Sabudana Khichdi is one of my all time favorite breakfasts. Mostly because it’s delicious, but also because it’s super quick and easy 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?
And in this sabudana khichdi recipe, I’ve shared all the tips I’ve learnt over the years for making perfect, non-sticky sabudana khichri every single time.
Which is why, if you are new to sabudana, and haven’t used it a lot, then definitely ensure to read through all the tips shared in this post – from how to soak sabudana, and how to make sabudana khichdi if you forgot to soak sabudana for the desired time, to how much water to use, how long to soak it for, how to keep the sabudana pearls separate, and also how long to cook it.
Because as easy as it is to make this khichdi, if you are not familiar with handling sabudana, it can easily turn into a sticky mushy mess. A delicious sticky mushy mess, but still!
Which is why I’ve also shared a handy 5 point checklist to make non-sticky sabudana khichri 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 primary ingredient, which are soaked and strained, and then added to a tempering made from ghee / oil, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chillies, potatoes and peanuts, and seasoned with salt and lemon juice, and garnished with coriander leaves.
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, just cut them smaller, 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 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 & prepping 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 prepping stage.
Soaking and Prepping Sabudana
- 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 wide bottomed utensil / paraat, add in roasted peanut powder, and mix it in, with a light hand, so as to not break or mush the sabudana pearls.
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.
Making Sabudana Khichdi
- In a pan, lightly heat up a little oil/ghee, and add in the cumin seeds, and wait till it crackles, before adding curry leaves.
- Then let the 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 green chillies, and chopped / diced boiled potatoes, and a little bit of salt, to season at every stage. 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.
- If you are using slit green chillies, you can add them earlier, right along with curry leaves. I use chopped chillies, so I add them with potatoes to avoid them getting burnt.
- When the potatoes are done, add in the sabudana that was mixed with peanut powder, the rest of the salt, sugar / jaggery powder, lemon juice, and mix everything together, with a light hand, so as to not break or mush the sabudana pearls.
- Finally add in the chopped coriander leaves, and mix it in.
- 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.
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 don’t want to use because you are allergic to it, 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.
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.
Pro 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.
What to Do if You Forgot to Soak Sabudana
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.
Popular breakfast / snack recipes to try..
⭐️ Spicy Hot Kolhapuri Misal
⭐️ Sabudana Vada ~ 3 Methods
⭐️ Maharashtrian Kanda Poha
⭐️ Idli Fry ~ using Leftover Idlis
⭐️ Soft & Fluffy Upma Recipe
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. ❤️
Sabudana Khichdi Recipe (for fool-proof non-sticky sabudana khichri)
- 1 cup sabudana (sago / tapioca pearls)
- 1 cup water for soaking
- 6 tablespoon roasted peanut powder
- 3 tablespoon ghee or oil
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 8 curry leaves (cadipatta)
- ¼ cup peanuts with / without shell
- 2 green chillies chopped/sliced
- ½ cup diced boiled potatoes
- ¾ teaspoon salt divided
- ¾ teaspoon sugar or jaggery powder
- 1 – 1½ teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅓ cup chopped coriander leaves for garnish
Soaking & Prepping Sabudana
- In a bowl, take 1 cup sabudana, and rinse it well, till the water runs clear, to get rid of all the excess starch.
- Then soak the 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 wide bottomed utensil / paraat, and mix in 6 tablespoons of roasted peanut powder. Handle the mixing with a light hand, so as to not break or mush the sabudana pearls. Adding peanut powder 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, to get ½ cup of diced boiled potatoes, and keep ready. (see note 6)
Making Sabudana Khichdi
- In a pan, heat up 3 tablespoons of ghee (or oil), and add in ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, and saute for 1-2 minutes, till it crackles.
- When the cumin seeds start crackling, add 8 curry leaves, and saute for 1-2 minutes, till the curry leaves get lightly roasted.
- Then add in ¼ cup whole peanuts, and roast them for 3-5 minutes, till they get well roasted.
- After the peanuts are roasted, add in 2 chopped green chillies, ½ cup chopped / diced boiled potatoes, and ¼ teaspoon 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, ¾ teaspoon sugar / jaggery powder, the rest of the salt, which is ½ teaspoon salt, and 1½ teaspoon lemon juice, and give everything a careful mix, with a light hand, so as to not break or mush the sabudana pearls.
- Finally add in ⅓ cup chopped coriander leaves, and mix it in.
- Cook covered on medium low flame for 3-5 minutes till the sabudana is translucent. DO NOT over-cook or over-stir.
- 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 every 1 cup of 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 instructions, photos, and recipe video in Aug 2021.
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I now understand how the khichdi I would have at Maharashtrian eateries had such well coated pearls with the peanut powder. This is an interesting tip and I will use it for my next prep. Thanks so much Shan
So glad it helped Shalz. I’d love to know how it turned out for you.
I haven’t had this in a while!
Hope you make it soon! 🙂
I love sabudana khichdi. It is a favourite in my home.
Same here. It’s one of my favorite breakfast items!
Just the way I make it. Comes out lip-smacking delicious.
Thanks for the reminder to make it soon, Shantala. Will do so asap.
I agree. Sabudana Khichdi is one of my all time favorites too. Thank you so much for rating. And happy eating! 🙂
Beautifully explained all points clearly specified
Thank you so much. Really appreciate your feedback.