Jan 4, 2010

Sabudana Khichdi 101 and a litany of rules

I was on a high after mastering the art of making sabudana khichdi from a friend of mine.

For the longest time I could never get the consistency of the sabudana khichdi right. I searched the net, I consulted friends and I even woke up at 5 AM to watch my sister-in-law make the khichdi. I experimented with different soaking methods over a week. An empty jar of sago later, I was no closer to making a soft khichdi then well… before the full jar.
Then one day, after eating one of the best s.khichdi at my friend R’s house, I told her I wasn’t leaving till she taught me how to cook it. She graciously took me under her wing and taught me. We soaked the sago together and I went back the next morning to learn how to make it.
These are the sago pearls of wisdom she imparted me with and now I pay them forward, once again! I did them once before here.
Pearl No 1: Wash the sabudana twice in plenty of water. Soak it overnight with ¼ inch of water on top of the sabudana. Cover the pot and forget about it till next day morning.
Pearl No 2: Use as little oil/ghee as necessary. Too much oil/ghee will make the sago pearls harder.
Pearl No 3: Once all the ingredients in the karahi are mixed, put the heat on low, cover the pot and forget about it for at least 10 min.
1 cup Sabudana, soaked overnight or at least an hour
1 potato (boiled or raw), cubed
1 tbsp ghee/ oil
¾ cup roasted crushed peanuts
1–2 green chillis
1 tsp jeera (cumin)
Salt to taste
Lemon juice and cilantro to garnish

Soak the sabudana overnight. The sago pearls should have become soft and almost doubled in size.
Heat 1 tblsp oil/ghee in a karahi. Add the jeera. Once it starts to splutter, add the chopped green chillis and the potatoes.
Meanwhile, mix the sabudana and the roasted peanut powder together with salt and a pinch of sugar.
As soon as the potatoes are cooked, add the sabudana mixture, stir and mix well.
Check for salt and chili. At this point, you can add more salt or red chili powder if needed. Cover the karahi, turn the heat to low and walk away for 10-15 min.
Come back and check. The sago pearls should be soft and plump by this time. Turn off the heat, sprinkle some lemon juice, garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
Alternative cooking in the microwave:
Add the cooked potatoes and green chillis to the sago mix and pop it in the microwave. Cook on high for a minute and then covered for another 30 seconds.

Note 1: If the soaked sago turns out sticky, it had too much water. Next time, use a little less.
Note 2: Do not be tempted to keep on checking on the sago during the soaking process. Walk away.
Note 3: Excessive handling of sago during the cooking process will make it sticky. On the other hand, if you feel the sago is a little dry, sprinkle a few drops of water or some lemon juice and cover. The steam will soften the sago.


  1. Thanks for visiting my space soccer mom..I have been wanting to check out your place for sometime, but you beat me to it :)..

    I just got my plain khichdi right after a year of trials..A long way to go before I make sabudana khichdi..

    I have got a jar of "javvirisi" in my pantry, I used it for vadams this summer, will surely try this khichdi.

  2. your khichdi does look perfect! S khichdi sounds deceptively easy to make doesn't it? I make mine in the m/w, been ages since I made it on the stove top.

  3. Dear Jaya, people might say what's there in making a sabudana khichadi, but I say it's an art. Making good, soft sabudana...sabke bas ki baat nahi hai! I am so glad that you have mastered that art. I love my sabudana with my Mom's version of Amti which I will surely post one day. Do try the amti when I post it, it's too tasty.
    I had read a few day's back that you had liked making the Adai. I posted a very healthy version of adai recently and it's really good. Read it and if you like it do give it a try, from my side I am all thumbs up for it.See ya for now. Take care dear.

  4. I loved your pearl info ; Preparing a khichdi is most unreliable task for me - sometimes its perfect and sometimes its pathetic !

  5. thank you thank you for imparting your sago pearls of wisdom on dummy like me. I will follow your tips the next time around.
    Here is a question I have.

    After the sabudana is soaked, and whatever water is drained, do i need to put the sago on paper towel/cloth to dry out the water?
    If not what is the draining/drying procedure after soaking?

  6. Ruchika, welcome and do keep visiting. :)

    Aqua, I too now make it in the m/w but it took me a while to get the confidence on the stove top.

    Pari, I would be happy to check out your mom's Amti and try it out. :)

    Kanchan, I have been in your shoes.

  7. RC, once you wash the sabudana and cover it with a 1/4 inch layer of water, overnight or at least for an hour, the pearls should soak up all of the water. You will not need to drain it on paper towel since there won't be any left to drain. Hope this helps. :)

  8. I tried once from an equally detailed recipe, dunno where I messed up but 'twas a miserable failure!

  9. I have always watched with amazement these sago pearls being turned into upma. Yours looks beautiful. I will perhaps muster courage to do it one day :)

  10. That sure does look so wonderful..next time this is what I am going to do..:)

  11. Here's a litany.
    Can I come over?

  12. sabudana khichadi looks great.. got to make one soon!

  13. Thanks for the clarification Jaya. I am amazed how your pearls have managed to remain separate even after 10-15 minutes of cooking.
    With whatever I have tried, I have pretty much gotten a gooey base with pearls sticking onto them. :-(

  14. Supriya, too much water will always give you sticky pearls. Try with just enough water to cover the sago. The soaking is one of the most important key to separate, soft pearls. :)

  15. I never did get mine right and i have given up trying it. I used to wait to visit my friend's home to eat sabudana khichdi cooked by her grandma who could barely move.. and it was the best. I will have to try out your way.

  16. Lovely kichidi!The first time I prepared the pearls were not soaked enough and the next batch just needed to be rinsed and used!After a few trails and lots of errors I found the right brand!!

  17. Mouthwatring picture!!! Made few times, never came perfact. I'll try it again. Koshish jaari rahegi


  18. Sorry i forgot to ask you what size of sabudana best for this. we get here small, medium and large size

  19. Jagruti, I would suggest you try the medium first.

  20. Thanks Jaya

    whenever you can please can you visit my blog



  21. have never had sabudana though ive seen a lot of it at friends houses...looks nice though...like something my kids might like to try.


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