Sabudana Khichdi is a popular Indian dish made with sabudana (tapioca pearls), potatoes, roasted peanuts, and a few basic spices. This easy and gluten-free sabudana recipe is commonly prepared during the fasting season of Navratri, Mahashivratri, and Ganesh Chaturthi.
I am sharing how to make a non-sticky Maharashtrian-style sabudana khichdi recipe that is delicious, soft, and not chewy, or mushy.
Sabudana Khichdi is one of my favorite breakfast recipes and although it is very popular during the fasting season of Sankashti Chaturthi or Angaraki Sankashti Chaturthi and Navratri, I can eat it anytime, no occasion needed.
It is a very simple recipe that requires just a handful of ingredients but if not made right it turns out sticky, mushy, or goopy. But not anymore!
I'm sharing a foolproof recipe with all the tips I've learned from Mom and through my experience so you can make the perfect, non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi every single time!!
About Sabudana Khichdi
Sabudana Khichdi is a savory, and gluten-free dish made with 3 basic ingredients, Sabudana (tapioca pearls or Sago), roasted peanuts, and potatoes.
It is also known as Sabudanyachi khichdi in Marathi, Sabudana ki khichdi in Hindi, and Tapioca Pilaf in English.
This sabudana dish is also a popular fasting food in India during the festival season of Navratri, Shivratri, Ekadashi, and other Hindu fasting days.
I grew up eating the simple Maharashtrian Sabudana Khichdi recipe where the soaked sabudana is tempered with ghee, cumin seeds, green chilies, potatoes, and crushed roasted peanuts, seasoned with salt, lemon juice, and garnished with cilantro. It is easy and absolutely delicious!
Although this recipe for tapioca khichdi is easy and simple, it does require some preparation in terms of soaking the sabudana and proper cooking techniques to make sure the khichri doesn’t clump or become mushy.
So here are all the tips and tricks to make the best Sabudana Khichdi at home that is fluffy, and soft (not chewy or sticky).
Sabudana: This is the main ingredient for this recipe, also known as sago or tapioca pearls. Use good quality regular sabudana (sago pearls) available in most Indian grocery stores for making Khichdi. Depending on the quality of your sabudana the soaking time will vary. So experiment with a few varieties till you find the one that works best for you. See the tips below for the perfectly soaked sabudana.
Peanuts: I've used raw peanuts with skin which I roast, peel, and then crush. To quicken the process, you can prep the peanuts ahead of time or buy the already roasted unsalted peanuts. If you are allergic, you can make Sabudana Khichdi without peanuts but otherwise highly recommend adding peanuts.
Potato: Potatoes are optional so you make Sabudana Khichdi without potato too. I love adding potatoes to my Khichdi especially during fasting since they provide volume, making it more filling. You can use boiled potatoes to cut down on cooking time. With raw potatoes, cut them into smaller cubes to help them cook faster.
Spices and seasonings: I only use cumin seeds (zeera), salt (sendha namak), sugar, and green chilies for making sago khichdi. These are the basic spices safe to be consumed during fasting (vrat/upvas) but otherwise, you can also add turmeric, red chili powder, curry leaves, etc.
Ghee: For cooking, I prefer making sabudana khichdi with Ghee (Indian clarified butter) and highly recommend it. It gives it great flavor. You can use oil to keep it vegan.
Others: Lemon juice and cilantro leaves provide the finishing touches. I use cilantro only during non-fasting days.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
How to Make Sabudana Khichdi (Stepwise Photos)
I've used raw peanuts with skin so roasting is required. You can also use the roasted unsalted peanuts in which case roasting (steps 1-4) can be skipped.
1 - Heat a pan on medium-low heat, add the peanuts, and dry roast them until they are slightly golden, crunchy, and aromatic.
2 - Turn off the heat and allow it to cool completely. I leave mine in the pan for another 15-30 minutes and stir in between to prevent peanuts from burning. Then transfer on a plate to cool completely.
3 - Peel the skin off by rubbing the peanuts between your palms (it's easier to do so after roasting). Store them in an airtight container until ready to use. This can be done ahead of time.
4 - When you are ready to make khichdi, coarsely crush the roasted peanuts in a mortar pestle or food processor. I prefer a coarse consistency so it's a mix of peanut powder and bits of peanuts.
Soaking and Prepping Sabudana
Soaking and prepping sabudana is one of the most crucial steps in making sabudana khichdi.
5- Rinse the sabudana well (4-5 times) till the water runs almost clear. This is important to get rid of all the starch. Then soak them in 2 cups of water for 2 hours. They will double in size.
6 - Drain the remaining water, and cover the sabudana overnight or at least for 4-5 hours. I usually refrigerate them overnight. In the morning, take them out of the fridge. They should be completely dry with no water left.
Fluff the sabudana pearls using a fork to separate any that may stick without breaking them. This helps in giving the perfect texture to these pearls.
To check if the sabudana is soaked properly, press the pearls between your thumb and index finger. It should mash easily. If the center feels hard, soak in 2-3 tablespoons of water for another 30 minutes and test again.
You can also soak the sabudana ahead of time, drain, and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
7 - To these fluffy, soaked sabudana pearls, add the coarsely ground peanuts, salt, and sugar. Mixing ground peanuts with sabudana helps to keep the pearls separate.
8 - Mix well and keep aside.
Making Sabudana Khichdi
9 - In a pan, heat ghee on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
Stir in green chili, potatoes, and a sprinkle of salt. Mix well and cook covered for 5-7 mins (or until potatoes are cooked). Stir intermittently to prevent the potatoes from sticking. Alternately use boiled potatoes to cut down the cooking time.
10 - Once the potatoes are cooked, turn the heat to medium-low and add the sabudana peanut mixture to the pan. Mix well with a light hand so the sago pearls don't break. Cover and cook for 5-7 mins stirring intermittently.
Make sure not to overcook, over mix the khichdi, or else it will turn sticky.
When the sabudana pearls turn from white to transparent you know your khichdi is ready. Turn off the heat
11 & 12 - Add lemon juice and coriander (cilantro) leaves and give it a final mix.
Perfectly tasty, soft, non-sticky Sabudana ki Khichdi is ready!!
Serve Sabudana khichdi hot on its own or with a bowl of yogurt and/or fruits on the side. Pair it with chai for that wholesome breakfast or snack.
You can also serve it with some green chutney on non-fasting days.
You can store leftover khichdi in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave for a few seconds and serve.
Alternately use leftover khichdi to make Sabudana Vada.
I usually skip curry leaves and cilantro when making sabudana khichdi as a fasting meal.
To keep this recipe vegan, skip ghee and use neutral cooking oil.
Mix in grated coconut for a touch of sweetness and flavor.
Tips for Soft, Non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi
Rinse the sabudana well until water runs clear to get rid of all the starch which will prevent stickiness later.
Soak sabudana in just enough water for 2 hours. (1 cup sago soak in 2 cups). Soaking in a lot of water will oversoak them and they will end up being gluey on cooking.
Drain the water completely, and refrigerate overnight or place covered on the countertop. Refrigeration allows the excess water to be soaked by sabudana and end result is fluffy tapioca pearls.
If you don't have the time to refrigerate overnight, do it for at least 2-3 hours or spread them on a plate or paper towel to dry them up further.
Soaking time may vary, depending on the quality of the sabudana so experiment with your variety.
Check soaked sabudana by pressing between your thumb and index finger. It should mash easily.
Fluff the soaked sabudana gently with a fork to separate any clumps.
Grind the roasted peanuts coarse so there are bits of peanuts as well as a peanut powder. Adding ground peanuts helps keep the sabudana pearls separate by absorbing excess moisture and making khichdi non-sticky.
Use a non-stick pan or a well-seasoned skillet to avoid sticking.
Don't overcook. Sabudana cooks fast so overcooking and too much stirring will result in sticky and goopy (mushy) khichdi.
You can tell sabudana is cooked when it turns from white to transparent color. Don't cook beyond this point.
Some khichdi lumps are expected and normal since it is starch after all. Just fluff with a fork and it should separate easily.
Use enough Ghee to make khichdi as it prevents the tapioca pearls from sticking. Skip ghee to make it vegan and use just oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
When not fasting, you can add curry leaves, turmeric along with green chilies for additional flavor. For more variation, add red chili powder and ginger.
I usually just add the basics to my khichdi (cumin seeds, green chilies, potatoes, roasted peanuts, soaked sabudana, salt, and lemon juice).
Sabudana khichdi is full of carbohydrates (starch), protein, and fats, which helps keep you full longer and provides the energy needed to go about the day. At the same time, it is also lighter to digest and hence one of the preferred meals during fasting.
Yes, this is a great dish for anyone suffering from gluten intolerance. It has a good amount of fiber and can relieve bloating.
Oversoaking and overcooking are the two main reasons why sabudana khichdi becomes sticky. To prevent it from becoming sticky, rinse the sabudana pearls well to remove excess starch before soaking them. Soak in just enough water until the pearl doubles in size. Drain excess water after soaking and last but not least allow the sago to rest/dry so each pearl is separate which will result in the perfect non-sticky khichdi.
Ideally, it is best to soak sago/tapioca pearls but if you forgot to soak the sabudana ahead of time, soak it in boiling hot water for 1-2 hours. Test to see if they have doubled in size and you can mash them easily. If yes, drain and spread them on a towel to dry further, and then use in this recipe.
Hope you enjoy this Sabudana Khichdi Recipe!! If you give this recipe a try, please rate it by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook | Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Sabudana Khichdi Recipe
- 1 cup sabudana (sago or tapioca pearls)
- ¼ cup peanuts raw or roasted unsalted peanuts
- 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 sprig curry leaves optional
- 1-2 green chili chopped or slit, adjust to taste
- 1 medium potato peeled and cut into small cubes
- ¾ teaspoon salt or sendha namak, adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon sugar adjust to taste
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons cilantro finely chopped
- Rinse the sabudana well (4-5 times) till water runs almost clear. This is important to get rid of all the starch.
- Transfer sabudana to a wide bowl and soak them in 2 cups of fresh water for 2 hours. They will double in size.
- Drain the remaining water using a colnader, and cover the sabudana overnight or at least for 4-5 hours. I usually refrigerate them overnight.
- Fluff the sabudana pearls using a fork to separate the pearls without breaking them.
- To check if sabudana is ready to cook, press a pearl between your thumb and index finger. It should mash easily. If the center feels hard, soak in 2-3 tablespoons of water for another 30 mins and test again.
- Skip roasting step if you are using roasted peanuts.
- Dry roast the peanuts on medium-low heat until golden and crunchy.
- Turn off the heat and allow the peanuts to cool completely.
- Optional - Peel the skin off by rubbing the peanuts between your palms.
- Coarsely crush the roasted peanuts in a mortar pestle or food processor such it's a mix of peanut powder and bits of peanuts.
How to Make Sabudana Khichdi
- In a non stick pan, heat ghee or oil on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves (optional) and allow them to sizzle for a few seconds.
- Stir in green chili, potatoes, and a sprinkle of salt. Turn the heat to medium low. Mix well and cook covered for 5-7 mins (or until potatoes are cooked). Stir intermittently to prevent the potatoes from sticking.
- Meanwhile, to the bowl with soaked sabudana, add the coarsely ground peanuts, salt, and sugar. Mix well using a fork and keep aside.
- Once the potatoes are cooked, add the sabudana peanut mixture to the pan. Mix well and cook covered for 5-7 mins stirring intermittently.Make sure not to overcook, over mix the khichdi, or else it will turn sticky.
- When the sabudana pearls turn from white to transparent you know your khichdi is ready. Turn off the heat.
- Add lemon juice and cilantro and mix gently to combine. Tasty, soft, non-sticky Sabudana Khichdi is ready!!
- Serve Sabudana Khichdi hot on its own or with a bowl of yogurt and/or fruits on the side.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Feb 25, 2015, but was republished with, step-by-step instructions, and tips in September of 2021.