Sabudana Vada often known as Sabudana Vadai, Sabudana Cutlet or Sabudana Tikki is a deep-fried Maharashtrian appetizer that makes for a very good evening snack or breakfast. Since it is made using gluten-free ingredients, it is perfect to serve for Indian Fast Days or Vrat. Here is how to make these at home.
What is Sabudana?
Sabudana, also known as Tapioca Pearls is a very popular ingredient that is used in many dishes, especially during the fasting (Vrat) season when grains are not prepared.
It is also called Sago and is a good source of carbohydrates. Made using Cassava roots, a form of tapioca, Sabudana is basically the starch extracted from the roots of tapioca.
Sabudana gives instant energy as it is rich in carbs and hence it is a popular ingredient to cook during upvas (Vrat or fast).
Sabudana helps in muscle growth, it keeps our blood pressure under control, improves the process of digestion, and improves the health of our bones. Furthermore, it is a great source of protein, iron, and calcium.
As it has a good amount of carbohydrates, it quickly takes away all your stress and fatigue.
About This Recipe
Sabudana Vada (also known as Sabakki Vada, Sugubiyyam Vadalu, Javvarisi Vadai) is a crispy fried Maharashtrian snack made using tapioca pearls (sago), boiled potatoes herbs, and mild spices. Crispy, golden brown, and crunchy these vadas are a delight to eat with a cup of hot ginger tea and coriander chutney as a tea time snack.
Sabudana Ka Vada is mainly prepared and eaten during Indian fasting days or Vrats such as on the days of Navratri, Janmashtami, Shivratri, etc. However, the members of my foodie household, love these crunchy vadas so much that I like to prepare it for them every once in a while.
The best part about Sabudana Vada is that they taste crispy from the outside but as soon as you savor them, they start melting in your mouth. As they are made using boiled mashed potatoes and sago, they make up for a tender filling appetizer!
I like adding a small portion of coarsely powder roasted peanuts, lemon juice, coriander leaves, green chilies because it enhances the taste and texture of these fritters by large.
This Sabudana Vada is,
- Soft and flavourful from inside
- Perfect for fasting days
- Apt for monsoon days
Sabudana – Sabudana comes in a variety of sizes, mini, medium, and large pearls. Use the medium Sabudana pearls to make these vadas.
Boiled Potatoes are used to hold the mixture. You can also add sweet potatoes or raw bananas instead of potatoes to make the vada. You can boil the potatoes in whichever way you like. I like to pressure cook them but cooking in a pot over the stovetop or in an Instant Pot also works great.
Green Chilies – Add some finely chopped green chilies for the spiciness. You can increase or decrease their amount according to your taste preference. If making these for kids, you can totally skip adding them.
Peanuts – Just don’t forget to add the roasted and crushed peanuts, as they add a delicious crunch to the soft vadas. You can roast a big batch and store them to use whenever you make these vadas or even peanut chutney.
Coriander – These vadas use minimal ingredients and flavored with just fresh coriander leaves. Do not skip to add this.
Pro Tips by Neha
Wash the Sabudana well. While washing, keep mashing it with your hands to remove the extra starch.
The quantity of water for soaking the Sabudana is also very important. Water should just cover the Sabudana. It should not be more than that or less than that. I always stick to the ratio of 1:1 for Sabudana and water.
Soaking the Sabudana to the right consistency is very important. If they are not soaked properly, Sabudana Vada can burst while frying. Properly soaked Sabudana can be mashed easily between two fingers. They also double up in size after the soak. If there is even slight hardness in the center of the Sabudana after soaking, it means that they are not soaked properly and you should soak them for another hour. Add very little water if they are under soaked.
Once the Sabudana is soaked, drain all the water if there is any. If there is extra water remaining in the Sabudana, the vadas will become soggy. The best way is to drain it in a colander. However, if you use the correct measurements, there won’t be any extra water remaining.
Crush the peanuts in a mortar and pestle. They should not be crushed too fine. Remove the pink skin of the peanuts after roasting or use skinless peanuts.
While mixing the ingredients to make the vada, mash them well to avoid breaking of the vadas while frying. If the mixture is very dry, add a tablespoon or two of water.
Test the dough by frying one vada first. Drop one vada in the hot oil and fry on medium heat until browned well from one side. Do not disturb the vada until it is nicely browned and crisp from one side otherwise it may disintegrate in the oil. Once it is browned well from one side, flip it and fry until browned from another side as well. Once you are able to fry one vada successfully, then fry the remaining vadas in a batch of 4-5.
If sabudana vada is breaking in oil, then add a little flour to the dough and then fry the vadas. If you are making these for the fast, then add kuttu ka atta or chestnut flour and if making them for regular eating, then you can add all-purpose flour or rice flour. You can also add some extra potatoes if the vadas are breaking.
However, after making these many many times, I have realized that if the ingredient’s measurements and steps are followed properly, the vadas generally don’t break while frying.
How to make Sabudana Vada?
Wash ½ cup of medium-sized Sabudana very nicely 2-3 times with water. Soak the washed Sabudana for 6-8 hours in ½ cup of water. Keep the soaked sabudana on the kitchen counter while soaking.
Measure the sabudana and water correctly. It is very important to soak the sabudana in the right amount of water for the vada to turn out perfect. If the water is more, they will turn out soggy and if it is less, they will turn out dry and chewy.
Add the soaked sabudana, ½ cup boiled and mashed potatoes, salt to taste, 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, 2 tsp chopped green chili, and ¼ cup roasted and crushed peanuts in a bowl.
Boil the potatoes and cool them well before using them in the recipe. Mash the boiled potatoes well. There should be no lumps. You can also grate the boiled potatoes using the medium hole of a box grater. Adjust the amount of green chili according to your taste. Crush the roasted peanuts in a mortar and pestle to make a coarse powder.
Mix everything nicely using your hands.
Make small smooth balls from the dough and flatten them a little bit. Apply little oil in your palms while shaping the dough if it is sticky.
Heat vegetable oil for frying the vada in a nonstick pan. I use vegetable oil to fry but you can use any oil that you prefer. Once the oil is hot, simmer the heat to medium. Drop 4-6 vada in the hot oil and fry until golden brown from both sides.
Do not fry all the vada together otherwise they will not turn out crispy. Turn the vada while frying using a slotted spoon or a large fork.
Drain the golden brown and crunchy vada on a plate lined with kitchen tissue. Sabudana Vada is ready to serve.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you do not wish to deep fry them, then you could bake them in an oven or make them using an air fryer as well.
To make these in an oven, line them on the baking tray and spray with oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, flipping once midway. Bump the temperature of the oven to maximum and then bake until they turn slightly brown.
Preheat the air fryer at 180 Degrees C. Arrange the vada on the tray of the air fryer in a single layer. Spray with oil. Air fry for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.
The Jain community does not eat anything that grows beneath the soil and hence potatoes are prohibited for them. You can replace potatoes in this recipe with boiled raw banana and keep the remaining process the same to make a Jain version.
To make it instantly, without soaking the Sabudana, dry roast Sabudana for 4-5 minutes and grind to make a coarse powder. Add this powder to the rest of the ingredients mentioned below in the recipe and make vada from it.
Make sure that you remove the water fully from the soaked Sabudana, as the excess water or moisture in the mixture can break the vada. Also, add in boiled, peeled, and mashed potatoes so that the mixture binds well.
Sabudana Vada tastes amazing on its own with a hot cup of Adrak Wali Chai.
You can also serve them along with Mint Coriander Chutney or even Tomato Ketchup.
Some people also like to serve these along with sweet yogurt.
Sabudana Vada tastes best when freshly made as if kept for longer they can lose their crispiness and become soft. You can store the vada mixture instead, for about 3 to 4 days in an airtight container.
Take it out of the fridge, make vadas and deep fry them to serve. Add the salt only when you are ready to make the Sabudana Vada.
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Sabudana Vada Recipe
- ½ cup sabudana (medium sized pearls)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup mashed boiled potato
- salt to taste (use sendha namak if making for fasting)
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
- 2 teaspoon chopped green chili
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts (skin removed and crushed)
- Wash ½ cup of medium-sized Sabudana very nicely 2-3 times with water.
- Soak the washed Sabudana for 6-8 hours in ½ cup of water. Keep the soaked sabudana on the kitchen counter while soaking.
- Measure the sabudana and water correctly. It is very important to soak the sabudana in the right amount of water for the vada to turn out perfect. If the water is more, they will turn out soggy and if it is less, they will turn out dry and chewy.
- Add the soaked sabudana, ½ cup boiled and mashed potatoes, salt to taste, 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, 2 tsp chopped green chili, and ¼ cup roasted and crushed peanuts in a bowl.
- Boil the potatoes and cool them well before using them in the recipe. Mash the boiled potatoes well. There should be no lumps. You can also grate the boiled potatoes using the medium hole of a box grater. Adjust the amount of green chili according to your taste. Crush the roasted peanuts in a mortar and pestle to make a coarse powder.
- Mix everything nicely using your hands.
- Make small smooth balls from the dough and flatten them a little bit. Apply little oil on your palms while shaping the vada if the mixture is sticky.
- Heat vegetable oil for frying the vada in a nonstick pan. I use vegetable oil to fry but you can use any oil that you prefer. Once the oil is hot, simmer the heat to medium. Drop 4-6 vada in the hot oil and fry until golden brown from both sides.
- Do not fry all the vada together otherwise they will not turn out crispy. Turn the vada while frying using a slotted spoon or a large fork.
- Drain the golden brown and crunchy vada on a plate lined with kitchen tissue. Sabudana Vada is ready to serve.