Sabudana kheer step-by-step recipe with video and photos.
About this recipe
Sabudana kheer or payasam is a delicious pudding made using tapioca pearls. Also known as javvarasi payasam, this smooth and luscious dessert is naturally gluten-free and popular during festivals like Navratri and Shivratri as it can be eaten during fasting/vrat.
Making this sago milk pudding is quick and very easy in Instant Pot. You need just three main ingredients - sago pearls, milk, and sugar. It is a great alternative for vermicelli kheer if you are looking for a gluten-free option.
Making sabudana payasam in the Instant Pot is very simple and does not need stirring or monitoring whatsoever. Not to mention the time it saves when made in the IP! This make-ahead dessert is great for gatherings and can be served warm or cold.
The savory version of this dish is called sabudana khichdi. Click here to make authentic Maharashtra-style sabudana khichdi.
Read on for ingredients, cooking instructions, and useful tips to make this creamy sago dessert in a jiffy. Click here for a collection of Instant Pot Indian desserts.
What is Sabudana
Sabudana is a form of tapioca, also called cassava root. Sabudana is the starch extracted from the cassava roots. It is a very popular vrat/upvas food (or fasting food). Many dishes are made with sabudana during Navratri fasting.
Sabudana is high in starch and so is suitable during vrat/upvas (or fasting days). These delicious sago pearls are a great substitute for gluten too. It is called sabbaki in Kannada, sabu in Bengali, javvarasi in Tamil, saggubiyam in Telugu, and just sabudana in many other Indian languages.
It is high in carbs and gives an instant energy boost, making it popular during fasting in many Indian festivals where grains are not consumed. It is also considered to have cooling properties.
Sabudana: Use the thick variety.
Milk: Whole milk gives a creamy texture; however, low-fat milk also can be used.
Sugar: I use raw sugar; however, plain white sugar also can be used.
Cardamom and saffron: They are used to add flavor. You can use either one of them or both.
Nuts and raisins: They add a great texture to the pudding. Almonds, pistachio, cashew, raisins, etc. are commonly used.
Rinse the sabudana in water until the water runs clear. Soak it in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes (step 1).
Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add soaked sabudana along with water. Let it boil for 3-4 minutes (step 2).
Once it boils and the pearls turn translucent, add milk and sugar (steps 3,4).
Add saffron, cardamom, nuts, and raisins. Mix well (step 5).
Close the lid and put the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode (low) for 10 minutes (step 6).
Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Mix well and serve (steps 7,8).
Wash the sago pearls well. Soak it just for 5 minutes. If you plan ahead and soak it for longer, reduce the cooking time to 7 minutes.
This kheer will thicken when it cools down. You can add a small amount of milk before you reheat and serve.
You can use any nuts as per your liking. You can also skip it to make nut-free kheer.
You can also sweeten the kheer with jaggery. However, in this case, add the jaggery after pressure cooking the sabudana and put the IP in saute mode (low) until the jaggery melts. Pressure cooking with jaggery will curdle the milk.
As an optional ingredient, you can use 1-2 tablespoons of condensed milk to add richness to the kheer. In that case, make sure to reduce the amount of sugar.
Traditionally, milk is used to make this dish and so it is not vegan. For a vegan version, you can use oat milk or soy milk instead of regular milk; although I have not tested this recipe with dairy-free milk.
Wash and boil the sago pearls with lots of water until it is fully cooked. Add milk and sugar only after the sabu is cooked and the pearls are translucent.
Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator. It can be stored for 2-3 days. Once stored, the kheer tends to thicken. You can add some milk and thin it out before serving.
Yes. I soak it just for 5 minutes and this can be skipped. Although, if you are soaking for a longer time, reduce the cooking time to 6 or 7 minutes.
This sabudana kheer is:
- so easy to make and needs no monitoring
- rich and delicious
Sabudana Kheer / Tapioca Pudding in Instant Pot
- ¾ cup sabudana
- 2 cups water
- 2 cups milk
- ¼ cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon saffron
- ¼ cup nuts
- 1 tablespoon raisins
- Rinse the sabudana in water until the water runs clear. Soak it in 2 cups of water for 5 minutes.
- Set the Instant Pot in saute mode and add soaked sabudana along with water.
- Let it boil for 3-4 minutes.
- Once it boils and the pearls turn translucent, add milk. Mix well
- Close the lid and put the Instant Pot to pressure cook mode (low) for 10 minutes.
- Do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- Add chopped nuts, raisin, cardamom powder, and saffron. Mix well.
- Serve warm or chill in the refrigerator and serve cold.