It is usually the Sabudana Vada (Sago Pearl Fritters) or the Sabudana Khichdi (Sago Pearl Savoury Porridge) that are amongst the more sought after dishes during the Navratri. Kheer and khichdi made with barnyard millet is another favourite among those in the north, apart from kuttu roti and singhada roti.
If you want to have a change from the regular, try these spicy and delicious seekh kebabs that are vegan and of course, gluten free. The mixture for the kebab can be made ahead. AND, you do not need to be fasting to enjoy these seekh kebabs. They are easy to make and are a crowd please and perfect for cocktails and parties.
So here is a twist to the traditional sabudana fasting affair. You can enjoy these with a salad and chutney for a nutritious and healthy meal. I serve them with a spicy and finger licking good spicy mango dip.
FOR SEEKH KEBABS
4 inch size Bamboo Skewers (soaked in water for 15 – 20 minutes)
½ C Sabudana / Sago Pearls
1 large Potatoes (boiled), approximately 150 gm
1½ tsp finely chopped Ginger
1½ tsp finely chopped Green Chilies
3 – 4 tbsp Peanuts, roasted
½ tsp Salt (Sendha Namak for Navratri fast)
¼ tsp Red Chili Powder
¾ tsp Coriander Powder
¾ tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
½ tsp Garam Masala
2 tbsp roasted Besan, only if required (those fasting for Navratri can use singhada or rajgira atta)
2 – 3 tsp Lime Juice
1 tbsp Fresh Coriander
Oil for pan frying
FOR MANGO DIP
1 C Mango Puree
½ tsp Red Chilli Flakes (adjust amount to taste)
2 – 3 tsp Lime Juice (adjust amount to taste)
Salt to taste
Wash the sabudana in water thrice. Discard the water and soak the sabudana in three fourth cup of clean water till they soften. To check whether the sabudana has softened or not, simply press a sabudana pearl between your forefinger and thumb. It should flatten easily with pressure. (It always takes me three and half hours of soaking time for any sabudana recipe)
Transfer the sabudana over a fine mesh sieve/ colander to get rid of any excess water. Keep it over a pot to catch any drips. Let it sit for at least half an hour. Then transfer and spread it over a plate to get rid of extra moisture.
Peel and mash the potatoes. Set aside.
Rub the roasted peanuts between your hands to get rid of the thin skin. Discard the skin and crush the peanuts to attain coarse powder.
In a mixing bowl, add the sabudana, potatoes, peanuts, ginger, green chillies, red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala and salt along with fresh coriander and lemon juice. Mix everything together without over working the mixture, else the potato and sabudana will release starch and make the mixture sticky.
Ensure that the mixture is neither dry nor sticky. If the mixture is dry i.e. if it is not binding, you probably need to add some more potato. If it is sticky, add some roasted besan. (Those fasting can use singhade ka atta i.e. water chestnut flour)
Scoop and divide the mixture into equal portions of twenty gram each. Moisten your hands and make balls out of the mixture. Insert the skewer right into the centre of the ball and then using your fingers and palms, spread the mixture over the skewer (length wise) to create a cylindrical shape, of two and a half inch size, around the skewer. Set the threaded skewers aside on a greased plate.
Heat a frying pan or skillet and set it to heat on medium high flame. Add two tablespoon of oil and place the skewered sabadana kebabs into the pan to cook on medium high heat.
Turn the skewer around for evening cooking. The kebabs need to be golden brown in colour. Add more oil if required. Cook the kebabs in batches.
Once done, remove them on a plate. Sprinkle them with chaat masala (optional) and serve immediately with green chutney or mango dip.
For Mango Dip, whisk everything together and garnish the dip with chilli flakes and some finely chopped coriander leaves. (If you are not fasting for Navratri feel free to add a finely grated clove of garlic to the dip)
Serves – 6 to 8 (as an appetiser)
Note – The smaller size seekh kebabs work better in comparison to longer one. Also the make for nice petite serving that serve as finger food.
Note – I had run out of the regular sabudana, hence I used the mini ones for this recipe but the regular one works better in my view.
Note – To work better with the mixture it would help if you moisten your hands while shaping the kebabs. Your hands need to be moist and not wet.
Thank you for your visit and see you soon again, with another exciting recipe!