Boba Pearls

Boba Pearls

Tapioca pearls or Boba Pearls are super easy to make at home and so much better than store bought. 

They are slightly chewy making them perfect to add in drinks or even to deserts. Think of them like a relative of our traditional saboodana just much bigger and really nice and chewy.

I love bubble tea and it was first introduced to me by my husband while were in Chicago on holiday. Since then i have to admit I love these and after making them I know how simple and fun it is. 

It's super simple to make but rolling the little pearls do take time. I would recommend getting kids to help you :)

These are made with 3 ingredients 

  • 100 grams Tapioca Flour ( saboodana flour / starch) 
  • 60 ml or 1/4 cup Water 
  • 50 grams Sugar / Brown Sugar / Jaggery 

Which means they are vegan and gluten free. They are also Navratri brat friendly !!!

While the recipe is simple the process is important ( like everything in life !!) 



Makes enough for about 6 glasses

Unlike my other recipes I don't recommend eyeballing this. You will need to weigh the ingredients 

  • Tapioca Flour 
  • Jaggery 
  • Water 


Tapioca flour is a lot like cornflour. Which means it doesn't form a dough when mixed with water. Traditionally Tapioca starch is used as a thickening agent.

To turn this into a dough we need to create a "starter dough". we will do this by mixing a portion of the tapioca flour with boiling water to create a gelatinous starter. We will then use this to make the dough for the boba. 

How to Make them 

1. Bring the water and jaggery to a boil in a deep pan ( like a tea / coffee pan) till all the jaggery has melted 

2. Sift the tapioca flour and keep ready 

3. Once the jaggery is well dissolved and it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and quickly add 1/3rd of the tapioca flour into the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Return it to cook over low heat until you get a nice, thick paste.

4. Add in a little more of the flour and mix till combined. Keep repeating this till you have added all the flour 

5. Move this to a flat surface and knead the dough till it is smooth. This needs to be done while the dough is hot or warm. 

The texture of the dough should be smooth, and not too sticky. If you think it is very wet add extra tapioca flour.

6. Divide the dough into two and cover one with a sling film or cloth to prevent it from drying out 

7. Roll out the other half like a roti till about 1 cm thick. 

8. Cut it into strips then into smaller squares

9. Shape the small squares into tiny balls and put it into a bowl which has some dry tapioca flour. This will prevent the balls from sticking to each other

10. This should make about 1 cup of boba pearls ( please measure ) 

11. Bring 4 times the amount of water to a boil ( if you got 1 cup then heat 4 cups of water) 

12. Once the water begins to boil add in all the boba pearls and immediately start stirring to prevent them from sticking together

13. Once the boba start to float, let them cook for at least another 10 - 15 mins stirring occasionally. 

14. Prepare another bowl with cold water and ice. You can test one to 2 boba by putting them in the cold water and then tasting them for consistency 

15. Once you feel the consistency is right, move all the boba pearls to the cold water to prevent them from cooking further and to stop them from sticking.


Make the Sugar Syrup

1 tbsp Jaggery

1 cup water

  • Heat the jaggery in water till dissolved
  • Add the cooled boba pearls and let it cook for about 5 mins on low heat
  • transfer to a glass jar when done


Notes : boba pearls taste best when warm 

if you decide to store them 
place them in a jar with the jaggery liquid 
Heat them before serving