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Sabudana Vada (Low fat version)

Sabudana Vada is my favorite Maharashtrian snack. Not only do I love Sabudana (Pearl Tapioca), but the simplicity of cooking up this snack makes the dish even better! Of course, traditionally, this is a deep fried snack. I’m trying to cut back on the oil so I went with the shallow fried version; which trust me – was beyond amazing! In fact, the absence of excess oil made the snack healthy and refreshing! We had to cook a Maharashtrian dish for this week’s Avant Garde Cookies post. I immediately made my choices – Sabudana Vada or Kanda Poha. Those dishes are my salvation! Since I’ve already posted a version of the Kanda Poha before, I decided to do the Sabudana Vada! :)
Oh, and the reason why I’ve not been updating the blog for over a week now is because I was working on another website! :) I’m so excited to finally launch it! If you are a Bharatanatyam enthusiast, you’ll probably like my new venture! The new blog is called *Natyakriya*. I have been learning the dance form for so many years now that it seemed like a natural transition! :) Do have a look!

Let’s get started.

Soak the Sago/ Sabudana/ Pearl Tapioca in water for until the tapioca has absorbed the water and looks plumped up. Depending upon the size & quality of the Sabudana, the soaking time would vary. While the tiny ones could take anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour. Some may take even 4-6 hours. You could soak them in warm water to accelerate the process. When it comes to ‘how long you should soak your Sabudana'; the answer is ‘trial & error – as long as it takes for the Sabudana to soften and plump up.

I used the smaller kind and soaked mine in warm water for one hour. At the end, I could press the pearls with my fingers to mash it up.

Drain the pearls. Make sure all the water is drained out. Hang it in a sieve for 10 minutes to be sure! :)

Add the Sabudana to a mixing bowl. You can mash the pearls roughly with your hand.

Meanwhile, cook your potatoes. They should be soft and yet have a bite to them.

Also dry roast the peanuts for 4-6 minutes or until it browns a bit & leaves a nice aroma. (with or without the skin)

You could powder them or just roughly break them with your mortar & pestle.

Add the cooked potatoes (mashed roughly) to the pearls

Mix both of them well.

Add the chopped / ground peanuts, coriander, green chilli, ginger

Also add cumin seeds, a splash of lemon juice & some minced garlic (optional)

Season with salt.

Mix well and taste the mixture.

If you’re going to DEEP FRY the vadas, then this is it. But if you’re going to shallow fry, I suggest you add some rice flour & breadcrumbs for the crispy texture.

Mix well & chill it for 30 minutes for it to set.

Take a small part of the mixture & make a ball out of it.

Slightly flatten it out.

Make such patties and set aside.

Heat oil in a (non stick) pan and add the Vada one by one. Don’t overcrowd the pan. Let it cook on LOW flame for 6-8 minutes until it is crispy & golden brown.

Flip and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes or until crispy.

Serve with tomato ketchup or any chutney of your choice.

Sabudana Vada
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Appetiser
Cuisine: Maharashtrian
Serves: 20 -25 medium Vadas
Ingredients
  • 1 cup / 6 oz Sabudana (Pearl Tapioca)
  • 2 medium Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • ½ cup Peanuts
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2-3 Green chillies, or per taste, finely chopped
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice, or as per taste
  • 2 tsp Salt (to taste)
  • 2 TBsp Cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic (optional)
  • 2-3 tsp Rice flour, (optional)
  • ½ cup Breadcrumbs (optional, adds crispy texture while shallow frying)
  • Vegetable Oil (to deep fry or shallow fry)
Instructions
For the Pearl Tapioca / Sabudana - Soak the Sago/ Sabudana/ Pearl Tapioca in water for until the tapioca has absorbed the water and looks plumped up. Depending upon the size & quality of the Sabudana, the soaking time would vary. While the tiny ones could take anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour. Some may take even 4-6 hours. You could soak them in warm water to accelerate the process. When it comes to 'how long you should soak your Sabudana'; the answer is 'trial & error - as long as it takes for the Sabudana to soften and plump up. I used the smaller kind and soaked mine in warm water for one hour. At the end, I could press the pearls with my fingers to mash it up.
Next -
  1. Drain the pearls. Make sure all the water is drained out. Hang it in a sieve for 10 minutes to be sure
  2. Add the Sabudana to a mixing bowl. You can mash the pearls roughly with your hand.
  3. Meanwhile, cook your potatoes. They should be soft and yet have a bite to them.
  4. Also dry roast the peanuts for 4-6 minutes or until it browns a bit & leaves a nice aroma. (with or without the skin). You could powder them or just roughly break them with your mortar & pestle.
  5. Add the cooked potatoes (mashed roughly) to the pearls & mix both of them well.
  6. Add the chopped / ground peanuts, coriander, green chilli, ginger, cumin seeds, a splash of lemon juice & minced garlic (optional)
  7. Season with salt. Mix well and taste the mixture.
  8. If you're going to DEEP FRY the vadas, then this is it. But if you're going to shallow fry, I suggest you add some rice flour & breadcrumbs for the crispy texture.
  9. Mix well & chill it for 30 minutes for it to set.
  10. Take a small part of the mixture & make a ball out of it. Slightly flatten it out. Make such patties and set aside.
  11. Heat oil in a (non stick) pan and add the Vada one by one. Don't overcrowd the pan. Let it cook on LOW flame for 6-8 minutes until it is crispy & golden brown. Flip and continue to cook for another 6-8 minutes or until crispy.
  12. OR heat enough oil in a deep pan & deep fry the patties
  13. Serve with tomato ketchup or any chutney of your choice.

Check out what my friends are cooking this week > Roshni, Priya S, Priya M, Radhika, Anusha, Veena & Jayanthi

About the author: Food blogger-writer, Recipe developer, Food Lover, Picture-taker, Lover of Nutella, Accountant, Dancer, Singer… and a happy soul!

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Jayanthi February 21, 2013, 11:47 am

    My all time fav…looks delicious!

  • nükhet kuzuoğlu January 24, 2013, 10:34 pm

    hi, we can’t find the pearl in my counry so I can make this recipe with wheat.What do you think instead of pearl?

    • RK January 25, 2013, 9:53 am

      Hi Nukhet.
      Pearl Tapioca (Sago / Sabudana) is usually available everywhere. If you have any store that stocks Indian supplies, check it out. Unfortunately, wheat is totally different from these pearls. Wheat berries are also difficult to cook (in my opinion), They require longer soaking time, longer cooking time.. plus the texture also would be like these pearls. Instead, a closer substitute could be cooked plain rice. The taste would totally be different though.
      Hope this helps,
      RK

  • Ash January 24, 2013, 8:32 pm

    This is on my must try things.. probably will get lucky this weekend as you have tempted me enough. Will try baking and update you on that. Sabudana wada is my sort of comfort food when it rains if wada pav is not on the cards. How I love to dunk these in the peanut yogurt chutney.
    Love Ash.

  • ushnish ghosh January 24, 2013, 8:22 pm

    Dear kavitha
    How are you? Here after a long break and busy reading all the missed recipes. !!
    Thank you very much for the wonderful presentation. I got my answer on soaking sabudana correctly. Now will give a try.
    I shall dip fry them though but will make one batch , your way :-)
    Have a nice weekend

  • Priya Sreeram January 24, 2013, 1:11 pm

    sabudana is my favourite and the vadas look yum- that they are shallow fried is a mighty plus kavi :)

  • Amarendra Mulye January 24, 2013, 10:02 am

    This is an excellent example of non-fried version of Sabudana Wada. Loved this innovation.

  • meena January 23, 2013, 9:16 pm

    this is another of those things i m really fond of
    sabudana vada and sabudana khichdi

    sm months bck i was out in market and went to a resto for some bite
    while glancing thru menu i saw sabudana vada and i said i want this
    the waiter got this with dahi
    i left dahi and just hd the vadas while my hubby looked on wondering what is in sabudana that i like :D

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