Most Maharashtrians are God fearing people. Or the better way to put it.. They truly believe in God!! Even I do. :) Fasting is one favoutrite "activity" of many Maharashtrians. Fasting is accompanied by visits to temples and lots of Puja Paath(worshiping). People fast atleast once a month on every chaturti or ekadashi or some specific day of the week for a specific diety (Specific dieties are associated with specific days.. Monday for Shivji.. Tuesday for Ganpati… and so on). Some people fast 4-5 days a week.. Strange but true! Fasting can be the regular upwaas (eat fasting food one time), kadak upwaas (no eating) or nirjala upwaas. (neither eating nor drinking.) Fasting is considered to be one way of pleasing god.. The other reason for fasting is the wide array of fasting foods. :D Fasting food includes preparation from sabudana (sago, tapoica), varaiche tandhul (some specific rice), batata (potaoes), shengdana (groundnuts), milk products and all types of fruits including dry fruits. Hence many people who are against fasting are never against fasting food! :)
Sabudana Kheer is a kheer (payasam/pudding) prepared from sago, milk, sugar and nuts. This was the best Maharashtrian food to start with for RCI Maharashtrian Cuisine. Normally the tapoica that we get in India is big but I get the small one in Indian stores here. The only difference is the resting time for sago. If you have big tapoica, wash it, drain water and rest aside for 5-6 hrs/overnight. If you have the small one, wash, drain and rest for 15-20 mins. I prepared the kheer with small tapoica and no nuts! (calorie conscious ;)) Here goes the recipe..
What you need:
1 cup Sabudana/Sago/Tapoica
2 cups Milk
1 cup Sugar(according to taste)
1/2 tsp Cardamom Powder
A pinch of Nutmeg Powder
3-4 strands Saffron(optional)
Dry Fruits(cashews, almonds,walnuts,raisins)
How to proceed:
1) Wash sago. Drain and set aside.
2) Put milk to boil in a vessel.
3) When milk boils, add sabudana and heat till sago is cooked and can be easily pressed between fingers.
4) Now add sugar and mix well till the sugar dissolves completely.
5) Add saffron, cardamom powder and nutmeg powder.
6) Garnish with fried nuts(optional) and serve hot.
* The kheer with big sabudana tastes better than the kheer with small ones.
* This recipe makes thick kheer. If you wish to make it thin, take 1 & 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup water.
This is also my entry for Nupur's "S of Indian Vegetables."