Sabudana Khichdi With Moringa Leaves (Savory Tapioca Pearls)

Introduction: Sabudana Khichdi With Moringa Leaves (Savory Tapioca Pearls)

About: A full-time blogger with a passion for cooking and baking! Check out my blog for simple and delicious creations from my kitchen!

Sabudana Khichdi is a vegan and gluten free savory breakfast dish of India with fluffy and non sticky pearls of sabudana or tapioca presoaked and cooked in a simple tempering of mustard, curry leaves, ginger and green chilies.

The key ingredient which gives it that oomph and texture is the addition of crushed peanuts and crispy bits of roasted potatoes. To make it more nutritious, I have added some turmeric powder and stirred in some super healthy moringa leaves which add a lovely flavor to the dish not to mention increases the nutrition value of this first meal of the day!


1 cup sabudana/tapioca pearls

1 medium potato washed, peeled and diced (about ½ cup)

1 to 1 ½ cups moringa leaves washed and chopped (optional)

2 tablespoons cooking oil (or ghee if not vegan)

½ teaspoon jeera/cumin seeds

2 green chilies chopped 8-10 curry leaves

1 tablespoon grated ginger

½ cup raw peanuts or roasted peanuts

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Pink salt or regular salt to taste

1 to 2 teaspoons sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 to 3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro/coriander leaves for garnish


Wash 1 cup sabudana/sago/tapioca pearls well to remove all excess starch

Soak in 1 cup of room temperature water for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Step 3:

You will notice all the water has been soaked by those gorgeous, pearls of white sago and would have turned plump and soft.

Test for readiness by pressing between your fingers. It should easily squash when pressed. Or else, soak for some more time.

If you find there is still some moisture or water, drain completely. Set aside.


In a deep saucepan/kadai, heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil and when hot, sprinkle ½ teaspoon jeera or cumin seeds.

Let is sizzle in the hot oil for a few seconds.

Step 5:

Then add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, 2 green chilies (or jalapeno or 1 Serrano), finely chopped or sliced along with a few curry leaves (8-10).

Fry on medium heat for some more seconds.

Step 6:

Stir in ½ cup chopped potatoes (peeled and diced) along with a pinch of salt, 1/3 teaspoon turmeric powder and ¼ teaspoon black pepper powder.

At this stage, if you are using raw peanuts, add and sauté along with the potatoes.

If using already roasted peanuts like I have, you can crush them coarsely and then add along with the soaked sago pearls.

Mix well and fry on medium low heat, covered until the potatoes are cooked; soft and slightly crispy.

Step 7:

Stir in chopped moringa leaves (about 1 to 1 ½ cups).

Step 8:

Fry again for a couple of minutes to soften and cook the leaves.

Step 9:

Once the potatoes and moringa leaves (or any greens you like or have) are cooked, add the soaked tapioca pearls, crushed already roasted peanuts (if using that), pink salt or regular salt to taste and about 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar to make for a savory yet mildly sweet (not too much!) taste.

Step 10:

Mix thoroughly but gently, cover and cook on low heat for about 3 to 5 minutes until the pearls turn translucent. Do not overcook and do not over mix or they will turn mushy.

Step 11:

When done, squeeze some lemon juice, garnish with 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander leaves, mix again and serve hot!

Step 12:

Traditionally, it is enjoyed with some curd/yogurt but I love to top with more roasted peanuts and sev (crisp fried chickpea batter noodles).


  1. Wash sabudana well in plenty of water until the water runs clear. This is a very important step to remove excess starch.
  2. Always use good quality sabudana/tapioca pearls (the smaller variety available online or in most Indian stores), makes a huge difference.
  3. Soak the washed and drained sabudana in 1:1 water for at least 5 hours up to overnight; that is, if you are using 1 cup sabudana, add 1 cup room temperature water.
  4. A good quality sabudana would have absorbed all the water and each pearl will look soft and separate.
  5. If there is excess water, do drain thoroughly using a colander.
  6. When cooking in the pan, use medium low heat and cook covered for just a few minutes (2 to 4 minutes) until the sabudana turns transparent.
  7. Do not mix too much and do not over cook as they may turn mushy and will tend to stick to each other.
  8. I made this for the first time and it was perfect; non sticky, well cooked and each pearl was soft and separate!
  9. Adding moringa leaves and turmeric is optional but trust me, you will love it! If you cannot find moringa leaves, you can leave it out or add any of your favorite greens to add to the nutrition!


Sabudana Khichdi is best served and enjoyed freshly made with a side of yogurt but we loved with some crunchy sev on the side and more roasted peanuts on top.

Leftovers can be refrigerated; just reheat in microwave and serve hot again.

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