Gluten-Free Recipe of Sabudana Khichdi (Tapioca Pearls Pilaf)

Sabudana Khichdi or Sago Khichdi or Tapioca Khichdi is an ayurvedic recipe that we consume mostly during our fasting days of the Navratri festival. However, it’s so delicious that you can’t wait to have it throughout the year. You can have this with yoghurt, chutney or just plain.

Sabudana Khichdi is made with tapioca pearls, boiled potatoes, peanuts, cashews and very few spices and herbs. The recipe is praised in our Ayurveda and also gluten-free. But the recipe is very technical to make because if you didn’t follow the exact method of preparing it, tapioca pearls may become sticky and mushy instead of dry pearl-like texture which looks so mesmerising. It feels like you’re having a platter of real pearls in front of you but they are not. 🙂 Can you see below? How all pearls are looking?

Is Sabudana Khichdi Healthy?

I am not an expert but what research says is that Sabudana or Sago or Tapioca is good for those who want to gain weight instead of losing it because it’s a very high calorie with high in carbs and low in fat but with dietary fibres. However, we make it during our fasting days so we cook it in ghee which adds too much fat into the recipe. But you can definitely make it with oil. This way you can make it a vegan recipe too. Read this post till the end so that I can tell you how to make Vegan Sabudana Khichdi recipe?

Although few benefits of having tapioca pearls or Sabudana are:

  • Fast source of energy
  • Gluten-free
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Good for bones because of calcium

In a nutshell, I would say you can have Sabudana (tapioca pearls) in moderation and if you are doing regular exercise. But completely avoid it if you are diabetic or suffering from any other insulin sensitivity problem. For us (Indians), it is to be consumed twice or thrice in a year and so, as such, it’s okay.

I know what you are thinking? If this is the case, why are you sharing this recipe? Because this is for my gluten-free friends who can have it once in a while.

Secrets Behind Making Non-Sticky Sabudana

Well, for my secrets of making non-sticky Sabudana, credit goes to my mom. She taught me after I did so much mess in her kitchen and the day everyone in the family suffered actual famine because of me. Lots of talks…. Now let’s see the trick.

If you don’t know where to buy tapioca pearls check out this link.

  • Soak Sabudana (Tapioca pearls) in a bowl for exactly two hours. (Yes, exactly means not more than or not less than)
  • After two hours, drain the water and wash it under the running tap water.
  • Leave it in the sieve for a while with a pot beneath it, so that all the remaining water will be drained out. After this, these pearls are ready to cook. This will help in rinsing excess starch away.

Easy peasy… Right? Just you need to concentrate on the soaking time.

Ingredients Required

  • 2 cups Sabudana or Sago or Tapioca Pearls
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts
  • 1/4 cup Cashews (optional)
  • 1 finely chopped Green chilli
  • 1 inch finely chopped or grated Ginger
  • 2 small-sized diced boiled Potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp or as per taste Sendha Namak or Himalayan Pink Salt (If not fasting, you can use normal salt.)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon Lemon juice

Step by Step Recipe of Sabudana Khichdi

Soaking Sabudana

In this step, I am going to repeat what I said above in case you missed it.

  1. Soak 2 cups of Sabudana in 4 cups of water for 2 hours.
  2. Then drain the water by putting it in the sieve.
  3. Put the sieve beneath the tap and under running cold water for a minute and stir slowly so excess starch will be washed out.
  4. Keep sieve on any pan for a while for removing remaining drops of water.

Boiling Potatoes in a Pressure Cooker

Using potatoes in Sabudana Khichdi is completely optional. In this recipe, I used two small-sized boiled potatoes. You may increase the quantity as per your requirements, but with 2 cups of Sabudana, I would recommend using a maximum of 3 small-sized or 2 medium-sized boiled potatoes.

There are two ways to boil potatoes: (1) pressure cooking or (2) boiling in an open pot. I used a pressure cooker and after three whistles (about 15 minutes), I boiled the potatoes. However, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, don’t worry. Boil water in a pot, add the potatoes, cover and boil for 30 minutes. Use a knife to check if it is easy to insert into the knife. Set the potatoes aside until they cool completely.

Once the potatoes are completely cool, peel the skin off and dice them into bite-sized pieces.

Roasting Peanuts and Cashews

  1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan. You can also use oil.
  2. Add 1/2 cup peanuts and 1/4 cup cashews into it.
  3. Continuously stir and roast till it starts releasing a nice smell and looking golden brown.
  4. Keep it aside.

Preparing Spice Mix

Mix coriander powder, red chilli powder and cumin powder altogether and keep it aside. This is optional. You may add these spices separately as well.

Making Sabudana Khichdi

  • In the remaining ghee, heat an additional 1 tbsp.
  • Add green chilli and ginger into it. Cook both the ingredients for a minute.
  • Then add boiled potatoes and let them roast for 5 minutes.
  • Add spice mix — 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tsp cumin powder. Add Sendha Namak or Himalayan Pink Salt or normal salt (if not fasting) as per your taste. I added 1/2 tsp in this recipe. Mix everything well and cook for 2 minutes.
  • At this stage, add soaked Sabudana or tapioca pearls. Mix well.
  • Cover the pan and let it cook on low flame for 2–3 minutes.
  • Open the cover after 2–3 minutes and mix roasted peanuts and cashews into it.
  • Switch off the stove. Add coriander leaves and lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Sabudana Khichdi is ready.

Storage Instructions

Alright if you want to store soaked Sabudana or tapioca, yes you can. After draining and removing excess water, let it completely dry and keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container for not more than 3 days.

If you want to store cooked Sabudana khichdi recipe, the same rule is applicable. You can refrigerate for up to 3 days. Whenever you want it to consume, microwave for a minute, take out, stir and again microwave for 1 minute. It’s ready to eat.

Tips for Sabudana Khichdi

  • For non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi — Always soak Sabudana in sufficient quantity of water i.e. double the quantity of Sabudana and soak for 2 hours. Also, don’t forget to rinse it under cold water after soaking.
  • For Vegan Sabudana Khichdi — Replace ghee with oil. We don’t use oil during fasting. That’s why this recipe is traditionally made with ghee. But roasting nuts and making Sabudana khichdi can be done with oil also.
  • Don’t overcook Sabudana — Why we add Sabudana at the last in the recipe because it gets sticky and lumpy very quickly and that’s why I told you to cook with a closed lid on low flame. As such, avoid overcooking Sabudana.

Video Recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sabudana Khichdi good for weight loss?

No, instead it’s good for weight gain and good for giving you an instant energy boost, digestion and bones.

Is Sabudana Khichdi Gluten-free?

Yes, it is a completely gluten-free recipe.

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Originally published at on April 20, 2021.

Hi, I am a lifestyle and a food blogger, along with a Fiverr freelancer. I am all that because of my passion for blogging, photography, content designing.

Hi, I am a lifestyle and a food blogger, along with a Fiverr freelancer. I am all that because of my passion for blogging, photography, content designing.