, calcium and minerals. Being rich in carbs and starch it gives instant energy.
Also, at the same time it is light on digestion and has a high cooling effect on the digestive system.
Not going much into the health benefits of sago, let us see as to how to make presentable, yummy, separated sago upma/ khichdi , as it has the tendency to get sticky because of huge quantity of starch in it.
I love sago vada as well sago upma/ khichdi.
Though I could always make sago vada easily but upma was always a tricky affair.
I just didn’t know when it would turn good and when it would be a disastrous lumpy mass of starch.
Because of this reason, I usually avoided making it.
Then one day, when I visited my aunt Mrs. Sushila Kapoor, she served me sago upma.
Wow…. what a beauty it was. Colorful, separated grains…..literally like pearls, apt to its another name ‘tapioca pearls’.
She had made it colorful with the use of carrots, cilantro,raisins and peanuts.
It looked so appetising and of course tasted great.
Since then, whenever I go to her place she ensures to make it for me.
She also gave me tips as to how to make it separated and non sticky.
With Gratitude to her, I share her tips and tricks for making sago upma.
There are 3 parts to it —-washing, soaking and cooking.
Washing : As sago is full of starch, it is this starch which makes it sticky. Try to get rid of this starch as much as possible. So, wash it under running water at least 5 or 6 or 7 or more times till the water becomes clear.
Keep on changing water till you see starch coming out of it.
Soaking : Soaking is the key to making fluffy, separated sago.
Too little water …. and it may remain hard
Too much water…. and it becomes sticky.
Hence, it is soaked in just enough water, slightly above the sago.
If you are planning to make it in breakfast then soak it in the night before and if want to make it in the evening then do the soaking in the morning.
Aunty gave me a very good tip regarding this.
Take a shallow tray and fill it with water.
Put the washed sago in the strainer/colander.
Now, put this colander in the shallow tray on the water.
After few hours, it will absorb the water, swell in size, soft and dry too.
As you can see in the last pic, the tray/ plate is totally dry. Incase, some water is left there, then keep the colander on a dry vessel for some time.
If some sago pearls remain hard, just sprinkle some water.
Now, fluff it with a fork or your hands so as to separate the sago pearls.
After soaking, sago just gets double in volume. Like 1 cup raw sago will become 2 Cups soaked sago.
Alternatively, if you have less time then you can also soak it for 1hour. In that case, soak sago in just enough and hot water. Like soak 1 cup sago in 1 cup water. After 1 or 1.5 hours, press one or two sago pearls between your fingers. If soft, then put the sago in a colander for 15 minutes or so. This is to ensure that it becomes totally dry. Incase, not soft then continue soaking for some more time.
Whatever method you use, ensure that there is no water and that it is completely dry before you use it.
Once soaked, you can keep it in refrigerator in an air tight container for a day or two, and use when required for making khichdi, vada, kheer etc.
Cooking : Cook in non stick pan, as far as possible.
Now in a wide wok, in which potatoes, cumin seeds and curry leaves are cooked, add this sago and cook.
Always, cook it on medium flame for 3-4 minutes only.
If you follow these points, you will surely have a beautiful, presentable, separated sago upma.
You can add veggies to it like carrots, beans. Also, if not for fast, then you can add chat masala also.
Here, I am also sharing a brief recipe to make it.
1 Cup Sago (Sabudana) (Raw)
3 Tbsp Cooking oil
1 Raw Potato, peeled and chopped finely
1-2 Green chilli, chopped finely
1 tsp Curry leaves
1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera )
2-3 Tbsp Peanuts, roasted and crushed
2 tsp Rock salt
1 tsp Black pepper powder
1 Tbsp Coriander leaves, washed and chopped
1 or 2 tsp Lemon juice
1. Wash sago till water becomes clear, as mentioned above.
2. Soak sago overnight, as explained above.
3. In a wide bottomed pan ( kadhai ), put oil and cook potatoes in it till light brown in colour.
4. Add green chilli, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Saute for a minute or so.
5. Keep the flame low,add sago, salt, black pepper and crushed peanuts.
6. Keep tossing for 2-3 minutes till it turns translucent.
7. Switch off the gas. Add lemon juice.
8. Garnish with coriander leaves.
9. Serve with devotion, curd optional.
1. You can add veggies of your choice like carrots, beans etc.
2. You can add raisins and cashews, if you like.
3. Incase, it starts sticking then switch off the gas. And keep it in microwave for 1 minute.
4. You can adjust the quantities of potatoes, peanuts, salt etc according to your preferences.
5. Please don’t forget to use lemon juice. It adds very good flavour to it.
Pl share your feedback and pics…