Sabakki Payasa / Sabudana Kheer/ Tapioca pearls dessert

Sabakki/ Sabudana/ Tapioca pearl is carbohydrate rich food item which is considered as food after fasting. It is very rich in calories and hence largely used in baby food in India. It works best in kheer/ pudding or halwa to spicy sabudana kichdi. Here is the recipe to make kheer which is my favorite!
This payasa is made with coconut milk. Check out my recipe of Milk Sabakki kheer with dry fruits here.

Tapioca pearls dessert

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3
Type: Sweet/ Dessert


Sabudana/ Sabakki / Tapioca Pearls – 1 cup
Coconut Milk – 2 Cups , Keep first extract separate
Sugar – 1.5 Cups
Cardamom powder – ¼ tsp
Dry fruits of choice (Cashew nuts, raisins, Almonds) – 4 spoons (Chopped)
Ghee – 2 spoons

  • Wash Sabakki in running water, drain and soak in 2 cups of fresh water in a vessel with lid covered. It will take 1-2 hours to bulge.  (You can cook fried sabakki in pressure cooker without soaking as well, refer notes).
  • Allow thin coconut milk (with added water) to boil in a thick bottomed vessel. 
  • Add soaked sabakki and cook until it becomes transparent and there is no white pearls found.
  • Once done, add Sugar and bring it to boil to melt sugar completely. Mix it properly. 
  • Add thick coconut milk (first extract)/ milk and switch off the stove when it just reaches boiling point. 
  • Fry the dry fruits & nuts with ghee without burning them and add to the kheer. Sprinkle the cardamom powder and Enjoy the kheer hot. 
  • You can also serve it refrigerated for a cool dessert.
Sabudana Kheer

There is a second way to cook Sabakki:
Method: Fry Sabakki in a thick bottomed pan with 2 spoons of ghee. This will take  5-8 mins in low flame.  In a cooker, keep 4-5 cups of water and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add sabakki and close the lid. Cook till 4-5 whistle. The sabakki will be cooked without soaking. This method works only for Sabakki which cooks faster.

  • You can add 1 tsp cocoa powder & 2 tsp of grated milk chocolate while boiling this kheer to make the chocolate flavored sabudana kheer.
  • Coconut milk can be replaced by cow's milk for making the process simpler. Vegans go for coconut milk and the flavor will be rich and great in this case.
  • Rose or saffron flavor can also be infused in this dessert.
  • This dessert is a powerhouse of energy as Sabudana is loaded with carbohydrates. I would suggest to avoid if diabetic.
Sabakki Payasa