Friday, 6 April 2012

Sabudana or Sago Upma(Tapioca Pearls Breakfast dish)

"Sabudana" or "Sago" is also known as tapioca pearls
Sago is made from the starch extracted from the pith (center) of the sago palm stems. The commercial production of sago is in the shape of small globules or pearls.
The health benefits of sabudana (sago) are mainly in the carbohydrates it provides. Also Sabudana is full of starch or carbohydrates and is great for a quick boost of energy, and hence often served in India for breaking fasts during religious festivals. Sago gruel is also great when you're sick because it gives you quick energy and is easy to digest. According to Indian medicine, sago and rice have a cooling effect on the system, hence sago gruel is given if you have excess bile (caused by excess body heat).
Sabudana is extremely low in fat but also low in protein. As it's just starch, other than the carbohydrates, nutrition-wise, sabudana does not contain any minerals or vitamins and has very low amounts of calcium, iron, and fiber. However, you can make up for this by using other ingredients with it, such as milk for making sabudana kheer/payasam/gruel or vegetables and peanuts for making sabudana khichdi.

Serves 1
Sabudana or Sago - 100 gms

Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilli - 1
Tomato -1/2 - small
Onion - 1/2
Green chilli - 1
Lemon - 1/2
Ginger- 1 inch
Curry leaves - 4
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp 
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Rasam/Sambhar powder - 1/2 tsp ( optional)
Roasted peanuts and/or walnuts - 1 handful ( optional)
Olive oil - 1 tsp
Lemon wedge - for garnishing
Coriander leaves - for garnishing

Soak the Sabudana for 3-4 hrs in a bowl of water with just enough water to cover it.
Adding more water will make it sticky.
Now drain the Sabudana in a sieve or colander to wash off all the white powder and drain it and keep aside.
Chop onion, tomato, green chilli, ginger and keep aside.
Take a heavy bottomed pan, keep on low heat, add olive oil, and then add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow to crackle.
Add pieces of red chillies and green chillies anf fry for a few seconds.
Add ginger and onions and fry again till almost golden.
Add tomatoes and fry till then become soft.
Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt.
Optionally you could add 1/2 tsp Rasam or Sambhar powder to enhance the taste further. 
Now fry for a few seconds.
Add the roasted peanuts/walnuts.
Now add the the well drained Sabudana and mix well, keep mixing till the Sabudana changes color from white to translucent.
Only when all the sabudana has become translucent, it is cooked.
Keep mixing well, so that it does not touch the bottom of the pan.
Garnish with lemon wedge and freshly chopped coriander leaves. 
Squeeze the lemon wedge all over the dish before eating.

Sabudana or Sago Upma is ready.

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