Creamy, luscious, and delicious, Sabudana Kheer(Sago Kheer, Indian Tapioca Pudding) is an Indian dessert made using sago pearls, milk, and sugar. Make it over the stovetop or in an instant pot using my simple recipe (vegetarian, gluten-free).
Note – Unlike the sabudana khichdi recipe where you have to rinse sabudana many times to get rid of the excess starch, sabudana kheer recipe requires you to wash it just once. We want the starch to make the kheer creamy and luscious.
Soak it in ½ cup water for 4-5 hours.
Tip – If you have forgotten to soak the sabudana beforehand, then soak it in boiling hot water for 30 minutes. It will be ready to use.
Heat milk in a heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Stir frequently to prevent scorching.
When the milk comes to a boil, stir in the soaked sabudana along with saffron strands.
Note – Never add the sabudana to the pan before the milk comes to a rolling boil. Doing so might curdle the milk.
Reduce the heat to low and cook the kheer until it gets thick and the sabudana is cooked well (Approx 40-60 minutes).
The consistency of the kheer should be flowy like custard. Keep stirring very frequently while cooking.
Post cooking, sabudana pearls must be soft, slightly sticky, and translucent. There shouldn’t be any bite in them.
Note – Keep in mind that the kheer will thicken considerably as it cools down.
Stir in sugar and cardamom powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Check for sugar and add more if you like it sweeter.
Garnish with slivered almonds & pistachios and dried rose petals and serve hot or chilled.
Instant Pot RecipeRinse ½ cup sabudana with water and soak it in ½ cup water for 4-5 hours.Add the soaked sabudana, ½ cup water, and 15-20 strands of saffron to the instant pot and stir gently.Tip – Never pressure cook the sabudana with milk. The milk might curdle while cooking and it will spoil the kheer.Secure the lid of the instant pot and set the valve to the sealing position.Press PRESSURE COOK and set the timer to 6 minutes at HIGH PRESSURE.The instant pot will take some time to build the pressure and start the timer (10-12 minutes).Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes.Release the remaining pressure manually by moving the valve to the venting position. Use a spoon to move the valve.Once the pressure is released, open the lid of the pot and stir once.Press SAUTE.Add ½ liter whole (full-fat) milk to the pot and cook until the kheer thickens (12-15 minutes). Keep stirring frequently to avoid the kheer from scorching.Stir in ¼ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder and cook for another minute.Check for sugar and add more if you like it sweeter.Garnish with slivered almonds & pistachios and dried rose petals and serve hot or chilled.I have shared the video of the Instant pot recipe in the post above.NotesAdd some more milk if the kheer has thickened a lot.Adjust the amount of sugar as per your taste.You can also use powdered jaggery, coconut sugar or dates puree in place of sugar.If using jaggery, add it only after removing the pan from the heat. When added to a very hot kheer, jaggery can curdle it.Add other nuts apart from almonds and pistachios. Walnuts, pecans, pine nuts are some options.You can also add dried fruits like figs, raisins, cranberries, etc.You can flavor sago kheer with fruit purees like mango puree, strawberry puree, or chikoo puree. Add the fruit puree to the cooked and cooled kheer.You can also add grated bottle gourd (lauki) or carrots to this kheer along with sabudana.Flavor the cooked and cooled kheer with rose syrup and gulkand for a rose-flavored sabudana kheer.You can also add some thandai powder to it for a thandai flavored sabudane ki kheer.You can also flavor the kheer with some rose water, screw pine water (kewra), orange blossom water, or vanilla extract.