I remember my paternal mother would keep fasts on a weekly basis. The fast need not necessarily be to starve. It only meant not consuming wheat, rice, pulses and a couple of forbidden food items. These were the days we would wait for eagerly as she would cook the most awaited dish, Upavaschi Sabudana Khichdi. I simply loved it and I still do it to this day!
During our stay in Khamgaon when dad was posted in Maharashtra, I would freak out on eating Sabudana Khichdi. I would love hitting the streets on Thursdays which was the only day when this dish along with other Upavaschi uphar was made. And that too only in one shop in the entire town! My complain was why can't this be sold more often on daily basis by more vendors. I wonder that when this dish is so popular, why not sell it more. But it is so commonly made in all Marathi homes that they would probably not think of buying it outside!
My amma used to make this often when we were kids. But she would resist from making this more often as we would always over-eat. Besides this, sago is heavy on stomach and not an easily digestible food. This is the reason why it is eaten on fasting days so that it helps in beating hunger for longer time. Before leaving Khamgaon, amma picked few packets of good sago. I took some from them and attempted to make them at home... not for fasting, but for breakfast. It was a big hit, as my husband who was not particularly fond of it earlier (he tasted them for the first time in Khamgaon after all my hype) is now a big fan of the same!
Upavascha Sabudana Khichdi
1 cup sabudana(sago)
2 tbsp oil
3 green chillies, chopped finely
1/2 cup coarsely ground groundnuts
1 boiled & peeled potato
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste
A sprig of curry leaves (optional)
Wash and soak sabudana in water for atleast 4 hours. I prefer soaking overnight. The best method to get perfectly soaked sago would be to drain the water after washing sago. Then sprinkle little water gently making sure that it is not more than 1/4th of sago being used. You can sprinkle more water later if required.
Once the sabudana is well soaked and granules swelled, add a tsp of oil. Add sugar and salt and keep aside. Heat the oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When the seeds crackle, add green chillies and curry leaves. Add chopped boiled potatoes and crushed groundnuts and stir well. Add the soaked sabudana mixture and mix gently. Allow it to cook for 4-5 minutes till the sago is well cooked. Serve hot.