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Sabudana Khichdi

Oct/15/2023 / by Richa Sharma

A recipe for Navratri

A dish of Indian sabudana khichdi or tapioca pearls with condiments
Photo via Shutterstock

Sabudana khichdi is a type of pilaf prepared with sago or tapioca pearls that is often cooked in India for breakfast, and is widely consumed when people fast during the Navratri week.

This easy recipe packs in flavor, and it is vegan and gluten-free.

Ingredients For Making Sabudana Khichdi

Sabudana or sago pearls- 1 cup

Potatoes – 1 to 2

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

chili powder (optional)- 1/2 tsp

turmeric powder (optional)- 1/2 tsp

Peanuts- half a cup

Chili (optional)

Salt to taste OR rock salt (sendha namak) if you’re fasting

Sugar to taste

Garnishes: Lemon juice, coriander or cilantro leaves


Wash sabudana under running water several times until all the starch is removed. While rinsing, you may use a colander. Immerse the sabudana in water for a few minutes. The water level should be between 1 and 1.5 inches just above sabudana.

You may soak sabudana pearls overnight or for a few hours, depending on their quality.

To determine if the sabudana has grown soft, you should be able to easily mash it between your fingers. If the pearls are too hard in the middle, add a few drops of water to the dish. Cover and set aside for another 30 minutes. The pearls must be completely softened.

Using a sieve or colander, drain the sabudana pearls completely. Strain well to remove any excess water from the sabudana. Put aside.

While the sabudana pearls are soaking, boil potatoes in a pot or pressure cooker and set them aside. Alternatively, you can steam the potatoes in an instant pot with the appropriate quantity of water.

Once the potatoes are cooked, scoop them out and let them come to room temperature or totally cool. Peel and chop the potatoes.

Preheat a frying pan to medium-high heat. Roast half a cup of peanuts over medium-low heat, stirring often. Roast the peanuts until they turn crispy. You will see that the peanut skins begin to brown or burn.

In a small grinding jar or blender, combine the cooled roasted peanuts. Using the pulse option, coarsely powder the peanuts. Avoid grinding for an extended period of time.

Grind in sections and for a few seconds at a time, since we are just looking for a coarser or semi-fine peanut powder. You may also use a mill and pestle to roughly ground the peanuts.

In a mixing bowl or on a dish or tray, place the sabudana pearls. Then, in the dish with the sabudana, add the peanut powder.

Additionally, sprinkle edible rock salt (sendha namak) and half to one teaspoon of sugar, or to taste. We utilize rock salt in fast meals. If making this meal on a normal or non-fasting day, you can use regular salt. Using a spoon, combine well.

Now to make the khichdi, melt 3 tablespoons of peanut oil or ghee a heavy pan.

Stir in 1 tsp cumin seeds. Allow them to crackle and brown.

Finally, stir in 1 chopped green chile.

Fry briefly on medium-low heat. Add the chopped boiled potatoes at this point. Combine and cook for one minute over medium-low heat. Incorporate the sabudana and peanut powder combination after that.

Mix thoroughly and cook the sabudana pearls for around 4 to 6 minutes at a low temperature, stirring regularly.

Continue sautéing until the sabudana becomes translucent. Take a few cooked sabudana pearls and taste them. There should be no raw flavor. Once done, remove from heat. Avoid overcooking the sabudana, as it will turn lumpy and thick.

Serve hot or warm with lemon juice and 1 to 2 tbsp. chopped coriander leaves.