The first time I tasted this was when I was visiting my uncle in Bombay. Manni made it for breakfast one morning. I don't know if I liked it then or not. Much later, my cousin's wife made saabudhana vada, which I instantly liked. Since, around Namakkal we have many tapioca plantations and Sago factories, appa's clients bring home lot of sago seeds. Amma will use some for her vadaam making and distribute the rest. Nowadays, she powders a few kilos in her mixie and sends us for starching our sarees.
One friend in Malaysia used to observe fast on all nine days of Navrathri. She would have one meal a day which does not include rice, wheat etc. All of us, when we invite friends for the celebrations, will try to include one sago dish so she can have. That is when I googled and found the recipe I use. Some dishes were listed under VRAT KA KHANA or something to that effect. This recipe turns out well, though we need some patience and time with the sago seeds which may get glued clumps or just won't cook enough and so on. The saabudhana kichdi and the aloo poha are my husband's favourite upmas.
Here is the recipe that serves just two.
100 grams sago seeds ( better if the pearls are slightly big)
150 grams potatoes
3 tablespoons roasted and skinned peanut powder
4 pieces green chillies
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
Curry leaves and coriander leaves for garnish.
Oil about 2 tablespoons. ( You have to compromise on oil usage as otherwise the sago seeds with clump)
Salt to taste
( You may use onions if desired, just that I did not list as it was Vrat khana )
Wash sago seeds in a colander under a tap. Some starch may run, but it is okay. Soak the washed sago in very little water for about an hour. Drain, allowing to retain little moisture. Mix with this a portion of the salt.
Peel and cook potatoes. Dice or mash as you wish.
Heat oil in a heavy pan. add the mustards and cumin. Allow to crackle. Add turmeric powder, salt and green chillies. In a few minutes add potatoes and saute until the salt blends with the potatoes.
Bring the fire to medium low and add the sago seeds. Cook on this flame until sago seeds are transparent and glossy. This takes about 15 minutes to be done. Try not to let the sago get sticky. Add the powdered peanuts and cook until the entire mixture is well blended.
A very tasty kichdi is ready. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.
If you are using onions, add the chopped onions in the beginning cooking them a little before adding the potato on.