Mint Coriander Tapioca Pilaf

tapioca pilaf Tapioca pearls/ Sago/ Sabudana are all names of that awesome, often white pearls which are low in carbohydrates and very versatile. Neutral in taste, tapioca pearls find their usage in both savory and sweet dishes like pilafs, puddings, cakes, pancakes, fritters and many other yummy delights. DSB brings to you all a famous Indian savory pilaf dish with a green twist πŸ™‚

With St. Patrick’s day around the corner and the internet food world going green, i thought of playing my part and be a part of this merriment. This year, St. patrick’s day is on 17th March 2014 but since it happens to be a Monday, it seems Montreal started the celebration 2 days ago and i could see people sporting green clothes, embellishments and such to be a part of the community since Friday evening itself. Montreal has a tradition of Irish parade in honour of St. patrick’s day every year and this year was no exception. The parade happened today (16th March) and we went to catch a glimpse in all excitement. We even bought fun green caps and stood up in the line in the freezing -25 degrees Celsius (real feel… and yes, it feels worse than that with the blowing winds :P) to steal a peek. It is fabulous ! Such cold weather but people gather to celebrate and enjoy. The atmosphere is vibrant and energetic πŸ™‚

With all the green goodness set in eyes, i came back taking some inspiration and was all set to make something fun and interesting for evening. Looking through the cabinets, these beautiful tapioca pearls caught my attention instantly and i knew what was for dinner πŸ™‚ I remember buying them at an Asian store in pursuit of making myself some tapioca pearls for the bubble tea. New to Bubble tea? Read here (For those who have never tried this amazing drink, i think u are missing something awesome in life ! I simply love it so much).Β 

Coming back to topic… hmm.. i have so many stories to tell, i often get distracted πŸ˜› For me, tapioca pearls is known as “sabudana” in India and usually used for sweet puddings or savory fritters and sabudana khichdi (Tapioca Pilaf). Indian Sabudana is always sold white in color and it makes for a delicious pilaf. These tapioca pearls are green and so interesting to look at. I decided to go greener with my pilaf and flavoured it with mint and coriander. Almost like eating the Indian pilaf with the awesome mint-coriander chutney (recipe here)Β  .

Fun, green, healthy and full on flavour, this pilaf is set to make any meal fun.


Mint coriander tapioca Pilaf

  • Servings: 2
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tapioca pilaf


  • 1 cup dry tapioca/ sago/ sabudana pearls, soak overnight or for 6-8 hours in water – i used green colored tapioca pearls but u can use plain white or any other colored
  • 1 onion – chopped finely
  • 1 potato – chopped to 1cm cubes
  • 1/2 cup carrots – shredded
  • 1/2 cup green peas (optional)
  • 1/2 cup green bell peppers – shredded
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (i used black)
  • 2-3 whole dried red chillies (optional)
  • 4-5 curry leaves (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Red chilli powder to taste
  • Garam Masala (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp dry mint powder (can substitute with 3-4 fresh mint leaves. finely chopped)
  • 1 tsp of grated ginger
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 2 tsp fresh green coriander , finely chopped
  • Lemon juice from half lemon (1 tsp approx)


  1. For soaking the tapioca pearls, take a big bowl. Wash tapioca pearls and soak it in enough water for about 6-8 hrs / overnight. Depending on the quality of tapioca pearls, they will increase in size upon soaking. Drain the water out of tapioca at the time of cooking.
  2. For cooking, take a pan. Add oil to it and let it heat on medium-high heat. Once the oil gets hot, add the peanuts and fry them till golden brown. Remove and keep aside.
  3. Now, to this oil, add the mustard seeds, whole dried red chillies and curry leaves and let the mustard seeds splutter.
  4. Once the seeds splutter, quickly add in the chopped onions and stir. Let the onions roast till light golden and translucent.
  5. Now, add in the potatoes, green bell pepper, carrots and peas. Add in salt, red chilli powder, ginger and green chillies and mix well. Bring down the flame to medium and cover the pan with lid. Let it cook for about 10 minutes or till the potatoes are almost done.
  6. Now, add in the dry mint powder/ mint leaves to the vegetables and combine gently. Now, add in the tapioca pearls and sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of water. Mix well. Cover with lid and let it cook on simmer for about 5-6 minutes. The tapioca pearls will turn translucent on cooking.
  7. The tapioca pilaf is ready. Add in the chopped coriander, garam masala, lemon juice and peanuts. Combine and serve hot.

Dinner was served and it was such a pleasant meal to look at. Decked up all bright and green, it looked very delicious and so inviting. The mint-coriander tasted amazing and made the dish even more tempting. Tapioca pearls are real fun to work with. I think i am going to make a sweet with it very soon too, so keep a check !

For Indians reading this blog, i wish all of you a very happy and colorful Holi. Play safe and enjoy a lot with colors and color food treats πŸ™‚ If u are mood for making some Indian sweets, try Besan Laddoo (recipe here) or Almond Malpua (recipe here) .


Read on the other wonderful posts from the Virtual Vegan Linky potluck party. Happy reading !

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  1. This is such a a unique dish and looks amazing! Yum!

  2. Love that you went to the expo! Sounds like a great time!

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