Sabudana vada recipe with video & step by step photos. Sabudana vada is a popular crisp fried snack made with tapioca pearls (sago), roasted peanuts, boiled potatoes and herbs. It is a popular Maharashtrian snack that is eaten not only as a tea time snack but also as a fasting or Upvas/ Vrat food. Sabudana khichdi and sabudana kheer are other foods made during Navratri & Ekadashi fastings.
As per the tradition, many hindus fast during Ekadashi & Navratri. Some people consume only milk, some only fruits, while some consume a single meal per day.
Sabudana is one of the most commonly used ingredient during the fasting days. It is considered as an instant energy booster as they are high in carbs.
During the fasting days, many ingredients like lentils, certain spices, garlic and onions are not consumed. So the fasting foods like this sabudana vada are made without using any of these ingredients.
Since sabudana is a pure starch, peanuts are used here to add some nutrition. Potatoes bind all of these together.
This failproof recipe will give you not only delicious but also crisp sabudana vada. The recipe shared here is the Maharashtrian version and is gluten-free as well vegan.
To make good sabudana vada, always soak the sabudana well until they turn soft. You can roast the peanuts ahead, crush them and store in a jar.
This saves some time on the day you prepare these vadas. Make sure your boiled potatoes are just cooked and not mushy otherwise sabudana vada will soak up lot of oil.
Many people prefer to eat these with yogurt or chutney. These are best served hot & also go well with hot tea.
Preparation for sabudana vada
1. Add half cup sabudana to a wide bowl and rinse them twice. Drain the water and soak them in half cup water for about 4 to 6 hours. When they are soaked they will be soft and get mashed easily.
2. Once they are soaked, they double in size. Make sure they are soaked well and turned soft else sabudana may burst in oil while frying the vadas.
To check if sabudana is well soaked, take few soaked pearls in between your thumb and forefinger. Press down. They must get mashed well and completely. If it is even little bit hard in the center, then sabudana may burst in oil while frying.
Drain up the water completely. Drain to a colander and set aside. If there is any moisture left in the sabudana the vada will become soggy and will soak up oil.
3. Dry roast 1/4 cup peanuts until golden & aromatic.
4. Cool them completely and make a coarse powder. I removed the skin partially. Just pulse them once in a blender. We want a coarse powder.
5. Boil 2 medium potatoes in whatever way you like. You can boil the whole potatoes in a cooker or cube them and boil in a pot. This time I peeled them and cubed to large pieces (1 heaped cup). Covered them with water and boiled until soft.
To check insert a fork and check, it should easily go in. Do not make them mushy. Drain any excess water or evaporate.
6. Mash them well.
7. To the bowl of sabudana, add ground peanuts, mashed potato, half teaspoon jeera, 1 to 2 chopped green chilies, 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves, 1½ teaspoon lemon juice (optional) and ½ teaspoon powdered rock salt.
8. Mix everything well. If sticky, then just grease your finger lightly. Mixing well helps in binding the dough well and prevents the sabudana vada from breaking while frying.
How to make sabudana vada recipe
9. Make 10 to 12 equal sized balls from the dough.
10. Grease your palm and flatten the balls gently to give the shape of a vada. If they break towards the edges, you can just stick them back. Place them in a plate or foil.
Do not make them too thick or too thin. The vadas will puff up after frying. Very thick vadas don’t cook inside and very thin vadas may break.
11. Heat oil in a pan until oil turns hot enough. Check by dropping a small portion of the dough to the hot oil. The dough must rise and not sink. This is the right temperature.
Next, take 1 tsp of the dough and shape to a small vada or ball and drop in the hot oil. In case the vada doesn’t break then you can go ahead and fry all of them
If the ball disintegrates in the oil, then add 1 tablespoon flour to the mixture and mix well. If you are fasting then add kuttu ka atta otherwise you can add rice flour. This step is optional only to ensure the vadas don’t get disintegrated in oil.
Shape the mixture to vadas. Gently slide 2 to 3 sabudana vadas to hot oil. Let them fry on a medium heat for a few minutes and firm up. Do not touch them or disturb them until they firm up & become golden. Otherwise they may break. Deep fry them in batches of 2 to 3 on a medium heat.
12. When one side of the vada turns firm and golden then flip them to the other side. Fry until golden & crisp on both the sides. Before you fry the next batch, ensure the oil is moderately hot enough again and not very hot.
Serve sabudana vada with green chutney or farali chutney.
Tips for sabudana vada
1. Soaking sabudana : There are different kinds of sabudana available in the market, some soak up well in just 2 hours while some need 5 to 8 hours of soaking time. Adjust the soaking time as needed until the sabudana turns soft, without any hardness inside.
2. Checking sabudana: After the soaking time, press few sabudana pearls in between your thumb and forefinger. They must get mashed easily. Sabudana if not soaked well can burst in oil. So make sure they are soaked well and not hard from inside.
3. Potatoes : Boiled potatoes help in binding the mixture. So boil them with care without making mushy or soggy. Soggy potatoes often break up the sabudana vada while frying due to excess moisture.
4. Peanuts : Crushed peanuts help in absorbing the excess moisture if any. So I prefer to powder it. However you can just crush them coarsely in a mortar pestle if you prefer crunchy peanuts in the sabudana vada.
How to prevent them from breaking
1. Using flour : Earlier I had never used flour to make my sabudana vada. It is only a optional ingredient. But lately I have made them many times with flour and felt they are less greasy and more crisp with little flour added.
If your vadas break then you can fix it by adding 1 to 2 tbsps of flour to absorb excess moisture. If making the vadas on fasting days, then you can add some kuttu ka atta or rajgira flour.
2. Temperature of oil : Sabudana vada can break while frying if the oil is not hot enough. Always check if the oil is moderately hot enough to fry. Also fry on a medium high flame. Frying them on a very high flame will brown them too quickly. Frying on a low flame will make them oily.
Ingredients (1 cup = 240ml )
- ½ cup sabudana (tapioca pearls or sagu)
- 1 cup potatoes (heaped cup) cubed or 2 medium sized
- ¼ cup peanuts
- 1 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
- ½ tsp cumin or jeera
- 1 to 2 green chilies chopped
- rock salt powdered as needed
- 1½ tsps lemon juice (optional)
- 1½ to 2 tbsp flour (optional) kuttu ka atta if fasting
How to make the recipe
- Add ½ cup sabudana to a wide bowl. You can optionally rinse them well twice.
- Then pour ½ cup water and soak sabudana for 4 to 6 hours depending on the kind. You can also soak overnight.
- Some need only 2 hours of soaking while some need at least 5 hours.
- Once they are soaked, take few pearls in between your thumb and forefinger.
- Press down to check if they have softened. The pearls must get mashed well.
- Make sure they are soaked well & softened otherwise unsoaked sabudana may burst in oil.
- You can also bite and check. It should not be hard from inside. If you feel they are hard, soak them for a little longer.
- Drain them completely to a colander and set aside.
- Meanwhile roast peanuts until golden and aromatic. Cool completely.
- Pulse them in a blender only once to get coarsely crushed peanuts. Keep aside.
- Wash and peel potatoes. Boil them just until done and not too mushy or soggy.
- Mash them. If the potatoes are mushy then the vadas may break. So cook them just al dente.
- Mix together sabudana, mashed potato, peanuts, green chili, salt, cumin and coriander leaves. Add lemon juice (optional) and mix well.
- If the dough turns sticky, then just grease your finger lightly.
- Mixing well helps in binding the dough well and prevents the sabudana vada from breaking while frying.
How to make sabudana vada
- Make 10 to 12 balls and then slightly flatten to make the patties or vada.
- Do not make them too thin as they may break. Making then too thick will not cook them from inside.
- Heat oil in a kadai until hot enough on a medium flame.
- Drop a small portion of the dough to check if the oil is hot enough. The dough has to rise without browning quickly.
- Next take 1 tsp of the mixture in your hand and roll it to a small vada.
- Slide it to the hot oil to check if it doesn't disintegrate.
- If the ball breaks, then add 1 tablespoon flour to the mixture and mix it well. Then shape them to vadas.
- Slide the sabudana vada to hot oil one after the other. Do not crowd them all at one time. Slide only 2 to 3 depending on the size of your pan.
- After adding the vadas, let them deep fry on a medium flame for a few minutes. Do not disturb them or touch them as they may break. When they firm up and become slightly golden, flip to the other side. Fry until golden and crisp.
- The vadas will puff well and turn golden & crisp on the outside.
- Drain them to a kitchen tissue or colander. Serve sabudana vada with green chutney.
NUTRITION (estimation only)
- Avoid overcooking the potatoes. If overcooked they will hold up lot of moisture and make the sabudana vadas soggy.
- Drain the soaked sabudana completely otherwise the excess moisture will make the vadas soggy.
- Fry them only a medium heat otherwise they will brown from outside and remain soggy inside.
- You can double fry them to keep them crisp for a little longer.
- I have felt adding atleast 2 tbsps of flour makes the sabudana vada more crisp and less greasy.
- If you are fasting, then use kuttu ka atta or buckwheat flour. If not fasting then you can use rice flour or corn starch.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
If you are new to cooking, follow my detailed step by step photo instructions for best results.