Sabudana Kichri is a vegetarian Indian dish with a mouth-watering orchestra of textures and flavors. If you haven’t had this tapioca pearl pilaf, it’s worth seeking out the few Indian ingredients — asafoetida (also known as “hing”), curry leaves, and Indian black salt — you’ll need for truly authentic flavor. Serve it as a snack, side dish, or light meal.
Make sure you begin this dish at least 8 hours before you plan to serve it, as the tapioca pearls need to soak.
- Servings 2 to 4 as a snack or side dish
- 237 ml (1 cup) sabudana (large pearl tapioca)
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) ghee
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) asafoetida (also known as hing)
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) cumin seeds
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) minced fresh ginger
- 6-8 curry leaves
- 1 small green chili, minced
- 1 potato, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 118 ml (1/2 cup) frozen green peas
- 59 ml (1/4 cup) chopped peanuts
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) grated unsweetened coconut
- Indian black salt, to taste
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) fresh lemon juice, or to taste
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) finely chopped cilantro leaves
- Plain yogurt, for serving, optional
- At least 8 hours before serving, preferably the night before, rinse the tapioca pearls in cold water until the water runs clear. Place the tapioca in a medium bowl and cover with 177 ml (3/4 cup) cold water. Cover the bowl and set aside at room temperature until all the water is completely absorbed.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the ghee until melted and a cumin seed sizzles when tossed in the pan. Add the hing and cumin seeds and stir until the seeds darken, about 1 minute. Add the ginger, curry leaves, chili, and potatoes. Stir well and continue to cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are nearly tender but not browned, 10-15 minutes.
3. Add the frozen peas and peanuts. Stir until the peas are well-heated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the coconut. Add the tapioca pearls and stir well so they are coated with oil and seasonings. Continue to stir until the pearls become translucent, about 5 minutes.
4. Season to taste with black salt and lemon juice. Stir in the cilantro. Serve warm with, if desired, a dollop of plain yogurt.