Sabudana Vada Recipe | Snack Idea

Sabudana Vada is one of those snacks that is fantastic to eat with afternoon tea, great to serve as a party appetizer, and wholesome for those who are fasting.
Sabudana Vada is one of those snacks that tastes the BEST when hot and fried just before serving, because reheating them in a toaster oven does not do them justice.
Sabudana Vada is one of those snacks that resonates Lays' slogan "no one can eat just one!"

How to make Sabudana Vada | Snack Recipe
Makes exactly 15 vada

1 cup sabudana (sago pearls)
2 potatoes, peeled and parboiled = ½ cup grated parboiled potato
1 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely ground
1 ½ Tbsp green chili paste (or finely chopped green chilies), adjust spice level
¼ cup cilantro
¾ tsp salt, or to taste
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Oil for deep-frying

1. Rinse sabudana a couple of times to clean and remove any dirt, then soak it in 1 cup water (not an essential measurement; just enough water to immerse sabudana completely) for 2 hours.  You are looking for the sabudana to soften but not completely fluff up by soaking overnight as you’d do for sabudana khichdi.  So 2-3 hours soaking time is enough.  Then drain the water over a strainer and keep aside for any excess water to drain.

2. In a medium size bowl, add completely drained sabudana +grated parboiled potato + ground peanuts + green chili paste + chopped cilantro +salt +lemon juice.  Mix well and bring everything together like a dough, such that you should be able to make a ball and then flatten it.  Tip: taste the potato portion of the mixture, adjust the spice and salt.  Keep the mixture aside until ready to fry.  You can keep this mixture in the refrigerator for a day or two until you wish to fry.  Good idea when preparing for a party.

3. Heat oil on medium flame in a wok or pan.  Divide the mixture into 15 balls, then flatten lightly into a patty.  When oil is hot, put a few sabudana patties, flip over to fry them evenly until light brown, drain on paper towel, and fry each batch the same way.  Tip: fry one sabudana vada first and see how it goes, the sabudana should not disperse in oil, the vada should be crusty on the outside, soft inside.  If one spoils, there is a way to fix the mixture.

4.  Serve hot and crisp sabudana vada with some mint and tamarind chutney, or serve hot vada with hot chai.

I had a friend coming over for dinner one evening.  Since it was a weekday, I thought we would have dinner right away so I prepared only the main course.  At 4:45 pm I felt I should add an appetizer.  I rinsed the sabudana and let it soak.  Meanwhile pressure cooked the potatoes, let the pressure cool down, peeled and grated.  Roasted the peanuts, ground them.  Chopped the cilantro for the sabudana vada, and some more for garnishing main dishes.  Finished cooking other things.  At 6:30 pm, I drained the sabudana and mixed everything, put in the refrigerator.  At 7:00 pm, I took the bowl out, make the balls and patties, heated oil in a wok, and at 7:10 pm I started to deep-fry the sabudana vada.  By the time my friend arrived home at 7:30 pm, I had the sabudana vada ready with some ready-made bottles of mint and tamarind chutney.

The proof that sabudana vada totally rocks.

Sabudana Vada FAQ

Q:  Why should the water be completely drained from the sabudana?
A:  If water not completely drained, the mixture will not come together and you will not be able to make a neat patty, also the wet sabudana will soak up excess oil when deep-frying.

Q:  What if I don’t put potato in sabudana vada?
A:  Potato is acting as the starch that is binding the ingredients together and should not be skipped.  I have not tried another substitute.

Q:  Some sabudana vada recipes use cornstarch or rice flour, some use baking soda, why not yours?
A:  Cornstarch and rice flour give the crunch to a bhajia or pakoda (fritters) or vada (patties).  Baking soda added to the batter makes it fluffy or puff up what you fry.  This recipe if followed exactly does the job of both without the addition of those ingredients.

Q:  My sabudana vada mixture is not coming together, I think it’s a little too moist, what to do?
A:  Cling wrap the bowl with mixture and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  You can even keep it for 24-48 hours.

Q:  My sabudana wada dispersed in the oil, why and what can I do?
A:  I hope you did not add baking soda by any chance; this happens sometimes when a pinch more than required is added.  If you followed my recipe, the sabudana vada should not scatter in oil, but it could happen if a) the moisture content in your mixture is higher (which is why you should also drain all the water from soaked sabudana), or b) if your parboiled potato quantity was not sufficient starch to keep the vada together.  In this case – add 2-4 Tbsp cornstarch or rice flour depending on how much your mixture requires to keep the patties intact.

I hope you all try this sabudana vada recipe and will love it as much as I do.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

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  1. Perfect evening snack, pictures looks tempting

  2. Why do we need to roast the peanuts ?

  3. Are sabudana vegetarian? I mean wants all this hype about the production f sabudana where worms are manifested during the process?
    Could you please help us with this myth?
    Thank you!


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