As we move on to S of the A-Z of Indian Vegetables at One Hot Stove and RCI (Regional Cuisines of India) hosted by Nupur ,we travel to Maharashtra....
Maharashtra.. Mahan Rashtra!! The land of saints..The land of Raje Shivaji....
The Land of great Artists
Pt. Jitendra Abhisheki
Pt. Bhimsen Joshi
The Nightingale Lata Mangeshkar
PuLa The Marathi P.G.Wodehouse!!
And the land of Ganesh Utav!
The Marathi LAVNI!
AND.. (the part we have been waiting for!!!!) the land of GOOD FOOD... naaah, make it GREAT FOOD!!
Like all states, Maharashtra also has a lot of reasons to fast (upvas), sankasti, ekadashi, angarki and ofcourse Monday for Shankar Bhagwan, Tuesday for Ganpati... so on... for the rest of the week.. I have often wondered what is the objective of fasting..... pleasing the Gods? exercising self-control? Internal cleansing? or just another reason to cook some yummy food?
Take for instance,the first reason, pleasing the Gods... how can one please 33 crore Gods by fasting for 1 day?
Self-control? Can staying away from food for 1 day prove that one is in total control?
Internal cleansing, otherwise also known as langhan (loosely...avoiding food, consume only liquids) .. right!! and for the remaining days EAT..EAT..EAT!!
So, cook yummy food.. bingo! that is the explanation!! Take for instance..
"Tomorrow is ekadashi, are you fasting?"
" Are you making sabudana khichadi?"
This was a standard dialogue when I was small... fasting meant only one thing, Sabudana khichadi! This is an all time fav!! Commonly termed as 'fast' (not as in fast food) but,upvas food, this snack is welcome on non-fast days too.
My mother used to make this many a times for my lunch box (I was one of those finicky kids, who always wanted variety in my lunch box)
Sabudana or Sago, looks like small homeopathy pills... and while u describe homeopathy pills u say 'sabudana size pills' !
Making sabudana khichadi (for first timers) is probably not that easy. My best friend (who is a Delhiite) loves this dish and when in B school, once tried her,then, inexperienced hand at it... well to make a long story short... ended up with a gummy mess which firmly and stubbornly stuck to the wok and the ladle. The trick is to get the sabudana non-sticky and non-soggy!
So here's my sure fire recipe for getting a slap up sabudana khichadi
1 cup sabudana/ sago
1/2 cup Ground , roasted peanut powder (I make mine fine, but u can choose to keep it a bit rough)
1 Med Potato , sliced thinly
1-2 Green chillies (+/- to taste)
1 tsp Cumin / jeera seeds
3-4 tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste
Cilantro to garnish
Grated Fresh coconut to garnish
Do the prep.
Wash the sabudana 2-3 times.
Add water to soak and soften , keep the level just about 1-2 cms above the sabudana level. Cover and keep, soak sabudana for at least 6-8 hours. I normally soak it overnight.
Add the ground peanut powder to the soft sabudana, add salt and sugar and mix well
Chop the green chillies or (this is what I do) Grind together the cumin and chillies
Heat about 2 tbsp ghee in a kadhai / wok.
Add the green chillies and cumin .Add thinly sliced potato, add this after you have added the chilly-cumin mix and cook till tender
Add the sabudana mix.
Cover and cook for 5 + mins
After you remove the cover, you will notice that the colour and texture of the sabudana has changed. it is now looking a bit transparent
Now DO NOT cover to cook, this will make it sticky
Drizzle another 2 tbsp of ghee around the kadhai/ wok.
Check for salt and sugar
Mix well and cook for another 5-7 mins.
Garnish with coconut and cilantro and serve hot
Khichadi can also be served with a dollop of yogurt.
The sugar is optional , but I just love that slightly sweetish taste that the khichadi acquires along with the spicy taste, so I am more than a little generous with the sugar!
Khichadi can be served , garnished with cilantro and a dash of lemon juice. however, some also prefer it with a coconut-cilantro chutney or plain yogurt.
Another side dish, served with khichadi is 'Ratala Kees' (post coming up soon)
This is one of my entries for the RCI event.. I have planned some more, hope i can make all those!!! See you all soon .. Have a lovely weekend!!