Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sabudana Khichdi (Spicy Tapioca)

Sabudana Khichdi is a favorite Maharashtrian breakfast dish. It is generally made while fasting on 'Sankashti Chaturthi'.
'Sankashti Chaturthi' is the 4th day of the waning lunar phase after full moon. If this Chaturthi falls on a Tuesday it is called 'Angaraki Chaturthi'. On this day, devotees observe strict fast. They break their fast at night after having the auspicious sighting of the moon preceeded by prayers to Lord Ganpati. Devotees believe their wishes would be fulfilled if they pray on this day. Also 'Sankashti' means deliverance during troubled times.

Getting back to the awesomeness..
This dish has suffered a great deal of bad publicity! Every generation has stories of how they messed up this dish when they were younger. I sincerely hope this post, will give your more confidence in preparing this delicacy.
I believe there are 2 most important steps in this preparation, which need special attention.
First and the most critical part is the soaking process. This is what makes or breaks this dish.
Second, is the quantity of oil used in this dish, which decides if this dish will clump up into a huge mass and get chewy or be perfectly soft and delicious!

Now with these 2 super handy tips, let us get making some Sabudana Khichdi

Level: Easy
Serves: 4 to 6 people

2 cups sabudana (small white tapioca pearls)
1 medium potato, chopped
2.5 tblsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 pinches asafoetida
3 - 4 green chillies, finely chopped OR1.5 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 cup roasted crushed peanuts
8 - 10 curry leaves
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp sugar
5 tblsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

Step 1 - Take the sabudana in a large bowl. Wash it under running water. Handle gently while washing. Do not rub the sabudana roughly. This might destroy the pearls. Soak them till the water is 1/4 inch above the sabudana. That is all. Cover the vessel and keep aside for 4 to 5 hrs.

Step 2 - Lightly fluff the sabudana which will be stuck to each other with a fork to separate all the pearls. Add the roasted crushed peanuts, salt, sugar and coriander leaves. Add the red chilly powder if you plan to use it instead of the green chillies. Mix well with a spoon. Taste a few of the pearls and adjust the salt as per your preference. This is how your khichdi will finally look. So adjust the peanuts and coriander too, if you think you would enjoy some more. Keep aside.

Step 3 - In a large wok, heat the 2.5 tblsp oil on a medium high flame. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds. When they dance around and turn brown, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and green chillies. Stir for a few seconds till the green chillies slightly brown at the corners.

Step 4 - Add the potatoes and sprinkle 2 pinches of salt over them. (Remember we have added salt to the sabudana mixture in Step 2. So no not over do the salt here.). Cover and cook till the potatoes are almost done. Stir occassionally.

Step 5 - Add the sabudana mixture from Step 2. Mix well for a good 4 to 5 mins. Reduce heat to medium. Cover the wok with a lid and let it cook for 3 to 4 mins. Stir occassionally.

We are done!

Serve hot with some yogurt. As a kid, I used to have it sprinkled with some sugar on top. I know..WEIRD!
Sabudana Khichdi goes well with a pipping hot cup of Indian Tea by it's side.


How do I roast peanuts?
Take a wide pan, heat it on medium flame. Add the raw peanuts. Stir it continuously till the peanuts turn brownish. Do not roast them on a high flame as this might burn the peanuts. Cool this down and roughly grind them in a blender till they are crushed.
Sometime, I enjoy large pieces of peanuts in my khichdi, so I just pop the roasted cooled peanuts in a zip lock bag and hit them or roll them with a rolling pin.
(And before you ask, I do not de-skin the peanuts once they cool. Too much mess and once they are all ground, it really doesn't matter.)

If while cooking, you notice that the sabudana seems too dry, sprinkle or spray a little water on it and continue cooking. Do not over do this, you don't want your khichdi to clump up.

Once you soak your sabudana, it might seem like the water was absorbed quickly and your sabudana looks too dry. Hold yourself back. Do not be tempted to add more water. Excess water makes the khichdi chewy.

Happy cooking everyone!

Submitting this recipe to the Bon Vivant Moments #3 on Sumee's Culinary Bites.


  1. Simply Superb.. one my fav dishes

  2. I will surely try this,,,,,,i wanted to try it for long long time but again i too have messed up this dish once and afraid to try again

  3. Thanks..and all the best Punav for ur khichdi attempt..:)

  4. Whenever I make sabudana khichdi it becomes sticky ... what am I doing wrong? Over soaking or Over cooking?

  5. If you over soak, you will notice it getting sticky ever before you start cooking. So there are 2 things that might be going wrong here..too much oil = chewy, sticky khichdi or too much cooking. Do not try to cook the sabudana till it changes color. they just need to steam a little. You will notice them turn a little translucent. You are done there.
    Hope this helps.

  6. Which brand of Sabudana do u use? I used to make excellent khichadi in India but my sabudana khichadi here never turns out allright. I read all ur steps carefully and noticed that I do the exact same thing (except for hing and kadipatta in fodni) but my khichadi still turns sticky.

  7. I am not too picky with the brand. I have tried many, with good results. But generally the Laxmi brand looks cleaner to me, and I end up picking that.
    Try soaking less a couple of times, other times try using less oil...you might find out what is going on with your sabudana.
    Hope it works for you!

  8. Very interesting recipe! And so easy!! Must try :)

    Chef Al dente New monthly series: Meal of the Month! Round Up for April posted...

  9. I have 'Swad'. If I soak in less water sabudana does not get soaked well and stays hard even after cooking. If I soak it in just enough water as u explained above it crumbles into powder or turns sticky when cooked...so I always end up making a thalipith!
    Thanks for ur suggestion. I'll try Laxmi brand.

  10. I have followed this recipe to the T for a perfect khichdi each time! Thanks Shalmali!

    1. Thanks for letting me know..:) glad it works for you.