Tapioca pearl khichri (paleo, AIP)

Tapioca Pearl and Sweet Potato Khichri (Paleo, AIP)

Tapioca or Yucca or Cassava has become one important component of my diet these days since I am avoiding all grains and all other starches. I mostly just boil fresh yucca pieces (after peeling and chopping them) with sea salt. Or eat them with onion chutney. And they taste delicious! I also have been making the tapioca ‘rice’ or the steamed kappa Puttu which is a traditional Kerala breakfast item. And occasionally when I miss my rice, I tend to cook this hash using tapioca pearls.  Tapioca pearls are called ‘sabudana’ in both Hindi and Marathi and this savory hash recipe is called as ‘khichdi’, which just means a mish-mash of tapioca with potatoes or sweet potatoes. Traditionally in Marathi cuisine this ‘khichdi’ is eaten during religious fasting periods.  Doesn’t it seem like our ancestors were indeed very smart ? – Avoid grains and eat sabudana khichdi and only fresh fruits for the entire day- what better way to detox than this!

One slight drawback about this dish is that it does need a little bit of advance planning in that you need to soak the tapioca pearls in advance for at least 6-8 hours. Peanuts are what is used traditionally however I use cashewnuts nowadays in my ‘paleo’ version of this dish!. Also regular potatoes or sweet potatoes are used. However if using sweet potatoes, they have to be ‘white sweet potatoes’ or the Indian/Japanese variety of sweet potatoes with white flesh, which also are less sweet as compared to yellow sweet potatoes or yams.

This past week when I made this I paired it with a fresh kale and orange salad. Was so good and definitely filling!

Tapioca Pearl and Sweet Potato Khichdi (Paleo, AIP)
Recipe type: Main course, side dish
Cuisine: Indian, Maharashtrian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
Tapioca pearls cooked with sweet potatoes and mild spices and mixed with roasted nuts and grated coconut
  • 1 cup tapioca pearls (soaked overnight or for 6-8 hours in water)
  • ½ cup roasted cashew nuts (Omit for AIP)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated coconut (or fresh frozen grated coconut or shredded unsweetened coconut)
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds(omit for AIP)
  • 1 green chili (serrano chili) cut into 3-4 pieces (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated or finely chopped
  • 4-6 fresh curry leaves, torn into pieces
  • 1 large white sweet potato or potato, cut into tiny pieces/cubes(use sweet potato for AIP)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped spinach leaves
  • ¼ cup grated carrots
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice or lime juice
  1. Soak the tapioca pearls overnight in a large bowl with enough water on top (pearls will swell up). Drain them using a sieve or colander and then blot dry using multiple paper towels.
  2. Coarsely chop the cashew nuts in a food processor (just give it a quick pulse)
  3. Place the pearls in a mixing bowl. Add the chopped nuts and the coconut to it and mix everything well together. Keep aside.
  4. In a wok style pan or kadai or a skillet, heat the oil. When hot add the cumin seeds(omit for AIP) and after 30 seconds add the green chillies(omit for AIP), ginger and curry leaves. Stop fry for 1 minute on medium heat.
  5. Next add the finely chopped sweet potato pieces to the pan and add the salt too and stir well to mix with the spices. Cover and cook on low heat for about 5 mins until the sweet potato is well-cooked.
  6. Next add the tapioca pearl mixture to this and turning heat to low, keep stirring mix continuously to prevent the pearls from clumping together too much. Cover and cook on low heat for about 3-4 mins or until all the pearls are cooked (they become transparent). Add the spinach and saute for another min. Add the grated carrots and stir to mix.
  7. Add the cilantro and lime juice and stir well before serving.
For AIP compliant version, skip the nuts, cumin seeds and the green chillies. Use only white sweet potatoes if using sweet potatoes otherwise the dish will be too sweet.



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