Sabudana Khichdi- Savoury Tapioca

As most of you already know, spices are a highlight, almost a centerpiece of my culinary adventures.I find myself distorted when I have to make a meal without spices.Luckily enough, as destiny had it,I got married to P who is a big lover of spicy food too.We both share a fathomless love for all spicy things.No meal for us is complete without a dollop of hot indian pickle or chutney.

But,when it comes to breakfast, we like to keep it simple,mildly spiced or sweet most of the times.It is one of those few things which matches between our tastebuds.Generally, weekends are when I whip up something special,that is when we are not eating at iHOP.At home too, I prefer making pancakes or french toast mainly because if not those items,P will skip breakfast.To break the league from those sweet breakfasts and casseroles for brunch,I made this mild spiced sabudana khichdi this weekend.It took me by a storm of surprise when P gobbled up a full bowl of it without uttering a single word.

After he finished his bowl, I gazed at him in astonishment to which he replied that “it” was something addictive! Well if I may say so myself, this tapioca preparation is addictive.”Sabudana” is hindi for tapioca and “khichdi” is a generic term used in India for any kind of comfort food prepared with lentils, rice, grains, vegetables and/or nuts thrown all together.My mom used to make this dish with lots of vegetables, nuts and dryfruits.She usually made this during the fasting days when Hindus follow refrain from grains and meat.But otherwise too, it makes for a healthy brunch or snack.Its sort of a symphony of textures in your mouth-nutty, salty, sweet from the dry fruits and gooey from the starches.All in all keeps your belly happy!I make it quite often when I want something quick and light.I found these bunch of grape tomatoes the other day at farmers market and they tasted perfect & little sweet in here though mom always used chopped, sour tomatoes.

Now,coming to the art of tapioca soaking.It took me a while to learn this.As you all know, tapioca is a kind of starch, so if not soaked or cooked properly, it can become a sticky, jelly like within minutes of heating.This doesnt matter much if you are making a pudding but for dishes like this,care has to be taken.If your tapioca is soaked properly, it wont even need 30 seconds to cook- trust me on this one.And if your tapioca is not soaked properly no matter how much you cook it, it will remain chewy and eventually stick to your gums. I m writing my way of dealing with tapioca to prevent that,I hope it will be helpful.I would request if any of you have something to share on your tapioca experience, please do.

Ingredients: [Serves 2-3]

Printable Recipe

  • 3/4 cup tapioca pearls [sabudana]
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 large boiled potato, peeled & cubed
  • 6-8 grape tomatoes, halves [or 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes]
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, lightly toasted [substitute with any other toasted nuts you like]
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • Handful of chopped apricots & golden raisins
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice [adjust to taste]
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • Chopped cilantro
Soaking Tapioca
Wash and soak the tapioca pearls in 1 cup of water for 30 minutes.After soaking, drain the pearls through a sieve and discard water.Let the sieve rest on top of a big bowl and cover the sieve with a damp paper towel or cloth.Let sit like this for 6 hours.After every hour or so, check and sprinkle water over tapioca.The idea is so keep the pearls moistened, not dunk them in water as they slowly absorb water and plump up.Keep the clot wet too.
  • In a wide-mouthed, heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Once the oil starts slightly smoking, add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • Next add the boiled, cubed potatoes and saute them for 5 minutes till they do not change color but start to crisp.
  • Next add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder and chopped chilli and saute for 3-4 minutes more.
  • Add the toasted peanuts, dry fruits and saute for another 1-2 minutes.

  • Add the soaked tapioca pearls along with salt and chopped cilantro next.Immediately remove from heat.The heat from the pot is enough to cook up the tapioca.This step is important to ensure that the pearls do not stick to each other.The more you cook the pearls over heat, the more translucent and sticky they become.
  • Squirt fresh lemon juice over the tapioca and serve warm.


  1. love you photos, Tanvi! What a creative khichri-it looks so comforting. My mom makes khichri when we feel ill, but this one is wayyyy more elevated than the regular version. :)

  2. Saboodana Khichdi is one of my fav. But never added apricots & golden raisins … that is a great idea… will have to try that next time… Great Pics.

  3. Interesting. Sabudana is a staple in Maharastrian food, and the most common ‘fast’ dish. So, we do not add tomatoes or any vegetables to it. We don’t add chilli powder either, just the green chillis and plenty of peanut powder, and a few cubes of potatoes. We also usually top it off with a little coconut powder. There…now you have the Marathi version of it!

  4. I love tapioca pearls! Well, I only know and had tapioca in drinks and dessert. Not in savory dish! I’m so curious how the taste is going to be. Actually my kids LOVE tapioca maybe I should cook that for one of menu in dinner! I got nice inspiration from you Tanvi!

  5. I’ve never had tapoica pearls! I can’t find it in shops here in Belgium…
    This dish look delicious!

  6. Guess what ? I made the same dish today for lunch and I always suck at it . Mine becomes soggy and they get suck to each other while I cook. Yours looks so neat and fluffy .. :)

  7. I’ve never ha sabudana khichri before. But girl, I need to commend you on making something like this for breakfast. Be it weekend or not. I’m lucky if I get cereal down!

  8. I am so glad I stumbled upon this post. I have never thought of using tapioca in a savory dish…I have only ever had it in sweet recipes. What a great idea! Thanks for the inspiration and for the soaking tips :-)

  9. Gosh this Khichdi of yours looks sooo colourful Tanvi. I can only imagine how it would have tasted :)

  10. Give me that bowl of wonderful looking sago khichdi,will happily finish that whole bowl,yumm!

  11. That’s one beautiful looking bowl of khichdi….adding of apricots and raisins is an interesting twist.

  12. one of my go to recipes on brat days but never tried raisins in it. will make it your way.

  13. Deepa says:

    Well this is perhaps the most famous dish on ‘fasting’ days. Looks filling….Really very tricky for the first time users when it comes to soaking. Beautiful shots !!

    Hamaree Rasoi

  14. Best looking tapioca I’ve ever seen. This recipe is divine.

  15. i’ve never cooked with tapioca before, but i love tapioca pudding! this looks sooo comforting and savory and healthy too!!

  16. btw, i just found you on twitter! yay.

  17. I never liked tapioca, but I think this savoury version might be very nice. I’d love to try it.
    *kisses* HH

  18. It looks super delicious and I am going to try it out soon, beautiful pics :)

  19. Yummy Kichdi and lovely clicks. This is a regular fare in our house and v all love it. The inclusion of tomato , apricots and raisins give it a rich look and texture. Will sure give your version a try!

  20. You have really peeked my interest with this recipe, Tanvi! I’ve only had tapioca in sweet dishes, so I’m very curious to try this savory recipe. The ingredients are all very much to my liking. :-)

  21. Tapioca is a great ingredient and I’ve used it for making delectable bite-size entrees to mains and desserts.

  22. Wonder how you get it all fluffy and separated. Whenever I try to cook sabudana it all sticks together. And, btw, I love boiled potatoes in anything! :)

    • Thanks for the comment Manju.As I wrote in the post too,its all about soaking tapioca and then cooking it.The golden rule is to keep on stove top for as less time as possible.Maybe few seconds only.

  23. Thanks everyone for stopping by.

  24. Wow so delicious kichadi..adding dry fruits is new to me..

  25. This looks so delicious, and might I add gorgeous! Great photos. Sadly, I have a very low spice tolerance, but I just might have to give this a try.

  26. I’ve never had a savory version of Sabudana, always sweet, like a kheer or porridge/oatmeal….
    Making a khichdi out of it – what a unique idea. Your description of P eating it = very cute :)

  27. Savory tapioca! How interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  28. Such an interesting recipe! This sounds so tasty.

  29. I love recipes that are so different and look so good! I must try this!

  30. It looks really good Tanvi! I’ve never had it before but I am willing to try it. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Have a great weekend.

  31. When you grow up in Bombay, you automatically learn to eat sabudana vada and sabudaana khichdi both popular Mahrastratian dishes. My Maharashtrian neighbour introduced me to some delicious and mildly spiced sabudana khichdi, it was not as exotic as your recipe, all it had was some potatoes and peanuts and since then I have been hooked to the dish. I am sure your version with apricots is quite delicious.

  32. so pretty! basket of tomatoes caught my attention! and yes you were right, i messed it up last time i tried, became all soggy, will try ur method next time :)

  33. crustabakes says:

    I can totally understand why P would gobble this up so quickly! it looks and sound delicious. And your pictures are fabulous!

  34. Tanvi, I love when you cook with spices because you always get me into cooking more of my food with spice. You have an eye for a great meal, so no wonder your blog is ever so popular. Love this savory dish and the chilli powder and cumin included :)

  35. I must have tried sabudana khichdi atleast a dozen times before I finally got it right! Even though I’m not crazy about sabudana, my MIL recently made sabudana wada and I must say I was pretty impressed and she is saying I could like her khichdi too. I’m going to show her your version!

  36. Thanks so much everyone for the kind words.I m a happy girl!

  37. This looks incredible! I would love to try this :)

  38. I am HUGE fan of spice! Even early in the morning! This savory tapioca is a GENIUS idea! i love it!

  39. Love this dish Tanvi. I can’t wait try all the lovely spices and dried fruit with this. I don’t typically eat dried fruit with tomatoes, but when I think about, it sounds ridiculously delicious.

  40. Sweet Artichoke says:

    I had no idea that tapioca could be eaten as savoury dish. By looking at your beautiful pics, it must really taste so yummy! I would love to try!

  41. That looks delightful, I have never tried a savory tapioca before…delicious I am sure :)

  42. What a lovely blog! I’ve been looking at your jaw-droppingly awesome pictures for a bit, and am completely smitten! I love the idea of adding tomatoes and dried fruit to the khichdi–we usually end up making the traditional fast-friendly Maharashtrian version at home, but this sounds like a treat for a rainy day!

  43. this is my favorite:)

  44. Namagiri says:


    I tried your vegetable Briyani. It came out well. Thanks for the clear instructions.

    I tried Sabudana Kichadi today morning. Both me & my husband felt that the sabudana was not cooked properly (raw taste). I did soak sabudana for 30 minutes. But I did not drain it for 6 hours – Would that be the reason? How do you make it in the morning? Do you leave it overnight. But you mentioned you check every hour or so – Just wondering how you do that overnight?

    I did turn off the stove but I did not remove the pan from heat . Because I was also worried about uncooked taste. Please tell me where I went wrong.

    I definitely want to try all your recipes.


    • I m glad that you liked the Biryani. Thanks for trying.
      Just soaking the sabudana for 30 mins will not suffice.Thats the main reason for the raw taste. Unless the sabudana is soaked properly it will remain raw & sticky no matter how long you cook it. I usually soak the sabudana around afternoon and keep on checking it till dinner. Before going to bed, I put the soaked sabudana in the fridge to be used in the morning.

      However,if want to soak the sabudana overnight, just soak it for 30 minutes in water,drain the water and then tie it in a wet (or nicely moist) cloth, place the tied sabudana on a plate and leave on the kitchen counter.It will be fine in the morning.I will update the recipe too to mention this point, glad that you asked.
      Hope this helps next time you make it.


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