Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these sabudana vadas are a delicious snack, especially during the rainy season. Enjoy them with green coriander-mint chutney and a cup of tea while watching the rain!
Sabudana (called Sago or Tapioca pears in English) is soaked overnight and then mixed with mashed potato, peanuts, and other spices to make these delicious vadas. Sabudana vadas or tapioca fritters are also popular vrat food or fasting food during the Navratri festival. During Navratri, a 9-day Hindu festival, many people abstain from wheat and other grains, lentils, onions, garlic, and common salt. Fasting food is usually very simple, like this sabudana khichdi, but these vadas are like an occasional treat in between!
When we lived in Mumbai, both during college and after while working there, sabudana vada was a popular street snack during Navratri and otherwise too. While it is a Maharashtrian dish, it has definitely traveled along the length and breadth of the country :-).
How to prevent Sabudana Vadas from breaking in Oil
A common problem while making sabudana vadas is that they break in oil. A few tricks to prevent that from happening:
- Soak the tapioca pearls in water for at least 5-6 hours or overnight so that they are soft. Completely squeeze out all water from the soaked sabudana before making the vada mix.
- Mashed potato helps to bind the mix together and prevent the vadas from breaking in oil. Add more potato to the mix if the vadas are breaking. You can also add some gram flour or chickpea flour (if not fasting) or buckwheat or amaranth flour if you are making these vadas for vrat, to increase binding.
- I never deep fry the vadas or any other fritters/cutlets. I always shallow fry them in a very thin layer of oil, which prevents them from breaking and cook properly.
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and/or leave your comments at the end of the blog. It will really encourage me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- ½ cup Sabudana (Small Tapioca pearls)
- 2 potatoes , boiled and mashed to give ~1 cup
- ¼ cup peanuts , without skin
- 1 green chili , finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh coriander leaves , finely chopped
- 1 inch ginger , peeled and grated
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- Rock Salt , to taste
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- Soak the sabudana or tapioca pearls in water (enough to cover the sabudana) for 5-6 hours, preferably overnight.
- Drain the soaked sabudana in a colander and squeeze out all the water.
- Dry roast the peanuts and grind coarsely in a mortar-pestle. It’s nice to have a few small pieces of peanuts in the mix. It adds to the taste and texture that is why I didn’t grind them in a mixer.
- In a big mixing bowl, combine the soft sabudana, mashed potato*, roasted peanut powder, chili, grated ginger, coriander, cumin powder, rock salt, and lemon juice. Mix everything well with your hands or use a potato masher.
- Divide the vada mix into 16 small portions and shape each into a flat round disc.
- Heat oil in a flat pan. Shallow fry the vadas till they are golden crispy from below. Turn and cook the other side. **
- Remove on an absorbent kitchen paper.
- Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup.
**When frying try with one vada first. If it breaks, add more potato and/or flour.
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Such crunchy vada’s. I just love them with a cup of tea. yum.
Thank you. Renu! 🙂
Vada looks so crispy crunchy and mouthwatering. Perfect recipe for fasting days. Superb share.
sabudana vada looks so crunchy and cooked perfectly. We love this crunchy vada so much with tea, so easy to make. Literally feeling like to make now itself after looking at these beauties. I dont need any chutney just tea and vada and I AM IN HEAVEN
I wish I could just send them to you with some tea 🙂
I love that your site translates ingredients. I adore middle eastern grocery stores but have a hard time navigating ingredients. I would love to see a post on types of chili’s used. This recipe says green but I know you are most likely thinking a specific type unknown to me. Just a thought!
Thank you so much for your encouraging comment and suggestion. In this recipe, you can use any kind of green chili that you normally would add in your recipes. I like mild heat so I use slightly bigger green chilies but for those who like it hot, can use the smaller thinner ones which are stronger. You can also use Jalapenos.
Hope that helps. Your suggestion is giving me an idea to add a section about chilies in my glossary of Indian spices and herbs :-).