Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navaratri/ Dussera Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
I fell in love with Sabudana /Sago when my mom made Sabudana Kichidi for me. The Maharashtrian style Sabudana Vada then came into my world followed by the South Indian version Javvarisi Vadai.  Marriage saw me trying out Sago (Sabudana) Idlis and loving it too. All in the same order. For some reason, I cannot recall when was the first time I had this payasam, although it was one of those things which I knew I would like right away.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navaratri/ Dussera Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
I made it so many times in my first year of marriage that my husband wondered if I knew to make any other kheer at all :) Guess that shows you my love for this one. Something about this pudding is comforting to me. That chewiness combined with the creaminess that it imparts makes it extremely satisfying for me.
There are variations in the way its made from family to family ( and quality to variety of sago). I chose to show two methods I usually resort to. The pressure cooker method happens when the craving for it exceeds the patience for soaking the sago pearls and the local Indian grocery always carries the variety that needs soaking for at least 5 hours! So I found that the pressure cooker method satisfies this need promptly.  You can use small or large pearled sago but I prefer large pearls.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Serves: 6 people
  • Yields: Serves 4-6 people
  • 1 cup Sabudana (Javvarisi/Sago), see Tips
  • 2 cups boiled Milk, see Tips
  • 1/2 cup Sugar, or as needed - see Tips
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1-2 tbsp Cashews and Raisins, each
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • Pinch of Saffron
1.Sabudana: Depending on the size and quality you might need to soak the Sago for 15-20 minutes (smaller variety) or overnight (the large pearled variety). Some quick cooking variety don't need soaking at all. You would need to test your sago to know under which category it falls under. I generally opt to use the large pearled ones for this recipe 'cos of personal preference.

2.Milk: Though you can use low fat milk, the whole milk is recommended. My way of cutting down on some of the fat is by using part water to cook the sago but you can make it richer by using all milk instead.

3.Sugar: The amount of sugar will depend on your taste preference. We don't like too much sugar hence the amount specified. You might need 3/4 to 1 cup instead.
1. Stove Top Method (Suited best for Quick cooking/Small pearled/Overnight soaked Sabudana)

Wash the sabudana well until the water runs clear. Soak in enough water to cover the sago.

2. Next day drain it well.
3. In a pan, add the ghee and when hot, add cashews to it. When its almost roasted, add the raisins. When plump, remove them both and set aside.
4. In the same pan (in remaining ghee), toast the drained sago for a minute. If yours is a quick cooking variety, then you can right away come to this step and saute it in ghee instead of soaking.
5. Next add 1-1/2 cups water to the sago and let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.

Note: For a richer version, instead of water - add all milk instead , that is around 4 cups milk instead of 2 and you will need to cook sago in the milk directly.

6. Keep stirring until you find the sago turning translucent (and soft when pressed with fingertips). The stirring is essential to avoid the sago from sticking together into a clumpy mess.
7. While that's happening I generally tend to boil the milk on the side alternatively (or use a microwave). Take 1 tbsp of that milk and add the saffron to it. Set aside.
8. When the sago has cooked, add the desired amount of sugar to it. Stir until it melts and combined well.
9. Next add the boiled milk, making sure to keep stirring.
10. Cook until it thickens - another 5 minutes or so. Then add the saffron milk and cardamom powder.
11. Stir to combine and garnish with nuts and raisins. Serve warm.
12. Pressure Cooker Method: (Ideal when time is short and you want to cook faster and/or when you have forgotten to soak the Sago)

I opt for this method when I do not want to baby sit the cooking. If you have the quick cooking variety or if you have soaked the sago, then you would need to cook it for only 1 whistle.

13. But if yours is the overnight soaking variety and you have forgotten to soak it (and have no time), then you would need to cook it for 6-7 whistles (may be around 15 minutes). Just cook for few whistles and open it to see if it has cooked. But I would recommend the soaking method since I somehow (no particular reason except instinct) feel that method is better. This method is for the times when you have absolute craving for this kheer but have no soaked sago on hand. (can you guess that I have had such moments before?;))
14. Rest of the procedure is same as mentioned in the "Stovetop" method. Add  sugar, boiled milk, saffron, cardamom powder  and toasted nuts (in that order) to that mixture and serve warm.
While Vermicelli Kheer (Semiya Payasam) tastes best when served chilled, this to me tastes best when served warm. This makes for a very creamy consistency Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navaratri/ Dussera Vrat (Fasting) Recipes so if you can add in more milk to suit your preferences. Also it tends to thicken up further as time passes so addition of milk would be necessary when serving on a later basis. Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navaratri/ Dussera Vrat (Fasting) Recipes

Recipe Reference

My kitchen notes

Leave a Reply

I love to hear from you! I read each and every comment, and will get back as soon as I am able to.
Did you try this recipe? Please share your feedback!
Upload Your Recipe Photos


By Recipe: Spiced chia seed pudding - Bar-barella on Feb 2, 2015

[…] just use their delicious food to feed my training! They always have a pudding, and my favourite is sabudana kheer – a sweet rice-pudding style dessert made from sago (like tapioca – kind of […]

By yasu on Dec 6, 2014


By yasu on Dec 6, 2014

:) its good

By Kash on Nov 19, 2014

I tried making this with a twist today; Where you add saffron and milk to it, I followed the whole recipe and amount of sugar, and used chocolate syrup instead! It turned out really well, and with the right amount of sweetness for me as well (though for those sugar-watchersi'd say you'd have to regulate on your sugar quantity). About 3-4 tbsp of Hershey's chocolate syrup (melting unsweetened chocolate works too I suppose) should do the trick. 8)

By sonia on Oct 20, 2014

Hey, I made this today.Came out really good. Thanks Again Sonia

By john Clinton on Oct 17, 2014

Nice presentation, wiĺl try if it taste gr8 or not. :-D

By sugi on Jun 13, 2014

Hi ur recipe is awesome that too with variations. I totally love it. Thanks for ur recipes.

By amita on Apr 22, 2014

Awesome it was,loved it,very easy to make and quick.thanks a ton dear

By Radhika Singh on Apr 4, 2014

Excellent variation. Also liked the cheat method of skipping the soaking step.I have made sago pudding/cutlets/khichadi etc as its a staple during fasts. But I like your way of doing it. Thanks for the suggestion. Will try it out!!!

By rishi karthi on Jan 28, 2014

its very test

By anita saini on Oct 3, 2013

roll: :roll: :oops: :oops: :lol: :-D muje hamesha khanna banane kae liya yeh dekhna hota hai i like it

By Keerthika on Sep 14, 2013

Tried your recipe.. came out really well..Thank you.. :-D

By umaima on Jul 30, 2013

i lyk ur way of describing recepie... :-| thanks a lot..

By sylvia on Jul 30, 2013

I love watering :

By Zim on Apr 16, 2013

Great! You are the first person who mentioned the pressure cooker method. I checked so many recipes but they had no mention of sudden cravings. Thanks a lot! :D

By | DIWALI SWEETS on Nov 23, 2012

[...] Sabudana Kheer (Sago Milk Pudding) [...]

By Hina on Nov 2, 2012

Great recipe, missed this snack, will try today, looks easy, thanks!

By gayathri.m on Oct 25, 2012


By Richa on Oct 23, 2012

its very healthy dish especialy for fast.....thanx .. :wink:

By sarita on Oct 18, 2012

i will be making this today, yum!!! p.s. where abouts are you?

errr..if you mean where I live, then its CA, USA--DK

By sreebindu on Oct 18, 2012

My mom love this recipe :) xx

By radha on Oct 18, 2012

Has been some time since I had this. Was a regular at home ( before I got married !) and no longer a favourite now ( so that is some 30 years ) - but this has me longing for some now.

By Priya on Oct 18, 2012

Extremely irresistible.

By Anuja on Oct 18, 2012

Hey DK, I've found your precipices on the Internet since yesterday, and i really love your way of writing in combination with your pictures! They always look so yummy. It gives me encouragement to try something new for me. I'm born in the Netherlands and my parents are Hindus from Suriname but i always have had something with pure Indian food and culture. It's nice to see you loving to cook and share Indian food precipices :lol: Keep going on! I'll keep reading and trying :wink:

By Nandita on Oct 17, 2012

The Kheer looks so mouth watering!! Love it :)