Sabudana Vada, fritters made from tapioca pearls and a few other ingredients are addictive yet easy to make!
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Sabudana Vada, a popular Indian snack is one of our favorite recipes. Fritters made from tapioca/sabudana with a few other ingredients, these are crisp outside and perfectly soft inside. Served with cilantro chutney, these are great for fasting days like Navratri, Maha Shivratri and so on.
For the longest time I have been making the non-fried sabudana vada, made in the paniyaram stand. But a few days ago I was tempted to make this authentic version just before Chaitra Navratri; a festival that lots of people celebrate by fasting and enjoying such dishes.
Fasting in some parts of India is actually a great idea to enjoy some recipes that are not made at other times. Sabudana, samai, kuttu, rajgira, all kinds of potatoes and yams find an application during fasting days.
I am a fan of fasting recipes and remember how we used to gorge on these recipes in our childhood while our grandma used to fast. Sabudana khichdi, potato fries, kheer and what not! I grew up enjoying them and am still a fan. It is not a surprise that these recipes are on the blog too. If you are looking for fasting recipes, check these out:
- Amaranth (Rajgira) Paratha
- Farali Kadhi | Rajgira Kadhi
- Non-Fried Sabudana Vada | Sago Fritters
- Sabudana Khichdi
- Samo Vada | Barnyard Millet Fritters
Out of all of these, sabudana fritters are my favorite. Fritters are always yum when dipped in spicy cilantro chutney, ketchup or just by themselves with chai. These fritters are like that too. I can polish off a BIG bowl filled with them in one go!
How to make perfect Sabudana Vada?
Perfect sabudana vada are those which are crisp on the outside while being soft yet cooked inside. The ingredients do play a major part in them being well made, but the method makes a lot of difference too.
A popular complaint many people have while making these is that the vadas separate when fried. Or that they fry in a way that the hot oil splutters all over. The easiest way to avoid this is to make sure ALL the ingredients are dry before rolling them. If there is water, that splutters out and makes quite a mess.
These are BEST enjoyed hot. Even though the vada is crisp when fried, they tend to become soggy over time. So avoid making them in advance. Fry them only when you are ready to enjoy them with chutney, yogurt or chai.
In case there are leftovers, re-heat them in the oven. That is the easiest way to make them crisp again. Heating them in the microwave makes them soggy and weird in texture.
The ingredients listed below are the ones typically used in fasting recipes. If there are ingredients that you do not like or enjoy, skip them. If the recipe is not for fasting, you can add red chili powder, diced vegetables or anything else as you like.
I used the regular size sabudana but you can use the mini ones too. The mini ones do not need to be soaked; they can be rinsed and washed immediately.
The chili and black pepper powder are used for heat. These are not spicy but definitely have a hint of spice. If you like the vada bland, reduce both of them to get the heat right.
Sabudana/ tapioca pearls 1 cup
Potato 1 medium, boiled and peeled
Green chili 1-2 sliced
Ginger 1 inch piece, grated
Peanuts ⅓ cup
Cilantro ¼ cup, chopped
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Black Pepper Powder ½ tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Lime Juice 1 tsp
Oil to fry
Rinse the sabudana well and soak in ¾ cup water for atleast 6 hours or overnight. After soaking, the pearls should be soft.
Dry roast the peanuts on medium flame. Once they are aromatic, remove from flame and cool. Process to a coarse powder and set aside.
In a pan shred or mash the boiled potato. Add the peanuts and sabudana. Mix well. Then add all the remaining ingredients except oil.
Using a potato masher, mash the mixture well.
Apply some oil on your palms and divide the mixture into 2 tablespoon parts. Roll each part into a ball and flatten them.
Repeat for all of the mixture and keep the vada ready.
Heat oil in a pan and once hot, add the vadas. Make sure you do not crowd the pan too much.
Fry on medium flame till the outer covering is crisp. Do not fry on high flame else the vada will burn.
Transfer on to paper towels. Serve with cilantro chutney or tomato ketchup. These vadas taste great with chai.
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