Sabudana khichdi in green masala (Vegan & gluten free)

Sabudana (tapioca pearls ) khichdi is a popular Maharastrian breakfast snack. Soaked and drained tapioca is tempered with cumin seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Tapioca is also consumed in the form of vadas (fritters).

Making this dish needs some planning as you have to soak the pearls few hours ahead. Now the quantity of water to be added can be very tricky, especially if you are new to cooking with this ingredient. Been there, done that! And if you are like me, and don’t like to waste food, you can simply use them to make fritters.

So how do you get perfect soaked pearls ?  I’ve found that the ratio of 1:1 :: tapioca: water works the best. I use the same measuring cup to measure out both! I usually leave it to soak overnight in the refrigerator, as I mostly prepare this for breakfast. Even if the water is less, you can always sprinkle more in case the pearls have not yet softened. Addition of excess water will result in a soggy mass, which is difficult to reverse.

I usually make this khichdi the regular way, so when I came across this recipe by my friend Zulekha@Zulekhas kitchen, and I knew I had to try it, as it was different from the regular sabudana khichdi. The recipe calls for a ground paste of cilantro and chillies, I loved how appetizing it looked, and had bookmarked it, adding to the many recipes I already have, hoping to try them all, if this lifetime suffices 😀 The only thing I added to the recipe was a pinch of sugar as I like this khichdi sweet and spicy! I reckon you can add potatoes too if you like that, but this was good enough for us!

Ingredients: Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml

1/2 cup sabudana or tapioca pearls , yields 1 & 1/2 cup of soaked and drained sabudana

1 &1/4 cups cilantro (dhania) leaves

2-3 green chillies

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

2 -3 tbsp roasted peanuts

5-6 curry leaves.

2-3 lemon wedges

salt to taste

pinch of sugar (optional)

1 tablespoon oil


  1. Wash the sabudana well under running water. Add approx 1/2 cup of water, just about enough to soak the sabudana. Let it soak for 3 hours or until all the pearls have swelled up and are soft when you try to mash with your fingers. Soaking time will vary depending upon the quality of the sabudana. I usually leave it overnight in the refrigerator. By morning the sabudana has soaked up well, retains it’s shape whilst still being soft. If there is any extra water left after the soaking time, drain it. If the sabudana is still hard, sprinkle some more water and let it soak for few more hours.

  1. Wash cilantro leaves and grind them with green chillies and little salt into a coarse paste  in the food processor or you can also use mortar pestle.

  1. Take few roasted peanuts and crush them into thick pieces in mortar pestle.

  1. In a non stick pan or kadai, heat oil. Once oil is hot enough add cumin seeds and curry leaves , let it splutter. Add crushed peanuts and fry for half a minute.

  1. Now add the coarsely ground cilantro chilli paste & fry for a minute . Add just 1/4 cup water to the motar or blender in which you ground the paste and add this extract to the kadai, boil for a minute.

  1. Add soaked and drained sabudana, pinch of sugar, mix well, check for seasonings and adjust salt as required , cover and cook on low flame for 3-5 minutes or until sabudana is done .

  1. Serve hot with squeezed lemon juice.

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  1. hummingbirdthyme says:

    Looks and sounds lovely. I’ve only had tapioca pearls in sweet treats! This is a new dish I will have to try.

  2. Loretta says:

    Ohhh look at those beautiful tapioca pearls, such a wonderful and unusual savory dish you’ve cooked up with these pearls. At first glance I thought it was Israeli couscous which I cook a lot of. I’ve never tried cooking tapioca, but I’m about to change that now. Well done!

  3. Sharmishtha says:

    As i m maharastrian i love sabudana khichadi but its different than we make…i ll definitely try this new version of khichadi ?

  4. Radhika Acharya says:

    Hi Frieda I normally don’t visit food blogs. Just visited yours on a sudden whim. I’m glad I did. Apart from the recipe itself I loved the easy flowing write up which preceded it.. Keep it up.

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