Recently updated on October 15th, 2020

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How to make Non-Sticky Sabudana Upma |  Sabudana Khichdi that is fluffy and separated, is easy to be made if followed ceratin precautions. This post gives you step by step instructions to feast while fasting with each separated grain in Sabudana Khichdi.

Sabudana Khichdi



Sabudana Khichdi in Fasts

If I ask you to name the most popular food item sought for during fasts then, of course, you would say Sabudana. Sabudana Khichdi is the most popular fasting food and therefore calling it the number one fasting food would not be wrong.

Sabudana khichdi with a glass of Masala milk or Lemon Lassi is filling as well as satiating. 

Here are some more recipes for fasting :


But do you have any clue as to why it is preferred during fasts? Let us see. And along with this, I am also sharing with you Tips to make fluffy and separated Sabudana Khichdi.


Why Sabudana Is Allowed In Fasts?

It is allowed in fasts as it is a non-grain food and is made either from the starch extracted from the roots of a plant called Cassava or from the centre of sago palm stems.

Well, Sabudana is a storehouse of starch and carbohydrates, with very little protein, vitamin C, calcium and minerals. Being rich in carbs and starch it gives instant energy.
Also, at the same time, it is light on digestion and has a high cooling effect on the digestive system.

Not going much into the health benefits of sago, let us see as to how to make presentable, yummy, separated sabudana upma/ khichdi, as it has the tendency to get sticky because of huge quantity of starch in it.

I love Sabudana Vada as well as Sabudana khichdi or say Upma.



Though I could always make Sabudana vada easily but khichdi was always a tricky affair.
I just didn’t know when it would turn good and when it would be a disastrous lumpy mass of starch.
Because of this reason, I usually avoided making it.

Then one day, when I visited my aunt, Mrs Sushila Kapoor, she served me Sabudana Khichdi.

Wow!  What a beauty it was!  Colorful, separated grains…..literally like pearls, apt to its other name ‘tapioca pearls’. She had made it colourful with the use of carrots, cilantro, raisins and peanuts. It looked so appetising and of course tasted great.

Since then, whenever I go to her place she ensures to make it for me.
She also gave me tips as to how to make it separated and non-sticky.

With Gratitude to her, I share her tips and tricks for making Sabudana Khichdi


How To Make Sabudana Khichdi

Making Sabudana Khichdi involves 3 parts —-

  • Washing,
  • Soaking and
  • Cooking.

Let us see these in detail…

How to Rinse or Wash Sabudana

As Sabudana is full of starch, it is this starch which makes it sticky. Try to get rid of this starch as much as possible. So, wash it under running water at least 5 or 6 or 7 or more times till the water becomes clear.
Keep on changing water till you see starch coming out of it.

Sago/Tapioca Pearls/Sabudana Upma/Khichdi
First Rinse

Sago/Tapioca Pearls/Sabudana Upma/Khichdi
Final Rinse


How To Soak Sabudana: 

Soaking is the key to making fluffy, separated sago.

Too little water … and it may remain hard
Too much water… and it becomes sticky.
Hence, it is soaked in just enough water, slightly above the sago.

If you are planning to make it for breakfast then soak it in the night before and if want to make it in the evening then do the soaking in the morning. There’s a very good tip regarding this.

  • Take a shallow tray and fill it with water.
  • Put the washed sago in the strainer/colander.
  • Now, put this colander in the shallow tray on the water.
  • After a few hours, it will absorb the water, swell in size, soft and dry too.
  • As you can see in the last pic, the tray/ plate is totally dry. In case, some water is left there, then keep the colander on a dry vessel for some time.
  • If some sago pearls remain hard, just sprinkle some water.
  • Now, fluff it with a fork or your hands so as to separate the sago pearls.

After soaking, sago just gets double in volume. Like 1 cup raw sago will become 2 Cups soaked sago.

sago upma


How To Soak Sabudana Quickly

Alternatively, if you have less time then you can also soak it for 1hour. In that case, soak Sabudana in just enough and hot water. Like, soak 1 cup Sabudana in 1 cup water. After 1 or 1.5 hours, press one or two Sabudana pearls between your fingers. If soft, then put the Sabudana in a colander for 15 minutes or so. This is to ensure that it becomes totally dry. In case, not soft then continue soaking for some more time.

Whatever method you use, ensure that there is no water and that it is completely dry before you use it.

Once soaked, you can keep it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for a day or two, and use when required for making khichdi, vada, kheer etc.

Important: Do you know soaked sabudana remains good in the refrigerator for upto 3 to 4 days. So, once soaked, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. And on the day of fasting, it will get ready in just 10 minutes. Just ensure that it is dried too before storing.

How To Cook Sabudana

  •  Cook in a non-stick pan, as far as possible.
  • Now in a wide wok, in which potatoes, cumin seeds and curry leaves are cooked, add the soaked Sabudana and cook.
  • Always, cook it on a medium flame for 3-4 minutes only.
  • If you follow these points, you will surely have a beautiful, presentable, separated Sabudanakhichdi.
  • You can add veggies to it like carrots, beans. Also, if not for fast, then you can add chat masala also.


Ingredients for Making Sabudana Khichdi


Sago/Tapioca Pearls/Sabudana Upma/Khichdi


Detailed Recipe Of Sabudana Khichdi With Step By Step Pics

  • Rinse sabudana in freshwater several times till you get clear water. 

Sabudana Khichdi

  • Soak sabudana overnight. For soaking, fill a shallow plate with water and keep the strainer with rinsed sabudana in it. 

Sabudana Khichdi

  •  In a wide-bottomed pan ( kadhai ), put oil and cook potatoes in it until light brown in colour.
  • Add green chilli, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Saute for a minute or so.
sago upma


  • Keep the flame low, add soaked sabudana, salt, black pepper and crushed peanuts.Sabudana Khichdi


  • Keep tossing for 2-3 minutes till it turns translucent.
  • Switch off the gas. Add lemon juice.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
Sabudana Khichdi


  • Serve with devotion, buttermilk optional.
sago upma


Tip: In case, it starts sticking then switch off the gas. And cook it in the microwave oven for 1 minute. Or, mix in roasted and crushed peanuts.


Let’s Connect

I hope you have liked this recipe as well as tips for making non-sticky sabudana khichdi and will surely try it out for sure. I will be happy if you share your creations on Instagram and tag me #samirasrecipediary there.

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Recipe Card Of Non-Sticky Sabudana Khichdi recipe

Sabudana Khichdi Recipe

Tips to make fluffy and separated Sabudana Khichdi

Prep Time 10 minutes
Soaking Time 6 hours



  • 1 Cup Sabudana
  • 3 Tbsp Cooking oil
  • 1 Raw Potato (Peeled and Chopped Finely)
  • 1-2 Green Chilli (Chopped Finely)
  • 4 or 5 Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds Jeera
  • 2-3 Tbsp Peanuts (Roasted and Crushed)
  • 2 tsp Rock salt (Saindha Namak)
  • 1 tsp Black pepper powder
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander leaves (Chopped Finely)
  • 1 or 2 tsp Lemon juice


  1. Rinse Sabudana in fresh several times, till the water becomes clear.

  2. Soak Sabudana overnight. For soaking please check the detailed procedure with pics in the post.

  3. In a wide-bottomed pan (kadhai), put oil and cook potatoes in it until light brown in colour.

  4. Add green chilli, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Saute for a minute or so.
  5. Keep the flame low, add soaked Sabudana, salt, black pepper and crushed peanuts.

  6. Keep tossing for 2-3 minutes till it turns translucent.
  7. Switch off the gas. Add lemon juice.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  9. Serve with devotion, curd optional.

Recipe Notes

  1. You can add veggies of your choice like carrots, beans etc.
  2. You can add raisins and cashews if you like.  
  4. You can adjust the quantities of potatoes, peanuts, salt etc according to your preferences.
  5. Please don't forget to use lemon juice. It adds a very good flavour to it.


Happy Fasting…