Sunday, September 1, 2013


Saboodana (साबूदाना )is popular food eaten during fasting and religious events ... Well, read the attached story and then decide yourself!!

Is Saboodana A Non-Vegetarian Or Vegetarian Food ?

Think about it..............

In Tamilnadu Salem area on the road from Salem to Coimbatore there are many Saboodana factories.

We start getting terribly bad smell when we were about 2 kms away from the factories.

Saboodana is made by root like sweet potato. Kerala has this root each weighing about 6kgs. Factory owners buy these roots in bulk during season, make it to pulp and put it in pits of about 40ft x 25ft.

Pits are in open ground and the pulp is allowed to rot for several months. Thousands of tons of roots rot in pits.

There are huge electric bulbs throughout the night where millions of insects fall in the pits.

While pulp is rotting, water is added everyday due to which 2" long white color eel is automatically born

like pests are born automatically in gutter. The walls of pits are covered

by millions of eels and factory owners with the help of machine crush the pulp with the eels which also become paste.

This action is repeated many times during 5-6 months.

The pulp is thus ready as roots and millions & millions of pests and insects crushed and pasted together. This paste is then passed through round mesh and made into small balls and then polished. This is Saboodana. Now I know why many people don't eat Saboodana treating this as non-vegetarian. If you find it appropriate and if you think after reading this one cannot relish Saboodana, pass on to those whom you want to save from this tasty food.
But wait, the above process is  not correct, In order to understand actual process, refer this video
Saboodana making Process 
Source of this video:
Wikipedia says that Saboodana is made from Tapioca. Tapioca is a starch extracted from the root of the plant species Manihot esculenta. This species, native to the Amazon, Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela as well as the Caribbean, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, most of the West Indies, is now cultivated worldwide and has many names, including cassava, bitter-cassava, manioc, "mandioca", "aipim", "macaxeira", "manioca", "boba", "tapioca plant" "yuca" (you-ca) (not to be confused with yucca).

In India it has different names in different regions such as, "Sagudana" (literally, Sagu drops), "Sabudana"(literally, drops of soap), (not to be confused with Sago, which is also commonly known as "Sabudana" in India) and "Kappa."

In Vietnam, it is called bột năng. In Indonesia, it is called singkong. In Philippines, it is called sago.

An urban legend from Kerala claims that the English word tapioca derives from the Malayalam word combination, "thappiyokka". The story claims that a European, while in Kerala, once came across a native crouching on the ground, digging under a rather thin and tall plant. Curious to understand what was going on, the European asked the native what he was doing.

To which, the native answered "thappiyokka" which means in the local language Malayalam, "I am searching for ...". The European mistook the native's utterance for the name of the plant and thereby the English name tapioca!

Tapioca is a staple food in some regions and is used worldwide as a thickening agent, mainly in foods. Tapioca is gluten free, and almost completely protein free.

The health benefits of saboodana (sago) are mainly in the carbohydrates it provides. Also known as tapioca pearls, sago is made from the starch extracted from the pith (center) of the sago palm stems.

The commercial production of sago is in the shape of small globules or pearls.

Saboodana is full of starch or carbohydrates and is great for a quick boost of energy, and hence often served in India for breaking fasts during religious festivals.

Sago gruel is also great when you're sick because it gives you quick energy and is easy to digest.

According to Ayurveda, sago and rice have a cooling effect on the system, hence sago gruel is given if you have excess bile (caused by excess body heat).

Saboodana does not contain any minerals or vitamins and has very low amounts of calcium, iron, and fiber.  100 gms of Saboodana contains 351 kcal, 87 gms carbohydrate, 0.2 gm of fat and protein each. It does not have much nutritional value!

Saboodana, as mentioned above is made from Tapioca roots.  

These tapioca roots are crushed in a tank and stored for many days. It is speculated that starch/ flour is added to the paste, dried and finally made in to small balls of saboodana.  Of course the addition of flour and starch and the general unnatural process of making saboodana mean that it is unsuitable for consumption during fasting. Also, with the artificial production of saboodana it is unavoidable that it becomes contaminated by other non-permitted ingredients.  The email I received makes me wonder why we should be eating Saboodana at all, especially during fasts, and when it has little nutritional value.


More about Saboodana


  1. Thank you for sharing

  2. the video is private. please share the link which is open to all.

  3. Excellent information about sabudana.Till now I was thinking that it is made from maida.


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