Recipes | A Few Healthy Savory Indian Breakfast treats with Sago and Semolina
I have lost count of the number of times I tried soaking sago for making this popular breakfast recipe and using the same for starching my sarees. Those were the days when I stayed away from mom for higher studies in Delhi and later for job prospects. Bored of my usual sandwich breakfasts I wanted to try my hands on some of the Indian breakfast recipes I used to love eating but would dare not make it.
I simply couldn’t get the correct sago consistency to make the Sabudana Khichdi which is non sticky and fluffy. And most of the times the soaked sticky sago was used to starch my office sarees.
A signature dish of Maharashtra in India, Sabudana Khichdi or Sago breakfast recipe is mainly cooked during fasting period when certain food items such as grain, pulses, onion & garlic are avoided. But then neither do I fast nor do I wait for any occasion to cook what I love 🙂
It was only after I met this newly married Marathi couple who shared the common floor with us in the same building. We would share our breakfasts on holidays and I learned this recipe watching her cook in her house. Sabudana or sago are machine made pearls from the roots of Cassava or Tapioca. These white transparent pearls are widely used in making Indian desserts and savory dishes. You can get these sago pearls in any Asian super market.
More about Tapioca or sago on Wiki.
The other popular breakfast recipe at my home is Upma, a specialty from South India. This quick, healthy and delicious breakfast recipe often gets transformed into a filling dinner and snack at times.
1. Quick Suji Upma or Savory Breakfast with Semolina
- 1 cup semolina or suji/rawa
- 1 onion
- 1 tomato
- 1”ginger piece
- 2 green chilies
- 2 cups water
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp Bengal gram
- 1 tsp. de husked black gram
- 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
- Coriander leaves
- Salt as desired
- A pinch of asafoetida powder
Method; Dry roast the semolina till it turns light golden in color. Peel and slice onion and chop tomato.
Chop green chilies finely. Boil water in a vessel and keep separately.
Heat oil in a wok and crackle mustard seeds, add Bengal gram and de husked black gram (dhuli urad daal) in hot oil and saute for a minute.
Add chopped green chilies, onion, tomato, ginger and cook for 3 minutes on low flame.
Add roasted semolina and saute for 5 minutes to let each grain well coated with oil.
Pour hot water little by little and keep stirring the wet ingredients. Cover the wok with a lid and let it cook for another 3 minutes. Take off the flame and sprinkle chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with pickle or any chutney of your choice.
2. Sabudana Khichdi or Savory Breakfast with Sago
- 1 cup sago or sabudana (Tapioca)
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp. groundnuts
- 1 small potato
- 2 green chilly
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 tsp. lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- A few sprigs curry leaves
- ½ tsp. sugar
- Salt as desired
Method; Wash the sago pearls and soak in water for 3-4 hours. The sago perls will double in size.
Drain excess water and spread on a clean kitchen napkin. This step will ensure that the sago does not stick to each other when cooking.
Dry roast the groundnuts in a pan till they turn dark brown from outside. Rub the groundnuts to remove the skin. Fill the roasted groundnut in a zip lock or in a cloth napkin and crush it with a rolling pin. You could even grind it to make coarse powder of it.
Peel and dice the potato in very small cubes.
Heat oil in a non-stick wok or pan and crackle cumin seeds. Add cubed potatoes pieces, curry leaves, ginger, turmeric powder, salt, sugar and cook for about 6-7 minutes till the potatoes are soft and well cooked.
Add the soaked sago pearls and mix it gently with the other ingredients.
Pour the lemon juice and sprinkle the roasted groundnut powder before serving.
This recipe is adapted to my taste and may differ from the authentic Sago khichdi recipe cooked during fasting period, in which turmeric is avoided and cumin seeds are used to temper the dish. I like my sago pearls with the dramatic yellow hue.
- If you like slightly mushy upma, add one more cup of water while cooking the semolina mixture.
- Add fresh veggies such as peas, carrots, beans to the semolina upma to make it healthier and tasty.
- If you like fluffy semolina Upma , increase the water content by half a cup.
- The sago variety used to make this recipe is smaller transparent pearls. Large sago pearls will require more soaking hours.
- Many recipes call for boiled and cubed potatoes for sago khichdi, I like this version of fried potatoes.