How to soak sabudana for khichdi

Follow this step by step fail-proof guide on how to soak sabudana for khichdi. Say goodbye to sticky, gooey sabudana pearls and say hello to perfect separated tapioca pearls – today and every-time. 

How to soak sabudana for khichdi - RuchiskitchenDo you enjoy eating sabudana khichdi (tapioca pearls pulao) but end up getting mushy and sticky pearls all the time? No worries, here is a fail-proof step by step recipe on how to soak sabudana for khichdi or make perfect tapioca pearls for your sabudana khichdi.

Sabudana/tapioca pearls are gluten-free and vegan. Sabudana/tapioca, when combined with other gluten-free options, creates the most comforting and delicious meals! Just to name the few – 

Wondering what Sabudana is?

Sabudana pearls also referred as sago pearls/tapioca pearls are commonly enjoyed in Indian cuisine. During Indian fasting months, tapioca is the staple food. How to soak sabudana for khichdi

It is light on the stomach, easy to digest and provides energy. Soft and fluffy tapioca pearls when combined with veggies and roasted peanuts creates the most delightful and satisfying meal – Sabudana khichdi

What else can Sabudana be used for?

Besides fasting food, sabudana/ sago/tapioca starch is used in baking too. Tapioca starch adds a pleasantly crisp texture to baked bread and cakes. It is found in the section where gelatin and baking goods are displayed.

How to soak sabudana for khichdi

But the commonly asked question is – 

  • how to get perfect sabudana pearls?
  • how to soak sabudana for khichdi ?
  • how to make perfect sabudana for vrat?
  • My sabudana pearls have turned into a slimy mess.. help please?

The answer to all these questions is relatively simple – EQUAL AMOUNT OF SABUDNA + EQUAL AMOUNT OF WATER + KEEP IT FOR 4-5 HOURS OR OVERNIGHT = PERFECT PEARLS. 🙂 

If sabudana/tapioca pearls are soaked in excess water then it turns into a gooey mess. 

Non sticky Sabudana khichdi - Ruchiskitchen

Now onto the recipe!



  • 1 cup  Sabudana/Tapioca Pearls
  • 1 cup  Water




  1. Measure Sabudana/sago/tapioca. Transfer it to a colander and wash under tap water until water runs clear. 
  2. Transfer sabudana to a large bowl and cover it with same amount of water.
  3. Remember just enough water to cover sabudana – DO NOT DRENCH IT IN WATER OR YOU WILL END UP IN A GOOEY PASTE. Sabudana after 3 hours – still some grains are hard.
  4. Cover and let it sit undisturbed for 4 -5 hours. Total soaking time is 4-5 hours, above pictures shows how the pearls will look like after 3 hours. Depending on the grain you may need to soak it a little longer – maybe another hour or so.

    Recently, a friend, who wants to remain anonymous shared her tip – soak equal amount of sabudana in a same amount of water and leave it overnight. I experimented, and it too yielded excellent results.

  5. After 4-5 hours you will find perfectly puffed up sabudana pearls. All the water added gets soaked up by sabudana. But to be on the safe side, drain sabudana through a strainer to get rid of that starch.
  6. There you have it perfectly puffed up sabudana pearls. Rub few beads in between your fingers, and if they get crushed easily. If they do then you are good to go.
  7. You can make sabudana pearls in advance and store in an airtight container for future use. They can remain fresh for 2-3 days in your refrigerator.
  8. Use as directed in your recipe.

    How to soak sabudana for khichdi - Ruchiskitchen


Hope you like this method and give it a try. If you happen to make it then either drop me a line below or share your yum pictures with me on Facebook. You can also find me on social media. Be sure to tag @ruchiskitchen (one word) or #ruchiskitchen. I would love to see your creation!





You may also like...

44 Responses

  1. Tamara says:

    Ruchi, I am an American living in Ecuador. My friend gave me white tapioca pearls. I don’t know if it is the same as your Sabudana pearls, and it is a rare find. Should I prepare this recipe as you stated with my pearls soaking in equal parts of water overnight? Do you know if they are the same texture?

  2. Puneet says:


    I came across your website while I was trying to figure out if sabudana khichdi can be fixed after it has been cooked. Unfortunately, I just washed sabudana and strained all the water through the strainer and left those wet grains overnight.

    This morning my cook came over and she prepared sabudana khichdi without even checking the grains’ quality. It resulted in my favorite dish completely spoiled as the sabudana remained very hard and difficult to chew. Is there any way that once sabudana khichdi is cooked with the grains still hard, can the grains be softened through any technique, trick??

    • Ruchi says:

      Hello Puneet,
      Unfortunately, not much can be done with cooked sabudana. Cooking it further to soften the grains will result in sticky khichdi.
      You can try to steam it but again, as stated earlier it will result in sticky grains. If possible, try to make vadas or tikki out of it.

  3. Roopanshi says:

    How much cooking time is required after adding the soaked sabudana in the veggies?

  4. Jipsa chaurasia says:

    When I cook sabudana khichdi it becomes slightly black in color otherwise taste is awesome so I want to know that what we should do for making it white

    • Ruchi says:

      Saute all the ingredients first and save sabudana for the last. Add sabudana towards the end, mix and take it off the flame immediately to avoid discoloration.

  5. Swetha says:

    Loved the way u explained it step by step .. I always had bad experience with khichidi. So wanted to try this step of 1:1 .but unfortunately my room mate bought sabuda which r quite big in size unlike the ones shown in pics ..
    So now would like to know wat type of items do we make with these big sabudana

  6. Sue says:

    Thank you for such a good explanation. I made tapioca pearls for the first time and wondered why they were mushy, now I know. After you soak them overnight and drain, do you rinse the pearls or just let them drain. I signed up to receive your recipes. They look really good.

  7. Ruth says:

    Will it remain hard like soaked rice or will it soften lik a cooked one…

    • Ruchi says:

      Ruth, after soaking sabudana (Tapioca) will become soft. It will not be hard like a soaked rice, but pretty close to cooked rice. To give you an idea – when pressed in between fingers, cooked rice get crushed with a gentle press but soft tapioca will require a little more pressure to crush the pearls. Hope hat helps!

  8. Tanveer says:

    From where this sabodana come

  9. anuradha says:

    Thanks for sharing your valuable tips on getting perfect sago pearls

  10. Khushbu says:


  11. HEERJA says:

    thanks for teaching us cooking in perfect way

  12. Suparna says:

    Wow I always had problem with soaking thanks rk my pears proper

  13. Rani says:

    I love sabudana pearls like these separated grain. Tried and yield perfect results. Thanks for sharing! Made your sabudana khichdi… so flavorful & healthy!! Post some more.. BTW following your Navratri planner, its a blessing and a great help. Jai Mata Di!!

  14. Jothi says:

    This is what I was looking for, thank you !!!

  15. Kavita says:

    Thanks for explaining it so well. I never had such pearls but after following your recipe, I have each and every grain separated in my hand. Feeling accomplished with ruchiskitchen. Thanks for sharing Ruchi

    • RK says:

      That’s so sweet of you Kavita. Glad to hear that you accomplished what you were aiming for. Thanks for stopping by and keep checking back for more. 🙂

  16. Kamal says:

    Hello Ruchi,
    Thank you for your wonderful and presentable blog and for sharing it step by step and in such detail. I have been your long time follower and find your recipes to be most reliable. Made sabudana khichdi and would like to contribute a quick tip- After draining sabudana in the morning, spread it out onto a plate and let it air dry for an hour to avoid them from sticking together.


  17. Hema says:

    This is one of my favorite things. Now I want to make some.Your pearls looks so bright and fresh. I’ve been looking for a good tapioca recipe..found it! Love the pictures as well! By the way nice and clean blog!!

    • RK says:

      Thanks Hema! Glad you found something of your liking! Do give it a try and I am sure you are going to like it !!

  18. Dhara Roy says:

    My sabudana was never good all gooey and sticky so never bothered to try it again. But with your method it was a great success. Made me feel like a expert in cooking. Thanks Ruchi for your elaborate steps of cooking recipes.

  19. Thanks From Berlin says:

    I never had my sabudana that fluffy and was always failing at it. Thanks to the step by step demo I nailed it this time.I guess I can fix all my past recipes with your presentation. Thanks dear.

  20. Shikha says:

    For the first time I got my sabudana right and fluffy. Thanks Ruchi. I am quite sure I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here.

  21. Candy says:

    Your method of describing everything in this piece of writing is truly fastidious, all can easily be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *