You read that right: chia seeds and sabja seeds are not the same. Ignore the wisdom that tells you otherwise. Here’s a rundown of the differences between these two wonder foods.
Both chia seeds and sabja seeds originate from the aromatic mint family (Lamiaceae) – that explains their resemblance.
They part ways in the specifics:
A quick chromatic scrutiny is all it takes to tell the seeds apart.
- chia seeds: Shades of dark brown, color variations
- sabja seeds: Evenly black
I ran this experiment with a teaspoon each of chia seeds and sabja seeds, soaked separately in three tablespoons of water.
- chia seeds: Take their time to absorb water. You see a noticeable swelling only after a while.
- sabja seeds: Begn to swell at the touch of water. A translucent white film coats each black seed as they swell. Also, sabja seeds grow to a larger volume than chia seeds.
- chia seeds: Soft to bite after they have soaked in liquid
- sabja seeds: More gluey than chia seeds when soaked in liquid
The proof is in the pudding!
- chia seeds: Bland/neutral, take on the flavor of whatever they are eaten with. A popular way to eat chia is in pudding form with almond milk or coconut milk, along with with fruit toppings.
- sabja seeds: Fragrant. When added to desserts or lemonade, they impart their own basilly touch.
Specific to India: the last I checked in stores, this is how the prices compared:
|Seed Type||Cost||Cost Per Gram|
|Chia Seeds||Rs.285 for a 150 gram pack||Rs. 1.90|
|Sabja Seeds||Rs.40 for a 100 gram pack||Rs.0.40|
Verdict: At the time of writing, chia seeds are over four times more expensive than sabja seeds.
A few interesting recipes from around the web. Enjoy!