Go Back
chilled sabudana kheer with saffron and sweetened apples

Tapioca Pearl Pudding Sabudana Kheer

a delicious tapioca pearl pudding or sabudana kheer in Indian style. this is an eggless, stove-top pudding or kheer recipe. this rich, creamy, luscious pudding uses the flavors from Indian cuisine - saffron and cardamom. to enrich the flavor of the pudding/kheer, we add the sweetened apple. the apple sabudana kheer (or apple and tapioca pearl pudding) tastes best when served chilled. serve it your family to celebrate the little joys of life. this also works well for vrat days when you are fasting since it does not use any grains - it is just sabudana (tapioca pearls), milk, sugar, and apple.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 4


  • Skillet
  • Sauce Pan
  • cooking spoons
  • measuring cups & spoons
  • Small Bowls


sweetened apple

  • 1 large apple washed, peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon Gghee
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

sabudana kheer

  • generous pinch saffron soaked in 1 tablepoon warm, milk
  • 1 tablespoon Gghee
  • 50 grams (¼ cup) Tapioca Pearls/Sabudana
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cups milk in total adjust to your desired consistency. see recipe notes.
  • 75 grams (¼ cup + 1 tablespoon) granulated sugar adjust to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder


  • crushed pistachios
  • dried rose petals optional


how to make apple sabudana kheer (tapioca pearl pudding with apple)

    prep work

    • soak saffron in warm milk
    • wash, peel and grate apple
    • mis-en-place (get everything ready)

    prepare sweetened apple

    • heat a skillet on medium heat and add ghee. add the grated apple, and sugar to the ghee. 
    •  fry until the apple is cooked and all the liquid has evaporated. the apple will also turn start to change color.
    •  remove from heat and set aside to cool down.

    sabudana kheer/tapioca pearl pudding

    • remove the skillet and place a sauce pan on the stove on medium heat.
    • add ghee and sabudana/tapicoa pearls. fry for a minute.
    • add 1 cup water and 1 cup milk and cook the sabudana for about 20-25 minutes. Look for sabudana to grow in size, most of them will start to turn translucent. the liquid will start to thicken. stir occasionally in the beginning, but as the milk starts to thicken, stir more frequently. it is a good idea to scrape the sides of the pan also.
    • next add more milk (2-3 cups), sugar and cook the sabudana for 30-35 minutes. [depending on the quality of the sabudana, this might vary. if not cooked well enough, cook for another 5-10 minutes]. do not leave unattended. If the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat a little. stir occasionally in the beginning, but as the milk starts to thicken, stir frequently. it is a good idea to scrape the sides of the pan also. sabudana will grow in size and turn fully translucent. taste and ensure that there is no bite to the tapioca pearls.
    • add saffron soaked milk along with saffron strands. simmer for 5 minutes.
    • remove from heat and let the kheer cool down. stir occasionally (optional step), to avoid the film forming on the top.
    • once the kheer and sweetened apple have come to room temperature, add the apple to the kheer and mix well. add cardamom powder and mix well.
    • serve chilled garnished with crushed pistachios and rose petals.



    • 1 CUP = 250 ML. (US cups are typically 240 ml. You can use US cups with no significant change to the dish)
    • Grams to cups measurements – we strive to provide these conversions as accurately as possible. There might be some slight variations depending on the brand, weighing scale, etc.
    • serving size - this serves 3-4 people. adjust the serving size to suit your dietary needs.
    • we use milk and milk has a tendency to boil over - so do not leave the kheer unattended on the stovetop. if you see that milk is boiling over, reduce the heat.
    • once the milk starts to thicken, stir more frequently to avoid kheer from sticking to the bottom
    • make sure that the cooked apple and kheer are at room temperature before mixing them together. this prevents any chance of milk curdling.
    • i stir the kheer while bringing to room temperature since I do not like the (milk cream) film forming on top.
    • how much milk to use- the actual quantity depends on the consistency of the pudding you desire. if you like a thicker pudding/kheer, use 3 cups of milk in total. If you like a slightly runny kheer, use 4 cups of milk in total.
      remember that the pudding thickens on cooling. if you find that the pudding is thick, you can add additional milk to adjust the consistency.