Recipe of the week
Tapioca pearls are tasteless on their own, but in sabudana khichdi they “take on a new life,” said Arthi Subramaniam in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In this traditional dish from western India, they absorb the flavors of cumin seeds, chiles, lime, and grated coconut, then are tossed with potato and peanuts. The result is “akin to spiced-up Israeli couscous,” and wonderful at breakfast or any other time of day.
2 cups tapioca pearls • salt to taste • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed • 2 tbsp vegetable oil • 1 tsp cumin seeds • 2 serrano chiles, chopped • 2 tbsp grated coconut • juice from 2 limes • ¾ cup lightly salted roasted peanuts • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
• Wash tapioca pearls well, covering them with water and swirling them with your fingers to get rid of the excess starch, then drain and repeat process twice more. Add salt and mix well. Add water to just cover tapioca, and let sit overnight, or at least 4 hours.
• Microwave the potato cubes for 5 minutes; set aside. Heat oil over medium-high and add cumin seeds. Stir for about 1 minute. Then add potatoes, chiles, and salt to taste. Reduce heat to medium and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
• Add coconut and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add softened tapioca. Add lime juice; mix well. Stir in peanuts; turn off heat when all is well combined. Taste and add more salt if needed. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serves 6.