Sabudana, or pearl sago, is produced by extracting the starch from the center of the sago palm stem. Sabudana is used in Ayurveda as a cooling food to balance the body's heat. Rich in carbohydrates, sabudana has little flavor on its own and is typically seasoned using diverse herbs and spices.
Sabudana is enjoyed most readily as a fasting food throughout India, used predominately when other foods such as rice are not allowed. A versatile ingredient, sabudana can be used to make far-ranging items such as desserts, porridges and breads. It is mild flavored and takes on the taste of whatever you cook it's cooked with.
Before use, sabudana is generally soaked in water for three to six hours to allow it to soften; it can then be used whole. It has a small circular form similar to tapioca pearls, or it can be ground into flour. Sabudana can also be purchased as a flour in specialty Indian markets.
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