How to Make Indian Pottu/ Liquid Bindi at Home for Babies

It is an Indian tradition to keep bindis/ pottu and the tradition of wearing bindis starts when we are babies itself. But the problem is many babies are allergic to the chemical bindis, that we get in the shops. Especially, If you are using the sticker bindis for them, the chances of the baby getting skin allergy is much higher, due to the gum which is used on the bindis to make it stick on the forehead.

Indian Pottu:

We make a wonderful homemade liquid bindi that can be safely used on babies. It is made with sago/ javarisi/ sabudana. The bindi made with this method is thick and is darkish red in color. Another best thing about this bindi is that, when you want to remove the bindi from the forehead you can easily peel it off. This is really a relief if we are using it on babies, as we don’t have to struggle to wash the bindis off their face. This bindi also stores well for months.

Indian Pottu Making Tips:

To make this bindi, sago is dry roasted in an thick bottomed pan till it turns dark. The key to making this bindi is patiently roasting the sago in a thick bottomed pan in low flame, till it is really dark. Once it turns dark, add water and boil till you get a thick homogenous mixture. I like my bindis to be thick but still liquid enough to use it, like thick honey. Switch off once the desired consistency is reached, let cool and bottle it. Once it cools down, it will thicken even more into a dark paste.

How To Use Pottu:

To use, wash your hands, dry them completely and dip your fingers in the mixture and apply it on the child’s forehead. If it has thickened into a paste, wet your fingers in water and rub it on the paste to get the paste on your hands and then apply it as a bindi. We usually keep a round on the child’s forehead. This bindi is allergy free and can be used for children with very sensitive skin too.

How to Make Indian Pottu at Home for Babies

1. Take sago in a thick bottomed pan and start roasting it.

2. Fry till it in medium flame till the color changes.

3. Continue frying till color changes to dark black color.

4. Now add water and let it boil to a thick syrup.

5. Let the syrup cool and pour it in glass bottles. It will thicken into a thick paste.


  • If the sago is not roasted well, it will not dissolve in the water, so try roasting it well till the sago is dark in color.
  • The color of the bindi depends on the roasted color of the sago.
  • If there are any undissolved sago in the boiled mixture, remove it using a spoon.
  • This bindi washes off from our hands very easily too.
  • It takes at least half an hour to make this bindi, so please be patient while making this bindi.
  • Don’t use non stick pans, it will ruin the pan. Make it in a thick iron kadai or any other thick bottomed pan.
  • Store it in glass bottles.
  • The consistency is very important, remove it when the bindi is still pourable. If you let it thicken too much it will thicken into a hard paste in the container itself.



  1. Anonymous
    October 31, 2014 / 7:27 am

    Hi ramya. i was searching for this recepie for a long time. i m happy i found it. kindly post the liquid bindhi which can be worn by ladies too.

  2. Anonymous
    January 11, 2015 / 1:58 pm

    Mam, plz let me know how to prepare color bindi? Sree

  3. Mini Shekar
    June 14, 2015 / 2:37 pm

    Ramya Mam, please let me know how to prepare color bindi?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 19, 2015 / 5:21 am

      Hi Mini, If I get a good recipe for preparing color bindi, I will surely share it in the blog…

  4. Khushbu Merchant
    July 11, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    wow… never heard of this usage of sabudana. this is brilliant. so if one is using such bindi which was stored in container, will the fuild turn solid? will i need to make it liquid everytime i use. And any precaution to be taken while storing this fluid?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 15, 2015 / 5:26 pm

      The fluid will turn solid even if stored in a container and we need to make it into a liquid each time by rubbing it. No precaution is needed while storing…

  5. Khushbu Merchant
    July 11, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    And i like your photography…so earthy n so simple keep up. I am a new follower of ur blog 🙂

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 15, 2015 / 5:16 pm

      Thanks a lot :)_

  6. Anonymous
    July 18, 2015 / 1:18 am

    Thanks for the recipe. I tried it twice but I'm not able to get the right consistency and black color. Mine was brown in color. What should I do to get it black? Though I roast the sago like you have shown before adding water most of the sagos are not dissolved in water. Please help me.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      July 27, 2015 / 3:45 pm

      Try using thick bottomed iron pan and do the roasting slowly. The key here is patiently roasting till it turns really dark and then add water. If you add water before it turns dark, it will only remain brown. Usually a few sagos will remain undissolved and that is ok, but if you roast well, almost all of it will dissolve in the water…

  7. ajnah indigo
    September 22, 2015 / 12:04 pm

    Thank you, i was looking for the recipe my baby is allergic which i bought it at the storei will try this.

  8. Anonymous
    October 26, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    Hello Ramya, I tried this recipe two times and turned out bad. May be I dont have the right consistency. After it cooled down, I did add little water and tried out on forehead but it is so sticky. It forms like a lump and looks like a sugar syrup hanging on the forehead. Can you please post a video or advice me what mistake I did.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      October 31, 2015 / 4:26 pm

      I am so sorry it didn't turn out well for you, I will try making a video. I have a small suggestion, we get 2 types of sago, one smaller and slightly translucent, the other bigger and white. I used the bigger one, which one did you use?

  9. VPB
    November 19, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    Hi mamAm a big follower of ur posts.I would like to know how long I can keep this bindi?Is it ok to keep this for a year?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      November 27, 2015 / 3:15 am

      Yes, you can keep this bindi for even a year….

  10. Nithya K
    December 17, 2015 / 5:09 pm

    Hi I used thick Calcutta type aluminum handi for making it but it spoiled entire vessel and also it looks like aluminum got stuck on the Sabo dana.. Should I still use the Sabo dana and dissolve it in water. Pls clarify. I am scared it to use it on 1 month old baby

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      December 25, 2015 / 12:43 am

      I would suggest discarding it. The whole process should be done in a low flame patiently and try to use a really thick bottomed vessel….

  11. Tanvi Somani
    April 29, 2016 / 11:00 am

    Hi I absolutely love your blog!Had a question…can this be used as an eyeliner as well? I'm trying to get rid of chemicals but I really like eyeliner, so was just wondering…thanks!

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 6, 2016 / 6:31 am

      I am glad that you find the blog useful Tanvi :). I have not tried using it as eyeliner as the color is not completely black but you can give it a try. Just use very little water to make the paste for the eyeliner..

    • Anonymous
      August 11, 2017 / 12:00 pm

      Thank You Tanvi, even I was searching for ECO FRIENDLY PEEL OFF NATURAL EYE LINER,,i am wondering whether you have tried or not? Please share the results if you have tried. I like the plastic like glossy shine of it. Thank you Ramya for beautiful and useful blog.

  12. Anonymous
    May 7, 2016 / 1:59 am

    I tried this yesterday. It turned brown. Is there any way we can make it black now?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 6, 2016 / 3:18 pm

      This pottu is not completely black, it is brownish black. Try boiling it for some more time till it turns really dark…

  13. dinesh babu
    July 21, 2016 / 6:11 am

    Madam Ji , Any Idea About vengai Pal Pottu Plz Share

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      August 5, 2016 / 4:22 pm

      I have a post on vengai pal pottu, you can read it here

  14. Gaayathri San
    August 29, 2016 / 2:51 pm

    hi mam can u pls tel how to prepare mai for new born babies

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 3, 2016 / 6:48 am

      Hi Gayathri, you can find kan-mai recipe: here

  15. Pooja
    December 9, 2016 / 11:18 am

    How to prepare vengai pal pottu?In ur article it didn't tell about preparation

  16. Anonymous
    January 21, 2017 / 10:39 am

    Hello mam…i have medium shade skin colour..can i use this turmeric daily to get fair skin…& in how much time i can see the results on my face

  17. Unknown
    February 2, 2017 / 6:03 am

    Mam,can it be used by men to become fair? But i want facial hair too..

  18. Anonymous
    February 5, 2017 / 5:25 am

    hi ,Im a new follower of ur blog.sounds very interesting.

  19. Unknown
    August 4, 2017 / 4:39 am

    Hello Ramya,I am so glad I found this site. I came across your site while searching for benefits of aavarampoo. I am now looking for the procedure to make red liquid bindi (similar to what we buy as shingar). Can you please share any ideas on that?Thanks

  20. Abi E
    February 7, 2020 / 9:42 pm

    Hi.. my place doesn’t have enough sunlight.. so is it enough to dry it under fan or just keep it in room temperature ?

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