Sabudana Kheer (Indian Sago Pudding)
Sabudana Kheer is a creamy, delicious & thick Indian pudding made with tapioca pearls, milk, sweetener & cardamoms. Tapioca pearls are known as Sabudana in Hindi & Kheer is an Indian pudding. Sabudana also known as sago is often used in Indian cooking to make various dishes like porridge, kheer, khichdi, vada & papads. These pearl like white balls are made from tapioca root also known as cassava. They are more popularly known as sago in many Asian Countries.
In Tamil they are called as Javvarisi, in Telugu sagubiyyam, in Kannada sabakki and in Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi they are known as sabudana.
Sabudana is a processed food and is a pure starch. They are not nutrient rich except for the high carbohydrates. They are very low in protein, vitamins & minerals. Hence they are combined with nutritious ingredients and cooked.
In India sabudana is widely used as a fasting food as it boosts energy instantly. This sabudana kheer is one such dish mostly made during religious fastings. Sabudana Khichdi and Sabudana Vada are 2 other dishes made during Hindu fastings.
Sabudana kheer is a great summer food too & can be served as a chilled dessert or breakfast on a hot day. It is believed to reduce the body heat and balance the body temperature. It is also given to babies and toddlers to boost energy. If you are looking for ideas to feed sabudana to your baby then you can check here how to feed sabudana to your baby.
About Sabudana Kheer
Sabudana Kheer is simply made by simmering soaked sago in water until the balls turn transparent and are cooked through. They are later simmered in full fat milk until thick & creamy. Lastly the kheer is sweetened with sugar or jaggery and then flavored with cardamom powder.
It is served either warm or chilled with a garnish of plenty of toasted or ghee fried nuts. While the traditional Sabudana Kheer is made with whole milk (full fat milk) it can also be made with any kind of milk including vegan alternates like Almond milk or coconut milk.
To make sabudana kheer you can use any healthy sweetener like jaggery, palm jaggery, coconut sugar or stevia etc. If using jaggery then make sure you turn off the stove & cool down the kheer slightly before adding it. This step prevents the kheer from splitting/curdling the milk.
More Indian sweets
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How to Make Sabudana Kheer (Stepwise Photos)
1. Rinse ¼ cup sabudana very well at least twice. Then pour 1 cup water and begin to cook stirring often to prevent burning. You can also soak the sabudana first in hot water for 30 mins to overnight to reduce the cook time. Refrigerate soaked & drained sabudana in the fridge for up to 2 days so you can cook anytime easily.
2. When the sabudana turns transparent check if they are cooked through. You can bite a few and check. They should not be hard or chewy. All of the pearls look transparent this is the first sign they are well cooked. Pour 1 cup milk and mix.
3. Continue to cook until they turn completely soft and light. The mixture also turns thick & looks starchy. Then add 1/8 teaspoon cardamom powder.
4. Add 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar. I used brown sugar. You can also use jaggery. If you add jaggery to the boiling kheer it will curdle. So to use jaggery turn off the stove, cool down a bit & add the grated jaggery. Or make a jaggery syrup following the recipe notes and cool it completely. Then add it here. If using jaggery to kheer, you should never cook it further after adding it to avoid curdling.
5. Since I used sugar I boiled until the sabudana kheer turned thick. It will thicken further upon cooling so turn off when it is of pouring yet thick consistency.
Serve sabudana kheer chilled or warm. Garnish with chopped nuts and saffron if you desire.
- Soaking sabudana for 30 mins in hot water will cut down the cook time.
- Sabudana gets cooked faster in water than in milk so I cook them first in water until transparent then add milk.
- To make this kheer more richer and delicious, blend 10 to 12 blanched almonds, 1 pinch of saffron with half cup milk until smooth. Then pour it to the kheer towards the end. Simmer just for a few minutes.
- You can skip sugar completely and just add finely chopped dates to sweeten the dish. Do not cook once the dates are added as the flavor of the kheer changes.
Sabudana Kheer for Babies
Sabudana is cooling to the body so it is ideal to feed your baby during summers. We usually feed sabudana when the baby has a tummy upset or during teething.
Avoid it if your baby is suffering from constipation. Also avoid sugar and salt until your baby is one year old.
You can also add a piece of carrot to the sabudana kheer. Just blend the carrot with water or milk until smooth. When the sabudana is cooked pour the carrot puree and cook until you get the smell of cooked carrots.
Here are the 3 different ways I have followed to make sabudana kheer for my babies. As the baby grows move to the next method.
1. Sabudana powder (for 8+ months)
- Rinse sadubana well in water. Drain in a colander. Dry on a clean white cloth until completely dry.
- Then dry roast it well on a low flame. Cool and make a fine powder & dry again.
- Sieve if needed and store it in an air tight jar in the fridge.
- Use a teaspoon of this for every ¾ cup water. Cook until it turns slightly thick. Cool and feed. You can also add milk.
2. Sabudana kheer puree (for 8+ months)
The second method is to cook the sabudana kheer following the above method and then puree it in a blender.
3. Almond milk sabudana kheer (above 1 year)
- 1.5 tbsp. small sago (sabudana/ saggubiyyam)
- 4 to 6 Soaked Almonds (optional)
- 45 ml Milk (optional, can use water instead)
- 1 pinch Cardamom powder
- 1 tbsp. organic Jaggery or sugar
- 130 ml Water
- To make sabudana kheer for babies, wash sago and cook in water till they turn transparent.
- Grind the almonds with milk and cardamom.
- Pour the almond mixture in the cooked sago and cook it further till soft.
- Add jaggery and mix well. Switch off the flame. Do not cook after adding jaggery. Serve warm. If your baby cannot eat soft sago, then blend it to a puree in a blender when it cools down.
Sabudana Kheer Recipe | Indian Sago Pudding
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- ¼ cup sabudana tapioca pearls (sago)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons sugar or chopped dates or jaggery (refer notes)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup milk (use more if needed)
- ⅛ teaspoon cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
- 1 tablespoon nuts chopped – almonds, pistas & cashews
How to Make Sabudana Kheer
- Add sabudana to a heavy bottom pot and rinse it very well.
- Pour 1 cup water and cook them until transparent stirring often. You can also soak them for few hours to reduce the cook time.
- After cooking, sabudana turns light and transparent meaning they are well cooked, they should not be hard or chewy. Add milk at this stage.
- Cook on a medium heat until the kheer turns thick.
- Add cardamom powder and sugar. Stir and cook until the sabudana kheer turns thick to your liking. If needed add more milk & simmer. It usually thickens upon cooling so turn off when it is of pouring consistency.
- Serve sabudana kheer warm or chilled. Garnish with chopped nuts. You can also fry the nuts and raisins in ghee and pour it over the kheer.
- If using dates, just add them towards the end. Cooking dates will alter the taste of the sabudana kheer. I use medjool dates as they are softer.
- You can replace sugar in the recipe with jaggery following this step: Add 1/3 cup jaggery and 3 tbsps water to a small pot. Heat it till it melts. Pour it to a strainer and filter to remove impurities. Cook till the syrup thickens. Cool this completely. Turn off the stove when the sabudana is cooked. Then add the jaggery to the kheer otherwise the sabudana kheer will curdle.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Sabudana kheer recipe was originally published in April 2012. Updated May 2019 with new images.
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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I think you forgot to add jaggery. When should I add and how much?
Turned out beautiful! My sabudana kheer always becomes too thick after cooling. Your recipe worked well. It was flowy even after cooling. Thanks.
Glad to know Maithri
I will definitely soak sago overnight so will I still cook in 1 cup of water and if so for how long? Can this be made in an instant pot or better on the stove? Thanks so much
It will soak up only 1/4 cup water overnight. You can reduce to 3/4 cup. Cook time depends on the kind of pan and stove. Just cook them until soft and transparent. For me stovetop works better because all sabudana is not the same.
Easy to follow steps. Great outcome.
Such a deatil…..
mom doesn’t live with me and i still able to make it only with the help of this blog… love the way he gave information
Glad the recipe helps. Thank you!
Can I soak sabudana pearls overnight and for how long? If I do this do I need to soak them again in the morning?
Yes you can soak them overnight and cook directly in the morning.
Hi .I recently checked your whole blog I am amazed by the way everything is explained.. I am a new beginner in cooking and totaly blank about how to start and I need to know cooking it is important for my future life . Can you please suggest me how to start and what recipes should I start first. Please swasthi di
Thank you! Glad you liked the blog! I would suggest you to look into this link Recipes for bachelors. Try to make some one pot dishes like pulao, khichdi, lemon rice, veg biryani as they are quick to make. Then you can also make poha & upma, sandwiches. Hope this helps. If you do not know whether a recipe is easy or not then you can post a comment here. I can guide you.
I love all your recipes. Would like to know if you use ponni raw rice. If so what brand is good. I always use basmati but people say not gud for daily use. How do you differentiate between old rice and newrice. Is sr murugan raw rice gud. Would appreciate a response asap.
Thanks and regards.
Thank you. Yes we eat ponni raw rice & parboiled, sona masuri raw & parboiled & basmathi. We use organic rice from mustafa. Not very particular about brands as long as they are organic. Earlier I had used murugan raw rice a few times. They are okay. Regarding the age of the rice, we usually enquire and buy. The men in mustafa guide us. For basmati rice, the harvest date is printed on the pack. We use lalquilla basmati old malai. Hope this helps.
I made sabudana kheer yesterday. Thanks for the recipe. Can savudana cause wheezing in babies? I gave this last evening to my 1 year old and he struggled wheezing the whole night. I gave him some adrakwali dalia in the morning. Seems to be better now. My question is can sabudana cause wheezing?
Looks like your toddler got cold after eating sabudana kheer. Yes it can cause wheezing, cold & even phlegm if eaten cold especially if made with sugar. To avoid this we usually feed it luke warm and then avoid sugar. Instead use jaggery as it is warming to the body. Next time avoid feeding it in the night. Wishing him a speedy recovery.
Hello swasthi di,
I cannot find the carrot and sadudana recipe on your blog. My baby like it very much. Please give me the recipe. Can I give sabudana for dinner? My baby is 11 months. Thank you di
That recipe is not available on the blog anymore. I can give you the link tomorrow. Just blend half carrot smooth with some water and pour it to the sabudana when it is cooked light and transparent. Yes you can give it for dinner but not daily. Avoid during monsoon and winters. Hope this helps.
I have updated the method of making carrot sabudana kheer in the above post. Hope this helps
Wow your recipes are truly healthy. Love your thoughts on using dates for sabudana kheer. Never even thought of it. We tried it at home it was delicious ? . Thank you .
You are welcome. Thanks for comment. Glad you loved dates in sabudana kheer.
Lovely sabudana kheer. My 11 months old baby loves the almond sabudana kheer. Have been feeding this for 3 days in a row. Would you recommend continuing for another 2 to 3 days?
Wow! Glad your baby loved it. It should be fine.
pls swasthi reply soon waiting for breakfast idea for my 3 year 1mnth daughter
Please go through this breakfast recipes link for ideas. I suggest high protein foods made with egg or dal for breakfast. You can try moongdal dosa, egg paratha, dal paratha, boiled chana or steamed sprouted green gram tossed with olive oil, veggies, pepper, sesame seeds. There are lot of ideas on the link. You can check. You may also like these kids collection. You can also check these lunch box recipes
sorry to disturb u again mam but how to make chart coz I’m the mad rush of waking the children getting them ready for school it’s very confusing what to give them for breakfast and pack for school Tiffin . also mam is it good to give paratha for breakfast.plus mam tell us very nutritious breakfast. my daughter is 3 + years old
Yes you can give them paratha, . I will tell u in detail about the breakfasts on the food chart post (to your comment)
hi swasthi I m 7months pregnant can I drink this. also mam pls it’s a request my daughter is 3+ Pls give me some healthy and super nutritious breakfast for her. coz it’s very confusing early in d morning.
Yes you can drink it but not too often. sago is loaded with carbs and no other nutrition. Prepare with almond milk and have it twice in a week. Please check the baby toddler link on the menu bar for recipes
Woww Wowww…. This Almond Sago is indeed a wholesome food… and jaggery gives the needed taste… sure to be a hit with toddlers… Thank you for linking this with Healthy Morsels – Baby and Toddler Foods 🙂
Even I would love a bowl of this.. thanks for linking to event