A healthier Sabudana Khichdi recipe – Tapioca pearls/Sago cooked with potatoes, carrots, green peas and crushed peanuts. This popular vegan and gluten free dish is like a pilaf or upma made with tapioca pearls. Enjoy it for breakfast or an afternoon snack with tea.
I grew up in Mumbai (still Bombay for me) and Sabudana khichdi was a favorite for breakfast. This khichdi is so easy to make, and is so flavorful. You will instantly fall in love with it. Serve it with a side of chilled yogurt for a perfect treat!
Sabudana Khichdi is also popular all over India as one of the staple food during Navratri fast (see notes if making this recipe for fast).
Even though this recipe is easy to make, the tricky part is getting the sabudana soaked correctly, so that the pearls remain separate and don’t turn the khichdi mushy. Here I will share all my tips and tricks to make the perfect Sabudana Khichdi.
What is Sabudana?
Sabudana is called as Tapioca or Sago pearls in English.
Sabudana is made from the starch that is extracted from tapioca roots. This is then processed to form spherical pearls that may vary in size. The pearls are produced by passing the moist starch through a sieve under pressure, and then dried.
Many people ask – Is Sabudana healthy? Sabudana is not a nutrient rich food, but is a rich source of carbohydrates. This may be the reason why it is included in fasting diets in India.
What to add in the Sabudana Khichdi?
Usually sabudana khichdi is made mainly with potatoes, sabudana and peanuts. As you can imagine, it is very carb heavy. This is a variation I have learnt from my mom, where we add grated carrots and green peas along with the potato to make it healthier. You could also completely leave out potatoes, to reduce the carb content.
That said, if you are making it for fast, only add the potatoes, sabudana and peanuts. Also make sure to use sendha namak (rock salt) in place of table salt.
How to Soak Sabudana?
- Start with rinsing sabudana in a colander until the water runs clear. This is important to get rid of the starch.
- Now transfer the rinsed sabudana to a bowl and add water. For 1-1/2 cup of sabudana, I add 1 cup of water.
- Let’s the sabudana soak the water for about 6-8 hours. It is best to leave it overnight and make the khichdi for breakfast.
- The sabudana will have soaked up all the water. If there is any liquid, drain it completely.
- Press a sabudana pearl in between your fingers and it should smash easily. This show that sabudana is perfectly soaked.
If the sabudana is soaked in excess water, then your khichdi will turn lumpy and sticky. So make sure to follow the steps for soaking the tapioca pearls.
Can I make Instant Sabudana Khichdi without soaking overnight?
This has happened with me many times, and I have tried with many unsuccessful attempts to make sabudana khichdi.
One thing that worked was a variation of the method shared by The Chutney Life. Soak sabudana in boiling hot water for about 45 minutes to an hour. Use the same amount of water as mentioned in the recipe. After 45 minutes, spread the sabudana in a large tray to let it dry for about 15 minutes before using.
The sabudana pearls are not as perfect and separated as the overnight soaking method, but pretty good for the quick soak time. I would love to hear your experience if you try this method.
How to make non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi?
The most important thing to make non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi is soaking the sabudana well, as shown above. The other ingredient that helps with keeping the khichdi non-sticky is crushed peanuts.
Roast peanuts and coarsely crush them. If using a grinder, keep a tab on the consistency and pulse them coarsely (not to a fine powder).
How to make Sabudana Khichdi?
- Heat oil in a pan on medium-high flame and add oil to it. Then add cumin seeds and green chili to it. If you like, you can also add a few curry leaves.
- Add diced potatoes and cook for a few minutes. It is important to cut the potatoes to small pieces, about 1/2 inch or lesser. We want the potatoes to be more than half way cooked.
- Now add grated carrots and green peas. I am using frozen green peas which cook quickly, hence adding them after potatoes are cooked works well. If you are using fresh green peas, add them along with potatoes.
- Reduce to low-medium flame. Then add sabudana, ground peanuts, salt, sugar and mix well.
- Cover with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Open lid and stir. Cook for couple more minutes without a lid.
When the sabudana is cooked, pearls should be translucent and not sticky. Remove pan from heat.
Mix the juice of one lemon and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot for breakfast or as a snack.
Check out more indian breakfast recipes:
Healthy Sabudana Khichdi
- 1-1/2 cup Sabudana or Sago, washed
- 1 cup Water, for soaking
- 2 tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera), (optional)
- 2-3 Green Chili Pepper, finely chopped, adjust to taste
- 1 Potato, cut in small pieces, 7oz
- 1 Carrot, grated
- 1/2 cup Green peas, I used frozen
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Sugar, optional
- 1 tablespoon Lime juice
- 1/4 cup Peanuts, roasted and coarsely grinded
- Cilantro, for garnishing
- Wash sabudana in a colander until water runs clear. Transfer to a bowl and soak in water overnight or for 6-8 hours. Most of the water should be soaked when you are ready to cook. If there is any leftover water, drain it using a colander. To check if the sabudana is ready, press a pearl in between your fingers, and it should mash easily.
- Heat a pan on medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil is heated, add cumin seeds and green chili to it.
- Once the cumin seeds start to sizzle, add the diced potatoes. The potatoes will take about 5 minutes to get cooked and lightly browned. You can cover with a lid for the initial 2-3 minutes to expedite the cooking.
- Then add the grated carrots and green peas and cook for another 2 minutes. If using fresh green peas, add them along with potatoes, so they are cooked well.
- Add the soaked sabudana, crushed peanuts, salt and sugar. Mix well.
- Change to low-medium flame, cover with a lid and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. Open and stir, then cook again for couple more minutes without a lid. Do not overcook.
- When the sabudana is cooked, the pearls should be translucent and not sticky. Remove pan from heat.
- Mix the juice of one lemon and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot for breakfast or as a snack.
- You can check if the sabudana is soaked well, by mashing it between your fingers. It should get easily mashed.
- You can roast peanuts on a pan or in the microwave. I usually roast in the microwave. Keeping them for 1 minute at a time for up to 2 minutes and 30 seconds intervals after that. It is good to keep monitoring the progress, so they don’t get burnt. Let them cool down before crushing.
- The final result should not be sticky, as the ground peanuts help to keep the sabudana separated and also add a wonderful taste.