How is Sabudana made in India? Sabudana or Sago in English is the most favourite food of Indians. It is widely consumed by many Indians throughout the year, especially during the fasts. It is one of the tastiest food that you can enjoy without having any bad calories or nutrients in it. Since sabudana is rich in carbohydrates it can help you with quick energy and keep you charged up for a longer period of time.
When a newborn baby is born then one of the first food apart from milk that is fed to the baby includes sabudana or sago.
Sabudana has a small white pearl-like appearance. It can be consumed in many different forms like many people like to consume it in the form of fried papad.
It does not matter how you consume it, as sabudana does not have its specific taste. You can make sabudana with a combination of spices to make a variety of tasty recipes. Apart from its small size it is very high in nutrition and has many health benefits which are discussed further in the article.
Moving ahead, many people are not aware of the process through which sabudana can be made in factories which are discussed in detail further in this article.
What’s in it for me?
- What is Sabudana?
- History of Sabudana
- How is Sabudana Cultivated in India?
- How is Sabudana Made in India?
- Nutritional Facts about Sabudana
- Why are Sabudana Useful During Fasts?
- Health Benefits of Sabudana
- Sabudana or Sago Downsides
What is Sabudana?
Sabudana is a starch that is extracted from tapioca roots by a certain process. It is then shaped into a small pearl-like shape.
It is something that is produced as a by-product of the cassava plant roots. Cassava roots consist of more than thirty per cent starch.
The most popular sabudana is the one that is produced from the cassava plant roots. However, there are two more types of sabudana or starch pearls that include palm sago and cycad sago.
The fruit that is used in the production of sago or sabudana when fully ripped loses its starch reserves which are why they are not allowed to ripen completely. If they are ripened completely then it can also lead to the death of the plant.
Extracting sago requires a lot of care and attention. especially cycad sago has a poisonous nature and extraction of edible sago starch from cycas requires very special attention.
History of Sabudana
Although sabudana is mostly used food in India throughout the year, due to its feature that can be consumed during fasts, you will be surprised to know that it was started to consumed in India very late in the 19th century.
It was originated or discovered in the Chinese region back in 1170. The stories tell that more than the wheat sago or sabudana was the most consumed as a form of grain.
Although now sabudana is consumed in many different countries in many different forms.
In India consumption of sabudana is done by making sabudana khichdi, sabudana vada, sabudana kheer. Whereas in the united kingdom it is consumed in the form of sweet milk pudding unlike in New Zealand where it is consumed in the form of lemon sago pudding.
How is Sabudana Cultivated in India?
The cultivation of sabudana can be traced back to the year 1860. It was the time when the maharaja of the erstwhile Indian kingdom of Travancore pushed the cassava plant cultivation in the various parts of its kingdom and nearby region. The maharaja plays a great role in beginning the cultivation in the country. Not only with the cultivation, but the maharaja also has a contribution in teaching different recipes for cooking sabudana.
Indonesia is the largest producer of sabudana or sago in the world. However, India being one of the biggest consumers of sabudana also produces sabudana in different parts of the country. It is mostly produced in the southern regions, Kerela and Tamil Nadu being the highest producers.
As discussed above there are three types of plants that produce sago, but in India, farmers prefer cassava plants for the production of the same. Although it would be wrong to say that palm trees are not used in the production of sago. They are but comparatively less in quantity.
How is Sabudana Made In India?
The production of sabudana is a 12 step long process starting from the harvesting stage and ending at the packaging stage. All the 12 steps discussed in detail below which will give you a good understanding of the production of sago or sabudana in Indian factories.
The first step of the sabudana production begins with the harvesting of the cassava plant roots. The roots can be harvested any time between six to nine months depending on the variety of plants. A single cassava plant can provide the product of four to eight individual cassava roots.
Each root of the plant is generally of the size eight to fifteen inches long and one to four inches wide. The separation of roots requires a lot of care as it should not be damaged while separating.
These harvested roots are then sent to the factories for further process. Cassava protection from many different farms is collected in bulk to move to the next process. Sri Balaji sago factory is one example of a sago manufacturing factory in Tamil Nadu.
This is the most important step in the production of sago. In this step, the sago roots are cleaned and peeled. The process is carried out with the help of big conveyor belt machines.
In the process, the peeled roots are brought and the starch content is extracted. The roots are crushed with the help of automated machines. The machines help in the separation of the white milk-like liquid which is the scratch extract.
In this step, the liquid is moved through several filters. These filters help in removing all the impurities from the liquid. After the filters, they are next moved to the water cleaning process.
This is yet another important process for the purification of the liquid. After all the filtration and purification the liquid is transferred to the accumulation tank.
Another important step, where the milk-like liquid is stored for six to eight hours. This storing period helps in the separation of the impurities from the liquid. The impurities automatically rise and float in the water. This is the final process that helps in removing the impurities.
The liquid is then drained and as a result, only the solid product is left. This solid product is a useful substance that will be further used in the production of the sabudana. The solid substance is further set to dry out. For the further process to take place, the drying out of the white solid substance is very important.
The dried substance is then transferred to the sieving section. Sieving is the process that can help in the separation of different particles. After the separation, this is where the actual production takes place. That is the sabudana granules are produced. But the process is not complete here yet because the granules need more further processing.
These granules are then transferred further for the cooking or the steaming process. During this process, the sago or sabudana granules gain some water or moisture which adds another layer of the process in the production. Before going to the next process, the excess water is removed through jet refiners in this process.
This process is useful in removing the excess moisture from the sago granules. In the process, the sago granules are dried in the sun or through the use of mechanical driers. Here in this step, the actual production process is completed in the factory and the sabudana granules or the sago pearls are ready.
In this process, the sago is further sent for the polishing process. In this process, the sago is transferred through the polishing machines and given the shiny white colour that we get to see when we purchase sabudana from the market.
Now the produced and polished sabudana granules are successfully packed and transferred to different wholesalers and retailers for further sales. These granules are packed in jute bags.
This was the very simple production process of the sabudana granule or the sago pearls. This is how the sabudana is made in a factory from the starch extracted from the cassava plant.
Nutritional Facts About Sabudana
100 grams of sabudana contains 351 calories. These calories are comprised of 87.1 grams of carbohydrates 0.2 grams of proteins and fats and just 0.9 grams of fibre. Low fibre content makes it one of the lightest snack options.
However, if sabudana consumed in different forms contains a different combination of macros as given below.
100 grams of sabudana khichdi contains just 176 calories. It is also low in carbohydrates but high in fats. It contains 25.4 grams of carbohydrates,2.7 grams of proteins,7.2 grams of fats, and 1.7 grams of fibre.
Sabudana vada because it is made by frying, it is high in fats.100 grams of sabudana vada contains 231 calories which come from 17.5 grams of fats, 15.5 grams of carbohydrates,2. Grams of proteins and 1.7 grams of fats.
The nutritional values of sabudana Usal are similar to that of sabudana khichdi.
Why are Sabudana Useful During Fasts?
Sabudana is one of the most famous foods that is considered for fasting. However, you will be surprised to know that there are no such proofs that have any relevance with any religious aspect of consuming sabudana during the fasts.
The only possible reason to consume sabudana or sago during the fast in different forms is that it is the instant source of energy. Many people who keep fasts are not able to sustain it because of their work nature which requires continuous energy. Also during various festivals like Navaratri people go for longer fasts which last up to nine days.
To prevent any harmful effect in the body it might be possible that sabudana being one of the lightest snack options is considered during the fasts. Also, sabudana being a starchy substance contains more than ninety per cent carbohydrates and not another micro or macronutrient in any form.
Health Benefits Of Sabudana
- Control heat inside your body
One of the important benefits of having sabudana/sago in your diet is that it helps in lowering your body heat when consumed with rice.
- Good for diarrhoea
Sabudana is very light to digest food. It can help your body to thicken the fluid in the intestine by retaining the fluids which can help you in minimizing the frequency of loose motions.
- Helps to control Blood Pressure
One of the nutritional facts about sabudana is that it is rich in potassium. Because of this nutrient capacity, it can help your body with a healthy blood flow which indirectly can control your blood pressure.
- Instant Energy
Since sabudana is very rich in the macronutrient carbohydrate, it can provide you with instant energy and keep you charged up for a longer period of time.
- Can be used for consumption during pregnancy
It is advised for pregnant women to include sabudana in their diet. As it is high in folic acid and vitamin b6 which can help in the healthy growth of the fetus.
- Makes Bone Stronger
Sabudana is rich in calcium, iron, and vitamin k which can help you in making your bones stronger and improve bone density.
- Helps in weight gain
People suffering from eating disorders or any other person who is not able to gain weight should try to consume sabudana as a part of their diet to promote healthy weight gain.
- Helps reduce wrinkles
If you are someone who is worrying about wrinkles on your face then you should try the sabudana face mask as it can help you tighten the skin and reduce the wrinkles. Another fact is that sabudana is also rich in antioxidants.
Sabudana or Sago Downsides
Like every coin has two sides similarly sabudana also has some downsides. The downside of consuming sabudana is not that serious but is important and should be considered.
Low in macro and micronutrients
Sago is very low in the very important macronutrient protein. 100 grams of sabudana contains just 0.2 grams of almost negligible protein. Also, sabudana does not contain any micronutrients which are important for the body. Thus you should not include it as a part of your balanced diet.
The sago should only be taken for consumption only when it has been processed completely. Unprocessed or raw sago can be very harmful. It can cause issues like vomiting, liver damage and can even lead to death.
Sabudana is one of the favourite food options not only in India but also in different parts of the world. Apart from being consumed as a fasting meal, It is also one of the tastiest energy booster food that you can have throughout the day. In most countries, it is consumed in the form of a sweet like a sweet pudding.
The production of sabudana takes place in factories by extracting the starch from the cassava plant roots. However, there are different sago plants but the most cultivated in India is the cassava plant. And then further processing it into small pearl-like shapes. Tamil Nadu and Kerela are the highest sago or sabudana producing states in India.
The use of sago is traced back to the 12th century in the Chinese territory where it was consumed in place of wheat grains as the stories say.
One additional benefit of sabudana or sago is that it can help in boosting your energy during the workout and help in increasing the performance during the workout. You can also consume it as a pre-workout in place of expensive pre-workout supplements.
- Can I boil Sabudana instead of soaking?
It is important to soak sabudana or sago pearls in water because if you boil them directly, the water will become starchy which will result in heat not penetrating properly through the pearls, and thus it will not be cooked properly.
- Is sabudana good for weight loss?
Sabudana may not be a good option for losing weight as it contains a lot of carbohydrates and a lot of calories. However, if you are someone who is looking for a healthy weight gain option you can try sabudana as a good and healthy option.
- What is the source of Sabudana?
Sabudana is a production of the starch source obtained from the cassava plant roots. However, there are two more sago plants which include palm and cycad sago but the most consumed sago is cassava roots sago.
- What do we call sabudana in English?
Sabudana is called “ Cassava Sago “ or “ Tapioca Pearls “ in English.
- Can you eat sabudana during fast?
Yes! , Sabudana is one of the most preferred options for the fasts. It is the most instant source of energy. This is one of the top reasons why it is considered as the best option during fasting.