Tag Archives: Tapioca

Sobudhana Kitchuri – You did what with Tapioca?

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Sobudhana Kitchuri – You did what with Tapioca?

As a dietitian, I get asked about food related things all the time.  Usually at parties or social situations.  “Do you have a special diet to reduce gas?”  “What should I cook for my kids who are allergic to peanuts, dairy, gluten and corn?” My personal favorite, “I don’t like to exercise but do you have a diet for me to lose about 20 pounds?”  Contrary to popular belief, dietitians don’t go around making up “diets” or prescribing magic food pills.  It’s still a good idea to eat things in moderation and to exercise regularly but I guess that advice is just not sexy enough. (I feel a rant coming on….)

In the last several years people have been diagnosed with a lot more food allergies or intolerances.  Gluten (the protein found in wheat, rhy, spelt and bulgar and wheat by-products) allergies are becoming very common as well as various nut allergies and a hyper sensitivity to high fructose corn syrup.  A typical western diet is very high in gluten and processed sugars. There are two simple solutions to these dietary dilemmas:  Learn to eat and actually try a variety of foods and cook something! Whenever we buy pre-packaged foods, we deliver control of our life to someone else and it costs more, not only the food but long-term health related costs. I know sometimes it can’t be avoided but I’m not willing to trade convenience for the sake good taste or health!…..official END of rant here.

Most people who live in the U.S. have never thought of cooking tapioca (which is actually a starch from the Cassava plant) in savory dishes.  It is reserved mostly for puddings or the ubiquitous “frog eye salad” (not really a salad but a Jello concoction).  Tapioca can be eaten in a variety of savory dishes.  Here’s a Sobudhana kitchuri ( Sobudhana means Tapioca and Kitchuri basically means a “hodge podge” or “mixture”) made out of tapioca.  I made a kitchuri out of Quinoa not too long ago and this is very similar. It’s a tasty alternative to rice or pasta and it’s totally gluten free and vegan.  Besides the soaking of the tapioca (just do it overnight) everything comes together in 8 minutes.  I timed it!

Dry tapioca

Gently wash in cold water and then soak in 1/2 cup of cold water for 6-8 hours

After 8 hours of soaking the tapioca should be double in size and dry and fluffy.

Most of the ingredients (minus the peas and the lemon--oops)

Toast the cashews in a hot dry skillet

Add oil to pan and stir fry cumin seeds, black mustard and dried red chilies

Add carrots and peas

Add garlic and apricots to the mixture and stir fry

Add tapioca to the mix then add the turmeric

Add in cashews, lemon juice and chopped cilantro and take off heat

It's slightly sweet and spicy with a delightful crunch

Here’s the recipe

Sobudhana Kitchuri

1 1/2 cups of tapioca

1/2 cup cold water

1/2 cup cashews

1/2 cup frozen baby peas

6 dried apricots, diced

2 tbsp chopped Cilantro (Coriander leaves)

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

2 dry red chilies

1 garlic clove, chopped

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 carrot, shredded

4 tbsp oil

Gently was the tapioca in COLD water (or you’ll have a hot mess) and put 1/2 cup of cold water in tapioca to soak 6-8 hours.  Do not skimp on the time, this helps the tapioca fluff up but also to dry out so it’s not a gelatinous mess when stir frying.

In a dry hot skillet stir fry the cashews until they are toasted.  Set aside.  In the same skillet add the oil and heat it up.  Add cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and the red chili peppers.  Stir fry until the mustard seeds and cumin seeds start crackling.  Add in the peas and shredded carrot and stir fry a few minutes.  Add in garlic and chopped apricots and stir to incorporate then add in the tapioca.  Stir fry until everything is blended in, then add the turmeric, lemon juice and chopped cilantro leaves.  Mix well and take off heat. Serve warm.

The Great Leftover Challenge

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Remember the movie “field of dreams” and phrase “if you build it, they will come”?  Our house is kind of like that only its “if you cook it, they will come”.  Even now that we’re technically empty nesters, it is amazing how much volume of food is produced from my kitchen.  I try to be as resourceful as possible and judge how much to cook to minimize leftovers but they still happen and sometimes they are thrust upon you!  Earlier this week I inherited 10 baked potatoes.  I teach a women’s bible study on Tuesdays and women attend from all different places (and countries) and since it starts at 6 p.m. and many of us are coming straight from work, the women take turns in groups to bring dinner.  Since there over 50 of us, nobody has dinner responsibilities more than once.  We end up enjoying food from  different parts of the world.   It’s a great way to feed our bodies and minds!  This Tuesday some of the ladies created a baked potato bar and quite a few foil wrapped baked potatoes were left over.  I somehow ended up with them.  A couple of women even said, do something fun with it and post it on your blog.

Last night I stared at the baked potatoes and about 1/2 a cup of soaked Tapioca left over from another meal I’d recently made.  Bengali people love to smash things and call it chops or boras.  Smashing foods in the kitchen, I’m in!  I also remembered The Great Leftover Challenge from Danny’s Kitchen, I went to the computer to see if I’d missed the deadline (it’s today)  Here’s what I came up with:

Leftover baked potatoes and tapioca

Shred the potatoes and dump all the ingredients in

Make little patties

Fry until golden brown

Serve with a sauce or chutney and enjoy

Potato and Tapioca Bora

3 baked potatoes, shredded

1/2 cup or so of soaked Tapioca

handful of fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp approximately of cumin seeds

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp red chili powder

salt to taste

fresh ground pepper

3 green onions, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, I pressed it through a garlic press to make sure there were no big chunks

Oil for frying

Peel the potatoes and grate them.  Add all the other ingredients and shape them into little patties and fry them in some vegetable oil.  Make sure the oil is hot enough to fry quickly, should take about 4-5 minutes to fry a batch.  I used a little pan with some oil so I didn’t end up with a ton of leftover oil.  I thought about baking them but I knew that it would not have that crunch.  I made some Cilantro chutney as well to use as a sauce.