Recipes: Sabudana Khichdi

A recipe that instantly takes me back to Mumbai and to a time when I was younger Sabudana Khichdi is a recipe I always associate with my home state of Maharashtra. This recipe is the quintessential fasting recipe and can be found in all restaurants. Made from soaked tapioca pearls or sabudana, it is typically prepared in the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Gujarat. A popular comfort food, it is often served with crunchy roasted peanuts and sautéed with potatoes using spices with a generous squeeze of lemon. It has a chewy texture and takes on the taste of its accompaniments and is known as Sabudana Usal in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. Sabudana Khichdi is nearly pure carbohydrate and has very little protein, vitamins, or minerals. The addition of peanuts adds to the protein making it a more balanced meal. It has a high caloric content, due to the quantity of starch and fat present. This makes it a great fasting food.

Sabudana Khichdi


  • 1 cup tapioca pearls or Sabudana
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes
  • ½ cup raw peanuts
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp green chilli paste or 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste


  • Wash the Sabudana and soak it for about 4-5 hours. This will depend on the type of the pearls with some need less soaking time and some more. Make sure there is water just above the pearls, any more and they will oversoak.
  • While the pearls are soaking, dry roast the raw peanuts till they are crunchy. You will know when it’s done when the skin starts to split and becomes brown. Keep aside.
  • When the peanuts are completely cool, blitz them into a coarse powder. You can also keep about a tbsp of peanuts aside and use them in the khichdi.  
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized pieces. Make sure they are not too small, but not too large also.
  • Heat the ghee in a wide-bottomed pan and fry the potatoes till they are cooked, but not roasted. Stop when the potatoes start to brown.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, add the salt, sugar and peanut powder to the sabudana and mix gently. Make sure to do the mixing gently and not break the pearls.
  • At this point, add the cumin seeds and let them pop and at this point, add the minced green chillies or chilli paste and cook for a few seconds.
  • Add the soaked sabudana and mix gently. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until the sabudana pearls start becoming translucent. If you are not planning to eat the Khichdi immediately, then switch off the gas just before the pearls start becoming translucent. If it’s cooked longer, the pearls will start to clump and become lumpy.
  • Sprinkle lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.