Recipe: Sabudana (Sago Pearl or Tapioca) Khichdi

A popular Maharashtrian comfort food and a typical dish made during fasting (vrat), sabudana khichdi is easy, quick and simple to make (quick, except the overnight part!).

I sometimes make sabudana khichdi as a one of the meals of the day even if I am not fasting, and even though it looks little - it does get quite filling.  Wiki says that is because of sago’s carbohydrate & peanuts’ protein & other contents that makes the sabudana khichadi filling, have high energy content, and a complete dish.

spusht | how to make sabudana khichdi at home - sabudana khichdi recipe
how to make sabudana khichdi at home - sabudana khichdi recipe
Everyone has their own style of cooking sabudana ki khichdi, and below is one that I follow, inspired from madhura's recipe.

Keep it as a plain white khichdi, or make a brown khichdi using red chili powder and peanuts, or have a bright yellow sabudana khichdi with addition of turmeric powder – the choice is yours.  You may also add other stuff, such as green peas, as on manjula's kitchen.

The first step to making sabudana khichdi:
How to soak Sago Pearl / Tapioca / Sabudana:

1 cup raw & dry (unsoaked, basically) sago pearl/tapioca (sabudana) should be good for 3-4 persons.  The pearls double in size after soaking.

Step 1.  Rinse tapioca couple of times & discard water each time, then soak it in water for 30 minutes.
Step 2.  After 30 minutes, drain the water out, cover the sago in the container & keep it overnight... or about 5-6 hours in the daytime.  You don’t need sabudana immersed in water all night.
Step 3.  After overnight or 6 hours - sprinkle some water on the tapioca, fluff it, cover it & keep it another hour.  No soaking again; just sprinkle.
Step 4.  After an hour, drain any remaining water & you are ready to cook sabudana khichadi.

What you’ll need to make sabudana khichdi:

spusht | ingredients for sabudane ki khichdi
ingredients for sabudana ki khichdi
For the 1 cup of pre-soaked sago you need:
3 tsp oil/ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
Few curry leaves (karipatta)
1 potato, par-boiled & chopped
Color determination*
Salt & sugar to taste [I put 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp sugar]
½ cup roasted &/shelled peanuts
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp coconut, fresh or dry, desiccated or grated
1 Tbsp Lemon juice [or to taste]

* Color determination indicates that if you want …
- White Khichdi:  use 2 green chilies, chopped [or to taste]
-  Brown Khichdi:  use ½ tsp red chili powder [or to taste]
-  Yellow Khichdi:  use 1/8 tsp turmeric powder [or as per color strength]

Let’s Begin!

1.  Heat oil/ghee in pan on medium; add cumin seeds, let pop, add curry leaves + potato & sauté until potato appears just about cooked (or starts changing color).

how to cook sabudana ki khichadi
2.  Add color determination* + soaked sabudana & mix well for couple of minutes until sago gets a bit translucent.  Then add roasted peanuts {for brown khichdi: add roasted peanut powder if you have it handy, OR use roasted peanuts, or both} + cilantro + coconut + salt + sugar; mix everything well along with sabudana, cover & let it cook on low flame for just couple of minutes.  Avoid sprinkling water during cooking.

3.  Switch off heat, add lemon juice at the end & give it a last good quick mix.  Serve hot, accompanied with curd or as is.

spusht | brown sabudana khichdi using red chili and peanut powder
brown sabudana khichdi using red chili and peanut powder

spusht | white sabudana khichadi with potatoes and peanuts
white sabudana khichadi with potatoes and peanuts

spusht | yellow sabudana khichdi using turmeric powder
yellow sabudana khichdi using haldi
                                        Sabudana Khichadi Blunder Alert and FAQ                                        

Q:  When I make this, my sabudana sticks to each other.  How to avoid sabudana khichdi to get soggy while cooking?
A:  If you left sabudana immersed in water too long, or you did not drain water before cooking it, or if you sprinkled water while cooking - the sabudana would stick to each other and get soggy.  Avoid all those.

Q:  Khichdi is kind of stiff, not soft & easy to chew.
A:  Either you didn’t soak it properly so tapioca didn’t expand well, or you kept cooking & mixing for long time.  Sabudana khichdi gets cooked within 10 minutes!

Q:  Khichdi became dry after it cooled down.
A:  Happens, sprinkle little water, heat up & have it again..

Q:  How to make sabudana khichdi without soaking? How to make sabudana khichdi if it is not soaked?  Don't have time to soak.

A:  Not possible, unless the sabudana you have is some special type.  At least try soaking sago/tapioca pearls for 4 hours.  Otherwise soak for 1 hour and made sabudana vada instead of khichdi...

... and now after the white, brown & yellow khichadi, I am wondering what color to make next - blue?  ;-)
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