This Maharashtrian style Sabudana Khichdi is one of my all time favorite breakfasts. Mostly because it’s DELICIOUS. But also because of how quick and easy it is to make for something this yummy.
A fresh, homemade, healthy breakfast – all using only 20 minutes of precious morning time. Who can say no to that, right?
Though admittedly it can be a little tricky at first to work with the sabudana / sago / tapioca pearls. And lots of people find it challenging to make sabudana khichdi without it turning into a sticky mushy mess.
It’s the reason why I chose to write this post on how to make perfect non sticky sabudana khichdi. Including all the tips – from how to soak sabudana, to how to make this khichdi if you forgot to soak sabudana for the desired time, and even a 5 point checklist to make non-sticky sabudana khichdi every single time. YES, I am that nerdy! 😀
What is Sabudana Khichdi?
Sabudana Khichdi is a popular Maharashtrian breakfast dish made using sabudana / sago / tapioca pearls as the base, adding in potatoes, peanuts, and roasting in tempering made from ghee/oil, cumin seeds, and green chillies.
It’s an especially popular choice for upvas / fasting days during the festival season in India.
Ingredients You Need
Sabudana – A lot depends on the kind / quality of sabudana you use. So choose well, and once you find what works for you, stick with it. Generally, it’s best to use bigger sized pearls for making khichdi.
It’s also super important to prep sabudana well so as to decrease the odds of a sticky khichdi. And I’ve shared exactly how to prep it, so you can follow that.
Potatoes – I prefer using pre-boiled potatoes for making khichdi. But you can use raw potatoes too, and cook them in the pan while making khichdi. It would just take longer.
Peanuts – In this recipe, less is NOT more with peanuts. Which is why, it calls for both – whole roasted peanuts and roasted peanut powder. I make roasted peanut powder in advance, as it comes in very handy, especially for maharashtrian recipes. But you can roast & crush peanuts right before making khichdi too.
How to Make Sabudana Khichdi
There are 2 main parts to making a good sabudana khichdi – soaking sabudana and actually making the khichdi in the pan.
The latter is fairly simple and straightforward, if you handle sabudana right in the soaking and prep stage.
The first step is to rinse the sabudana really well, until the water runs clear, to get rid of all the excess starch. Followed by soaking sabudana in water overnight.
I soak 1 cup sabudana using 1 cup water. Depending on the kind / quality of sabudana you are using, you might need ¾ to 1 cup water.
Note: Use a smaller / deeper container to soak the sabudana instead of a wide bottomed container, so that the sabudana is well soaked in the water.
The required soaking time might also vary depending on the kind / quality of sabudana / tapioca pearls you are using. Some kinds of sago only need 4-6 hours of soaking time, while some others need 8-10 hours.
You might need to experiment a bit with the soaking time for your particular kind / brand of sabudana.
Once the soaking period is done, try to smash a couple pearls of sabudana between your thumb and your index finger. If it smashes easily, the sabudana is soaked well.
If you find that sabudana pearls are still a little firm, and not easily smashed, even after soaking with the right quantity of water for the right amount of time, then liberally sprinkling some water on the top, and letting it soak for some more time will help.
Once the sabudana is soaked and ready, and has become fluffy, after almost doubling in size, there shouldn’t really be any excess water in it. But it’s still best to strain the sabudana using a strainer, just to ensure that there is absolutely no excess water.
After straining, transfer the sabudana in a bowl, add in roasted peanut powder, and mix well.
I usually have roasted peanut powder on hand. But in case you don’t, you can dry roast and crush a few peanuts right before making the khichdi, and add it in. The peanut powder helps keep the sabudana pearls separate, so it’s best not to skip it.
In a pan, lightly heat up a little oil/ghee, and add in the cumin seeds, and wait till it crackles, before adding green chillies and curry leaves.
Then let the green chillies and curry leaves get lightly roasted, before adding whole peanuts, and roast them well. You can use peanuts with shell on or off. Or totally skip the peanuts if you don’t prefer them.
Once the peanuts are well roasted, add in the chopped / diced boiled potatoes, and a little bit of salt. Mix everything well, and saute for a few minutes till the potatoes get lightly roasted.
Since I have used boiled potatoes, a couple of minutes of saute / roast is more than enough. If you use uncooked potatoes, then you’d need to ensure to cut them really small, and cover and cook for longer time, until they get cooked through.
Finally, add in the sabudana that was mixed with peanut powder, the rest of the salt, sugar / jaggery powder, lemon juice, and give everything a quick mix.
Cook covered on medium flame till the sabudana is translucent, and then turn off the gas.
DO NOT over-cook, over-mix, or over-stir the sabudana. That will make the khichdi turn into a sticky goopy mess.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, and serve HOT.
NEVER use a cast iron pan to make sabudana khichdi. Because the sabudana will stick to the pan and it will be difficult to salvage the khichdi.
Variations & Substitutions
- Peanuts are technically optional, but HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. The flavors mix and work exceptionally well together. Which is why I recommend using both whole peanuts and peanut powder.
But if you really don’t like the taste, you can skip the whole peanuts, and instead of mixing soaked sabudana with peanut powder, you can use a little ghee to keep the pearls separate.
- Potatoes are also optional but again – HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
I prefer using boiled potatoes, but you can use uncooked potatoes as well.
If you choose to use uncooked potatoes, chop / dice it into smaller cubes, and cook covered to get it cooked all the way through faster. However boiled potatoes will help you make this khichdi within minutes.
I personally love using boiled potatoes that have been refrigerated overnight, as they hold their shape better.
Tips to Make Sabudana Khichdi Non Sticky
Sticky mushy sabudana is the #1 problem most folks have to deal with while making sabudana khichdi. Which is why I created a checklist of sorts to help you troubleshoot.
Use this handy 5 point checklist to make non sticky sabudana khichdi every single time.
- Rinse the sabudana well till the water runs clear to ensure to get rid of all the excess starch.
- Use just enough water to soak sabudana. No less than ¾ cup and no more than 1 cup water for 1 cup of sabudana.
- Once the sabudana is well soaked, ensure to drain any excess water from the sabudana.
- Mix in roasted peanut powder to help keep the sabudana pearls separate.
- DO NOT over-mix, over-stir, or over-cook the sabudana in the pan.
Pro Tip: Adding ghee and lemon juice can help break up some clumps.
How to Make Sabudana Khichdi Without Soaking
Even though it’s not ideal, you can make sabudana khichdi, even if you forgot to soak sabudana overnight or in advance.
Just rinse the sabudana well, and soak in hot boiling water for 2 hours.
Then check to see if the sabudana has doubled in size and is easily smashed.
If ready, then drain the excess water, and use as normal.
Sabudana Khichdi is best served hot, and paired with yogurt or chutney. Though I personally love to eat it as is, just pairing it with a steaming hot cup of adrak chai.
More Maharashtrian Breakfast Recipes to try:
As always, I hope you found this recipe useful. If you did, please let me know your rating ⭐️ and feedback 📲 in the comments below, or simply rate the recipe right on the recipe card. I’d really appreciate it. ❤️
Maharashtrian Sabudana Khichdi
- 1 cup sabudana
- 1 cup water for soaking
- 6 tbsp roasted peanut powder
- 3 tbsp ghee or oil
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 8 curry leaves
- 2 green chillies chopped/sliced
- 1/4 cup peanuts with / without shell
- 1/2 cup diced boiled potatoes
- 3/4 tsp salt divided
- 3/4 tsp sugar or jaggery powder
- 1 – 1.5 tsp lemon juice
- 1/3 cup chopped coriander leaves for garnish
- Rinse the sabudana well till the water runs clear, to get rid of all the excess starch.
- Soak sabudana in water overnight. I use 1 cup water for 1 cup sabudana. But the exact quantity of water needed might vary just a bit based on the quality of sabudana. Much like the exact soaking time might vary depending on the kind / type of sabudana you use. (see notes 1-3)
- After the soaking period is done, try to smash a couple pearls of sabudana between your thumb and your index finger. If it smashes easily, the sabudana is soaked well. (see note 4)
- Drain any excess water from the sabudana using a strainer.
Preparation for Khichdi
- Transfer the soaked and drained sabudana in a bowl, and mix in roasted peanut powder. This will help keep the sabudana pearls separate, and add a burst of flavor too. (see note 5)
- Cut/ dice boiled and peeled potatoes in small cubes, and keep ready. (see note 6)
Making the Khichdi
- In a pan, heat up a little oil/ghee, and add in the cumin seeds, and wait till it crackles, before adding chopped/slit green chillies and curry leaves.
- In a couple of minutes, when the curry leaves start getting lightly roasted, add in the whole peanuts, and roast them for 3-5 minutes, till they get well roasted.
- Then add in the chopped / diced boiled potatoes, and a little bit of salt (to season at every stage), and saute them for 2-3 minutes.
- Next add in the sabudana that is mixed with the peanut powder, sugar / jaggery powder, the rest of the salt, and lemon juice, and give everything a quick mix.
- Cook covered on medium low flame for 3-5 minutes till the sabudana is translucent. DO NOT over-cook or over-stir.
- Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, and serve HOT.
- I prefer (and recommend) to soak the sabudana in a small deep container, instead of a wide bottom one, where the water may not completely cover the sabudana.
- Depending on the quality of your sabudana, you might need to soak 1 cup sabudana with ¾ cup-1 cup water. But no less than ¾ cup and no more than 1 cup water for 1 cup sabudana.
- Again, depending on the quality of the sabudana, the soaking time needed can vary from 4-6 hours to 8-10 hours. Experiment with the kind of sabudana you have.
- If you find that the sabudana pearls are still a little firm, and not easily smashed, even after soaking with the right quantity of water for the right amount of time, then liberally sprinkling some water on the top, and letting it soak for some more time will help.
- I usually have dry roasted peanut powder on hand. But if you don’t have it ready to go, just dry roast some peanuts, and crush it in a mixie or even using the mortar & pestle right before making the khichdi.
- I prefer using boiled potatoes, but you can choose to use uncooked potatoes. If you decide to use uncooked potatoes, then chop / dice it into smaller cubes, and cook covered to get it cooked all the way through faster. However boiled potatoes will help you make this khichdi within minutes. I personally love using boiled potatoes that have been refrigerated overnight, as they hold their shape better.
Please note: The nutrition values are best estimates provided as a courtesy. The exact values can vary depending on the exact ingredients or brands used. If you rely on them for your specific diet and/or health issues, please consult a registered dietician or nutritionist.
This post was first published in May 2020, and has been republished with updated photos and recipe video in Aug 2020.
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