Oct 162012

I can’t express my love for upma, I don’t know if its the ease in making or the mixed spicy taste that it provides with different textures all in one bite. My ears and eyes pop up every time some one mentions the name upma. My friends and I meet every Wednesday trying to catch up on local gossip (oh! I admit loud and clear that we love doing it) and more importantly share good food. Being a foodie I’m very enthusiastic to learn any new recipe I see on the table and I didn’t miss sabudana upma made by my dear friend Geeta.



I’ve never tried making this upma for the time consuming and laborious soaking involved to get the fluffy texture that you see in that bowl. But my friend provided me with a super easy and foolproof method and I just followed her recipe that I was literally doing a happy dance after making it. Here is my big shout out and a hearty thanks to Geeta for giving me this recipe, an invaluable treasure that goes in to my recipe box. This upma is well balanced with soft texture of cooked sabudana (tapioca pearls) and crunchy peanuts and I made it little spicy to tickle my taste buds. Oh! I so can’t wait to make it again. How about you?


MG 1890MG 1891

Soak Sabudana in water for 3 hours, drain the water in a strainer and leave in overnight. Next day afternoon, upma can be made.

MG 1894MG 1896

Dry roast peanuts until well toasted.

MG 1895MG 1897

In a wide pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let it splutter, add channa dal, urad dal, green chillies and fry till golden brown. Add curry leaves, onions and sautee till onions turn translucent. Now add turmeric powder, sambar powder, soaked sabudana, salt. Cover and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes, until the sabudana is cooked, the texture and the white color of the pearls change to a translucent grain.

MG 1900

Add roasted peanuts, peanut powder, coriander powder. Stir well to combine, cook for a minute. Switch off the flame and serve hot. Enjoy!!!

Sabudana Upma (Tapioca Pearl Pilaf)


  • Indian Tapioca Pearls (Sabudana/Sago/Javarasi) --- 1 1/2 cups
  • Onions -- 1 medium (chopped finely --about 3/4 cup)
  • Peanuts -- 1 cup
  • Mustard seeds -- 1 tsp
  • Channa Dal -- 1 Tbsp
  • Urad Dal -- 1/2 Tbsp
  • Green Chillies -- 2 (finely chopped)
  • Asafetida(Hing) -- a pinch
  • Curry Leaves -- few leaves
  • Sambar Powder-- 1 Tbsp
  • Coriander Powder -- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder -- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt -- to taste
  • Cooking oil/Canola Oil -- 2 Tbsp


    For soaking Tapioca Pearls/Sabudana
  1. Do not wash sabudana, add tapioca pearls in a bowl and add enough water to immerse sabudana in water. Let it aside for 3 hours. (Note: I soaked sabudana at around 3 pm until 6 pm)
  2. After 3 hours, in a mesh colander, drain the water completely and let it aside, do not rinse or wash. Let it aside overnight in a dry place for the water to completely evaporate. (My friend's advice....forget its there!!!)
  3. Next day afternoon, sabudana is ready to be cooked.
  4. Method to make the upma
  5. Dry roast peanuts in a pan until golden brown. Divide the peanuts into 2 equal parts, grind one part into powder and reserve the other part until ready to use.
  6. In a wide pan, heat oil add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add Channa dal, urad dal, green chillies and fry till the dals turn golden brown. Add curry leaves, chopped onions and fry till the onions turn translucent.
  7. Add sambar powder, turmeric powder and saute for just a minute making sure that the masala is not burnt.
  8. Add sabudana, salt and mix well. Cover and simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not add or sprinkle water. The sabudana will cook in the light moisture that it has retained while soaking.
  9. Add peanut powder, coriander powder and roasted peanuts and mix well. Stir well to combine for a minute. Switch off flame. Serve hot and Enjoy!!!



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  17 Responses to “Sabudana Upma (Tapioca Pearl Pilaf)”

  1. One of my favourite upma,i must say here.. Lovely and damn cute presentation with cupcake paper moulds.

  2. you make it sound so easy to make. I can never get it right 🙁

  3. should be very flavorful..

  4. Looks so delicious. Loved those cute pearls…

  5. very different from how we prepare it,, looks lovely

  6. Your version is different than ours’ . BTW, do you leave drained sabudana overnight in a colander? Doesn’t sabudana get dried up?

    • Thanks Suma…. Yes, I do leave drained sabudana overnight in a colander …actually the sabudana swells up in volume from the initial soak, so after draining the idea is to get the sabudana dry which gives the upma a beautiful fluffy texture without sticking flawlessly.

  7. I too prepare some times ,i use roasted n crushed peanuts at the end..

  8. Need I say your pictures have again captured so much of my liking? Very well presented and you made the humble sago upma very pro like..You must be one of those very few who profess love for Upmas..:))

  9. i grew up eating tapioca pudding, but never in savory dishes. This looks so good.

  10. Nice and healthy recipe. Loved the way u presented them

  11. Its a long time since I made this. Nice idea to add sambar powder to this umpa. Stunning pics as usual 🙂

  12. My love for upma was born on the day I discovered how easy they were to make! Until then, I used to keep them away from my plate :D. I tried making these for last week’s BM, they came out all mushy though. My SIL makes these really nice!

    • Rajani, do try this recipe. This is the first time I’m making Sabudana upma and got a fluffy texture. It’s such a fool proof recipe…if you just follow the recipe you won’t be disappointed I promise!

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