Sabudana Kheer, or Tapioca pudding, is a sweet made with tapioca pearls and milk. This kheer is popular during the fasting festive season in India. It is super easy to make in the instant pot or on the stovetop. Vegetarian & Gluten-free! 

Sabudana Kheer in two bowls garnished with nuts and rose petals

This is the festive time of the year – it is currently Navratri, and then Diwali is coming up right after. In India, we enjoy a variety of sweets during the festive season, from kheer to a variety of halwa, to laddo and gulab jamuns.

While I always loved sabudana khichdi and sabudana vada, sabudana in kheer was not my favorite. However, I decided to give it another try…this time, I made it in the instant pot. It was super easy to make with this almost dump-and-go recipe.

The best thing about this recipe is that it does not require much stirring, and it is ready in about an hour. I use the slow cook method for this recipe. I have tried the pressure cook method, but the newer models of instant pot give a burn with that method, so I am now recommending the slow cook method, which works just as great.

I have received so many messages that the dump-and-go recipes for kheer have made this laborious dessert so easy, that many are making it more often now. It really makes me happy that the recipes help to make easy desserts to enjoy with family and friends!

What is Sabudana?

Sabudana is a form of tapioca, which is the starch extracted from the roots of the cassava plant. It is typically found in the form of pearls, which is called Sabudana.

Sabudana pearls are a good source of carbohydrates but are low in protein, vitamins, and minerals. This is probably the reason why it is included in the diet when fasting (known as vrat in Hindi).

It is required to first soak the sabudana pearls in water before cooking. This helps to rehydrate them. The sabudana pearls swell up to almost double their size. We do the same in this kheer recipe.

This sabudana kheer is vegetarian and gluten-free.

How to make Sabudana Kheer in Instant Pot?

Making sabudana kheer is very easy in the instant pot, with this dump-and-go recipe. The only preparation step is soaking the sabudana pearls in water for 30 minutes.

The main ingredients in Sabudana Kheer are:

  • Sabudana
  • Milk – I use whole milk for this recipe.
  • Sugar
  • Cardamom powder (optional)
  • Nuts & Raisins (optional)
  • Saffron (optional)

Let’s discuss the steps to make Sabudana Kheer:

  • Start with rinsing the sabudana pearls. You want to rinse them 2-3 times until the water runs clear.
  • Now put the sabudana pearls in the instant pot along with water and soak for about 30 minutes. You can soak in any other bowl too; it is just a convenience to soak in the instant pot. Make sure to leave the instant pot switched off at this time.
  • Then, after the soaking time is done, set the instant pot on saute mode and simmer for about 3-4 minutes. Then press cancel.
  • Now add the milk and saffron to the instant pot and stir well.
Soaking sabudana and making kheer
  • Set to slow cook mode for 1 hour. You can use the instant pot lid or glass lid in the slow cook mode.
  • After 1 hour, open the pot and add the sugar, cardamom, roasted nuts, and mix well.
  • Then put on sauté mode for 4 minutes and let it cook while stirring frequently.
  • Cancel sauté and let the kheer cool. This kheer thickens as it cools.
Sabudana Kheer garnished with saffron and nuts in the instant pot

Garnish with more saffron and nuts to your liking!

This Sabudana Kheer is delicious served hot or chilled. My family prefers it chilled.

Do note that this tapioca pudding thickens considerably. So, if you prefer a thinner consistency, just stir in some milk before serving.

Sabudana Kheer in two bowls garnished with nuts and rose petals

How to make Sabudana Kheer on the stovetop?

  • As mentioned above, rinse and soak the sabudana pearls for 30 minutes.
  • Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil.
  • Now add the soaked sabudana and saffron strands.
  • Simmer to low heat and let the kheer cook till it gets thick while stirring frequently. Cook until the sabudana is cooked. This will take about 45 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, cardamom powder, nuts and mix well.
  • Garnish with saffron, and nuts, and serve hot or chilled.

Tips to make perfect Sabudana Kheer

  • Soaking the tapioca pearls before making kheer is an important step, so do not skip it.
  • This kheer thickens a lot as it cools. So you can add more milk to adjust the consistency before serving.
  • To make a vegan variation of this tapioca pudding, substitute milk with almond milk or another plant-based milk.
  • To make this kheer refined sugar-free, you can replace sugar with grated jaggery.

I hope you enjoy this delicious and easy Sabudana Kheer in the festive season or, rather anytime!

More Easy Kheer Recipes You’ll Love

  • Rice Kheer – The authentic Kheer or Payasam is made in the instant pot as an easy set-and-forget recipe.
  • Vermicelli Kheer – Also called Vermicelli Kheer or Semiyan Payasam, this delicious dessert can be made in an instant pot in less than 25 minutes.
  • Carrot Kheer – Made with carrots, milk, cashews, and dates, with the added aroma of cardamom & saffron. This carrot kheer is a delicious & satisfying dessert with no added sugar.
  • Sheer Khurma: A luscious, rich, and creamy dessert made with vermicelli cooked with milk, and dried dates, and adorned with nuts and rose petals.
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4.91 from 22 votes

Sabudana Kheer (Tapioca Pudding)

Sabudana Kheer, or Tapioca pudding, is a sweet made with tapioca pearls and milk. This kheer is popular during the fasting festive season in India. It is super easy to make in the instant pot or on the stovetop. Vegetarian & Gluten-free! 
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 5

Ingredients 

Garnish options

Instructions 

In Instant Pot:

  • Rinse the sabudana pearls with water until the water runs clear.
  • Sanitize the instant pot thoroughly by cleaning all the parts. Add the sabudana pearls in the instant pot along with water for soaking and soak for about 30 minutes. Make sure to leave the instant pot switched off at this time.
  • After the soaking time is done, set the instant pot on saute mode and let the sabudana simmer for about 3 minutes while stirring frequently. Then press cancel.
  • Now add the milk and saffron to the instant pot and stir well. Set to slow cook mode (medium) for 1 hour. You can use the instant pot lid or a glass lid.
  • Open the lid and stir the kheer. Add the sugar, cardamom, roasted nuts, and raisins. Mix well.
  • Mix well and put on saute mode for 4 mins while stirring frequently. 
  • Turn off the instant pot. Let the kheer cool. This kheer thickens as it cools.
  • Garnish with more saffron and nuts to your liking. This Sabudana Kheer is delicious served hot or chilled. 

On Stovetop:

  • As mentioned above, rinse and soak the sabudana pearls for 30 minutes. 
  • Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan and bring it to a boil. Now add the soaked sabudana and saffron strands. Simmer to low heat and let the kheer cook till it gets thick while stirring frequently. Cook until the sabudana is cooked. This will take about 45 minutes.
  • Add the sugar, cardamom powder, nuts and mix well. Garnish with saffron and nuts, and serve hot or chilled.

Notes

Sanitize the instant pot thoroughly – the steel insert, lid, and sealing ring. If you have an extra sealing ring for sweet foods, use it. 
Sugar Substitute: Although I have not tried it myself, some readers have suggested that if using jaggery in place of sugar, then add it after cooking on porridge setting (else the milk can curdle). 
Roasted Nuts: If you don’t have already roasted nuts. Add 1 tbsp of ghee to the instant pot and saute the nuts for about a minute. Then, follow the recipe. 
Consistency: This kheer thickens a lot as it cools. So you can add more milk to adjust the consistency before serving.
Vegan Variation: Substitute milk with almond milk or another plant-based milk.
Updated: This recipe has been updated to use the slow cook method, as the newer instant pot models are more sensitive and give a burn for this kheer. This recipe was created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.

Nutrition

Calories: 198kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 4gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 65mgPotassium: 185mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 153IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 111mgIron: 1mg

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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11 Comments

    1. Hi Mamta – You can use coconut milk. If using jaggery, I would suggest to add after cooking the sabudana, as I have heard some people have trouble with the milk curdling due to possible impurities in jaggery. Hope you enjoy the kheer!

  1. Perfect measurements just made. It turned out amazing. Could not stop myself from commenting. Thank you for the recipe.

  2. Hi, do you leave the soaked water and add other ingredients or take it out then add milk, etc to soaked sabudana? Thanks!