Sabudana Vada is a traditional Indian snack made with sago (tapioca pearls), and boiled potato. It is also known as sabudana tikki or sabudana cutlet. The perfectly crunchy exterior and a mouth-melting mashed potato filled interior make this gluten-free, vegan snack an all-time favorite.
What is sabudana made of?
Sabudana is made from the tapioca roots starch. Later, the starch is processed to form tiny grain-like spherical pearls. It is also known as sago or tapioca pearls.
Sago is widely used in Southeast Asian countries to make desserts, pudding, bubble tea, or snacks.
In India, the sabudana is considered a pure plant-based vegan and gluten-free ingredient.
Hence, many people consume it while observing religious fasting such as Navratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, or on any other Hindu festivals.
About Sabudana Vada
In India, sabudana cutlet is a widely popular vegetarian snack.
Sabudana Vada is an excellent, easy to make snack perfect for any season or occasion throughout the year.
You can serve it as a teatime snack or for breakfast.
There are many versions of the sabudana vada recipe. In a Marathi Style sabudana cutlet lot of crushed peanut, roasted cumin powder, and grated ginger are added.
Whereas, in a typical North Indian style sabudana cutlet we add loads of chopped onion, spices, and fresh coriander.
My Tried & True Tips To Make Perfect Sabudana Vada
Many a times people complain about soggy, broken, or under-cooked sabudana vada.
Follow these tried and tested tips to say goodbye to all the woes related to sabudana cutlet.
Soaking Sabudana: It is best to soak sago overnight or for at least 5 – 6 hours. The ratio of 1:1 (sago to water) always works for me. Too much water while soaking sago makes it mushy and water clogged, resulting in a not so crisp cutlet.
Boiled Potato: I prefer to boil the potatoes well in advance, allow to cool, remove the skin, and keep in the fridge. The chilled firm potatoes do some kind of magic to the texture of the cutlet turning them into crisp goodness.
Chopped Ingredients: If you are adding onion, coriander, green chili in the cutlet, make sure to finely chop them or use a food processor.
Peanuts: Use roasted without skin peanuts to add in the vada mixture. Crush the peanut using a rolling pin or mixer to make a coarse mixture.
Cutlet Shape: If you are not too keen to shape the cutlet into the perfect round then simply pinch a small portion of dough mixture using your fingers and gently drop it in hot ghee for frying. The bite-size sabudana pakodi taste exquisite.
Frying Cutlet: Make sure the oil is rightly pre-heated. To test, drop a pinch of the vada mixture in hot oil. If the oil is hot enough, the vada mixture will immediately float on the surface rather then sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Once you add vada in hot oil, reduce the heat to medium. If the vada is fried at very high heat, instead of turning crisp they get burnt from the outside and remain uncooked from inside.
Do not overcrowd the pan while frying sabudana vada. Fry them in small batches.
I would not suggest flipping vada multiple times while frying. Once, it turns crisp from one side, flip it once, and cook from the other side.
Sabudana Vada For Navratri Fasting:
If you want to make sattvic sabudana vada for Navratri fasting then please make sure these ingredients are not used – onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, table salt, spices, and refined oil.
To make a falari vada all you need is – sabudana (tapioca pearls), boiled potatoes, green chili, fresh coriander, rock salt/sendha namak (optional), black pepper, crushed peanuts, and ghee.
Combine all these ingredients as suggested in my sabudana vada recipe and deep-fry the cutlets in pure ghee.
If you are observing any kind of fast, sabudana tikki is a fantastic fulfilling snack.
FAQ’s Related To Sabudana Vada
Why sabudana vada break in oil?
Whenever there is excess moisture in the vada mixture, it has more chances to break while frying. Ensure not to use water clogged boiled potatoes and soggy soaked sabudana. Note that even if the oil is not heated at the right temperature, then vada will absorb more oil and can break in the oil.
How long should I soak sabudana?
It’s important to soak sabudana with just enough water to cover it. You can cover and let it soak undisturbed for 5 – 6 hours or best overnight. After 6 hours you will find perfectly puffed up sabudana pearls ready to make vada or sabudana khichdi. Also, ensure to drain all the excess water if any in the soaked sago.
Can we store soaked sabudana in the fridge?
Yes absolutely, you can keep soaked sabudana in the fridge for up to 2 – 3 days in an airtight container.
Can I air fry the sabudana vada?
Yes, you can. Preheat the air fryer at 180 degrees celsius. 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. I have fried them on Instant Pot Crispy Lid as well. They take 10 minutes on each side at the same temperature.
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Sabudana Vada Recipe
- 1 Cup sago (sabudana or tapioca pearls)
- 4 medium-size potato, boiled and mashed
- 1/4 Cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 tablespoon chopped coriander
- 1 green chili, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- Cooing Oil to fry
- To prepare the Sabudana Vada, soak the tapioca pearls (sabudana), in 1 cup of water for about 4 – 5 hours or overnight.
- Next day, transfer the soaked sago into a metal colander to drain all excess water.
- To prepare the mixture for the vada, in a large mixing bowl combine boiled potato, soaked sabudana, ginger, chili, peanuts, coriander, salt, and spices.
- Mix thoroughly while mashing the mixture with your finger to form a smooth non-sticky dough-like mixture for the vada.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a pan over medium flame.
- While the oil is heating, divide the mixture into small sized balls. Next, flatten the balls to half inch or so thickness gently using fingers.
- Shallow fry or deep-fry the vada in small batches in hot oil till golden brown and crisp from both the sides.
- Drain Sabudana Vada on an oil absorbent paper.
- Serve Sabudana Vada with green chutney and a cup of tea.
- It is best to soak sago overnight or for at least 5 – 6 hours. The ratio of 1:1 (sago to water) always works for me.
- I usually boil the potatoes beforehand and keep them in the fridge. This way, I always get perfectly crisp sabudana vada.
- If you are adding onion, coriander, green chili in the cutlet, make sure to finely chop them or use a food processor.
- If you do not have roasted peanuts at home, gently dry roast the peanuts on a pan for 3 – 5 minutes. Allow to cool down. Rub in between your palms to remove the skin. Crush using a rolling pin or food processor.
- If you are not too keen to shape the cutlet into the perfect round then simply pinch a small portion of dough mixture using your fingers and gently drop it in hot ghee for frying like a pakodi.
- Do not overcrowd the pan while frying sabudana vada. Fry them in small batches.
- Do not fry the vada at very high heat. It will burn from outside and remain uncooked from inside. Resulting in a chewy, bitter-tasting vada.
- I would not suggest flipping vada multiple times while frying. Once, it turns crisp from one side, turn it, and cook from the other side.