Sago Pachadi with Yoghurt

Sago, ignored in some countries, used for sweet items in others, is very common in India. It is used in both sweet and savoury incarnations. Today we have a yoghurt Pachadi – sago is deep fried and mixed with yoghurt and spices for a cooling accompaniment to a hot spicy meal.

Deep frying makes the sago puff and expand and taste a little like puffed rice, or even caramelised popcorn. They soften a little in the yoghurt for a delicious and textural dish.

Pachadi is a South Indian dish – quite different to a Raita, but you can say it is the counterpart of Raita. Perhaps they are second cousins. Although appearing similar to some (yoghurt base, chopped vegetables or other small items), the approach and seasoning is different. At least, traditionally. Dishes seem to merge into one another in these days of the internet and Western influence.

This recipe is one from Meenakshi Ammal’s Cook and See books. One of our very special projects in the kitchen is to cook through these books, as they are very traditional Tamil recipes.You can find all of Ammal’s dishes that we have made here. Most of them are from Vol 1 so far.

Read more about Sabudana (sago and tapioca) here.

Similar recipes include Onion Pachadi, Tri Colour Pachadi, and Sago Kitchari.

Browse all of our Sago recipes and all of our Pachadis. Our Indian recipes are here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Mid Spring dishes.

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Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf

Remember Kurma? If you are of a certain age, and Australian, you will recall his TV shows of vegetarian Indian cooking. He really was the first to bring Indian food to Australians in a way that made it easily comprehensible and easy to cook. He was a stickler for detail, and for this I love him. So many recipes out of India these days are low in detail, low in precision, and that allows others to take liberties with Indian recipes. Soon, Indian food is no longer Indian food, but some mish mash of regional differences and non-Indian preferences.

One small example. I am constantly frustrated by recipes that say “1 cup rice”. Which rice? Basmati? Short grained? Long grained? Red or white? A South Indian variety? or a North Indian Variety? And it can make a huge difference to the end result. Do you need rice that is harder? Softer? Sticks together? Separates beautifully? Kurma would never leave one in doubt.

We don’t use rice in this recipe, even though it is a kitchari. This recipe from Kurma uses sago. But as usual, Kurma is precise in all details.

Are you interested in other Sago recipes? Try Sago Pachadi, Sago Payasam, and Sago Coconut Payasam.

We have quite a number of Kitchari recipes, for example A Collection of Kitchari Recipes, Goan Bisibelebath, Maharashtrian Kitchari with Masoor SproutsGujarati Kitchari, Bengali Kitchari and Moraiya Kitchari with Yoghurt.

Or go with Sesame Potatoes.

Feel free to browse all Sago recipes, and all of our Kitchari Recipes. Browse our Indian recipes here and our Indian Essentials here. Or take some time to explore our Late Summer recipes.

Continue reading “Subudana Kitchari with Potatoes and Peanuts | Sago Khichuri | Sago Pilaf”

Indian Essentials : Sabudana | Sago and Tapioca

In Asia and India, taste is as much about the texture of food as it is about the flavour. That is why such flavourless ingredients such as the wide range of grains used, and tofu are often the star of the dish, while the flavoursome ingredients play a back role. Sago and Tapioca fall into this group – valued for its mouth feel, its slightly bouncy, often gelatinous texture.

Subudana or Subu is sago or tapioca (often called tapioca sago)  and these are mostly used interchangeably in Indian cooking. Indeed the rules of the Indian Standards Institution set in 1956 determine that sago can be made from either true sago or tapioca starch. There is often confusion about which is which, because sago and tapioca look remarkably the same. Both are typically small, dry, opaque balls. Both are white in colour, if pure. When soaked and cooked, both become much larger, translucent, soft and spongy. Both are widely used around the world, usually in puddings. But tapioca comes from tubers of the cassava plant and sago comes from the sago palm. And they require different preparation for some recipes.

To add to the confusion, packaging and distribution companies often refer to sago as tapioca and vice versa.  This makes no difference if you are making a sticky sago pudding or a payasam, but for some recipes, such as Sago Kitchari, the pearls of sago remains more separated than tapioca pearls will. Sago needs to be soaked for a longer period of time than tapioca and is less temperamental to deal with.

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Sago Payasam | South Indian Dessert

A classic dessert of Tamil Nadu

Sago Payasam is a classic dessert in Tamil Nadu in South India, along with Vermicelli and Rice Payasams. Payasams are sweet desserts, the milk condensing and thickening as it cooks and the sugar sweetens this thick mixture to a level almost beyond the experience of cooks outside of India. Hold back on the sugar to begin with if you do not have a sweet tooth.

Similar dishes include Kasa Kasa Payasam, and Sago Pachadi.

You might also like our Payasam recipes here. Or our Sago recipes are here. Explore our Indian Desserts here, or the more general Dessert recipes here.

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Indian Essentials: How to Make Payasam | Two Payasams | Indian Vermicelli and Sago

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam.

Indian Desserts are something else! Especially Payasam. Payasam is the South Indian version of Kheer.

Are you after more Payasam recipes? Try Besan Payasam, Sago Payasam, Nachi’s Payasam, and Bengali Rice Kheer.

You might like to browse our Payasam recipes, or our other Desserts. All of our Indian dishes are here. Or simply explore all of our Late Winter recipes.

Feel free to also browse other recipes from our Retro Recipes series, vegetarian recipes from our first blog from 1995 – 2006.

Continue reading “Indian Essentials: How to Make Payasam | Two Payasams | Indian Vermicelli and Sago”

Lemony Sago in Coconut Milk | Sabudana Coconut Payasam

Sago is back in fashion!

Sago is back in fashion! It is wonderful when it is paired with enough lemon juice that it is tangy, and enough jaggery that it is sweet, and swimming in coconut milk. A truly delicious and cooling dessert, just made for hot weather. It can be served hot, cold and at room temperature.

Are you after other Sago dishes? Try Sago Pachadi, Sago Payasam, and Sago Pilaf.

You might like to browse all Sago recipe and explore all of our Dessert recipes. See the complete set of Indian recipes too.  Or be inspired by our Late Spring dishes.

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Tropical Coconut Sago Pudding | Lemony Sago in Coconut Milk | Sabudana Coconut Payasam

Sago is back in fashion! It is wonderful when it is paired with enough lemon juice that it is tangy, and enough jaggery that it is sweet, and swimming in coconut milk. A truly delicious and cooling dessert, just made for hot weather. It can be served hot, cold and at room temperature. This is gorgeous. I still make it often.

Do you remember sago – that lumpy stuff that we ate as kids? Tasteless but oh so cheap to cook. Well, it is back! Borrowing from the cuisines of South and SE Asia, sago is now a yummy, sweet dessert for summer (cold or chilled) or winter (hot). Try this one. Great for any time, even for kids arriving home from school.

Continue reading “Tropical Coconut Sago Pudding | Lemony Sago in Coconut Milk | Sabudana Coconut Payasam”