Sabudana: How Is India’s Favourite Fasting Food Processed

There is a practice of fasting in India during most festivals, during which people prefer to consume sago or sabudana. But do you know why people eat sago? Because they consider it pure during fasting. Sabudana is an elementary ingredient found in almost every Indian kitchen, but do you know how it is made? There is a story behind the making of sago that you will probably not believe. It is extracted from a tree, which can be grown very quickly. Although it was initially found in Africa, it is now cultivated everywhere.

Sago is made from the starch of the palm tree found in South Africa and many Southeast Asian countries, including India. It is made from tapioca, also known as cassava root. It is pretty well-known in India and Portugal, South America and the West Indies, etc. Sabudana is made from the starch of these trees being processed into pearls. The size of the sago will depend on the tree that extracts the starch and the way it is processed.

How are sago pearls made from starch?

Earlier, the process of making sabudana would take several months. However, this process has been reduced to a few days with the help of machines.

  • First, the tubers are washed in machines and then their skin is removed. In many sago factories, this process is done manually.
  • The tubers are then crushed as their juice is released only after that and stored for a few days.
  • The result of storing it is that heavy starch remains at the bottom, and water rises to the top.
  • Starch is collected by removing the water.
  • This starch is then put into a machine to process, and this machine with sieve-like holes converts this starch into sago pearls.
  • These pearls are still rough and are polished with a powder made from glucose and other starches.
  • After polishing, they are packed, and then these sago pearls are sent to the market for sale. 

Because it includes a lot of starch, it can be used in many dishes but is not considered typically 'healthy'. The high starch in sago gives energy during fasting, but that does not mean you lose track of the portion size. Practice moderation, and make sago from a trusted brand a part of your diet.