Sago (Sabudana) Idli

Last night, I was posed with the same question that I’m sure even you all are, night after night, every night – “What do I make for breakfast, lunch, dinner for tomorrow?” Gosh…I so hate it when I’m unable to decide. I started looking in my pantry and suddenly, my eyes fell on the box of sago, and I remembered having seen a recipe for sago idlis somewhere on the internet sometime back (don’t ask me where, b’cos I don’t remember now!). So I made up my mind on Sago Idlis for breakfast. It’s pretty simple to make, no grinding fuss, and quite similar to Rava Idli. The mister and me loved it, so here it is for you all to try too!


To soak for 8-10 hours:

  • Sago – 1/2 cup (the very small variety of sago which is used for khichdi)
  • Fine Soji (Chiroti Rava) – 1 cup
  • Curd – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

For Tempering:

  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1/2 tsp


  • Carrots – 3 nos (grated)
  • Coriander/Cilantro – a sprig (finely chopped)
  • Jeera-Pepper powder (optional) – 2 tsps (I din’t add any)
  • Fruit Salt (Cooking Soda) – 2 tsps
  • Water (additional) – as required

Serves: This proportion makes 20 idlis.


  • Mix together the ingredients mentioned for soaking and allow the batter to stand for 8-10 hours. I let it stand overnight.
  • Once the batter is soaked well, prepare a tempering with the asafoetida, mustard seeds and oil. Pour over batter and stir well.
  • Add the grated carrots, finely chopped coriander/cilantro, jeera-pepper powder. Stir well to blend in all the ingredients.
  • Add the fruit salt (cooking soda) and add water if required, to adjust the consistency as for rava idli batter.
  • Pour the batter onto greased idli moulds and steam cook for 20-25 minutes, like you would your normal idlis.
  • Serve hot with choice of chutney.

16 responses to “Sago (Sabudana) Idli

  1. Looks so yummy Madhuri. Great job with the blog, keep them coming.

  2. hi mads..wat would b d alternative for tat fine sooji/chiroti rava? can u use d normal rava itslf?

    • Pushpa, you could also use what they call ‘Bombay Rava’. You could use the regular bansi rava too, only, once the idlis are done, it wont have fine grains like rava idli…it will be thick in texture.

  3. I know what you mean… sometimes I’ve even felt like skipping a meal instead of thinking of what to make…

    I’ve only known sabudhana vadagams and payasam… this one sounds very interesting Mads

    • Tell me about it…I hate the game every night! I wish someone could just tell me – “Make this, this and this tomorrow”, and that’ll make me a happier person! Lol 🙂
      Do try this out…it came out very well. Im sure you’ll like it too!

  4. Will the taste be similar to rava idly?????

    • Yes Vidya, the taste is indeed very similar to that of Rava Idli. If you like Rava Idli, then you sure would enjoy this one too. Do try it and let me know what you think of it.

  5. Hey Mads, I made the sago idlis, the taste is superrrr but they’re a little flat and soggy…like I said the rava was not enough I guess…but next time i’ll add some more and I’m sure they’ll be fine. Next i’m gonna try the spinach rice :). I’m nostalgic already.

  6. Tried them dear and they came out beautifully !!!! Thanks for this wonderful recipe.

  7. Hi
    can u tell me whether i nedd to grind sabudana before soaking it in curd /

    can i use idli rava instead of bombay ravva?


    • I havent used Bombay Rava here. I have used the very fine variety of rava called Chiroti Rava. In fact, I dont like Bombay rava at all. Go ahead and use it if you wish. Any variety of rava should work in the recipe, as long as its not too thick.

      And no, you dont need to grind the sago. Just directly soak it. It softens very well since its left in the curd overnight.

  8. If I want to cook this idli in a microwave, how long do I need to cook?

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