Sabudana Vada (Maharashtrian Style)

By DK on Oct 12, 2012
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Just like any new bride, the first few months saw me frantic in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. Though I knew basic cooking (thanks to a judicious and proactive mom), I was not one of those who loved cooking or even interested in knowing more about it. My passions were all over and everywhere but here. But given that I had to do it, I thought I might as well do a good job out of it and enjoy I sure did. It helps a great deal when the person you are cooking for takes extreme interest in eating up all that you made and in providing valuable feedback aimed at betterment.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Snacks were a highlight every day (with the weather at that place being cloudy at least 350 days a year) and among the myriad ones I tried, these made their appearance on and off. About 90% of the Maharashtrian recipes I know is courtesy my mom who meticulously jotted them down in her recipe diary during our stay in the North. Like I said before (see my Batata Poha and Kanda Poha post), I started loving few dishes without knowing where they are from. These vadas follow the same norm. Extremely popular during the Navartri (Dussera) festival time among the Maharashtrians, these can also be enjoyed during the rest of the year.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
These are crispy on the outside and soft and chewy inside with an occasional crunch from the peanuts. The soft Sabudana and potatoes provide the heartiness and make this very filling.  The one downside to these (more so than many of its deep fried counterparts) is its ability to retain oil. So make sure to keep those flames medium-high and fry them at correct temperature since its extremely crucial to avoid soggy vadas. That extra effort is so worth it cos when made correctly, these are very delicious and addictive.

mom's kitchen notes

Basic Information
Prep Time: 4 to 8 hours
Cook Time: Under 30 min
Serves: 5 people
Yield: Makes around 20-25 Vadas depending on size and thickness
  • 1 cup (abt 170 grams/6 oz) Sabudana (Sago pearls), see Tips
  • 2 cups (abt 2 large) Potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup Peanuts
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 2-3 Green chillies, or per taste, thinly sliced
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice, or as per taste
  • Salt to taste, see Tips
  • Few sprigs of Cilantro to garnish
  • 2-3 tsp Rice flour, for dusting (optional) - See Tips
1. Sabudana : Depending upon the size and quality, the prep also changes. The smaller varieties need only around 15-20 minutes of soaking, while the larger kind needs soaking for 5-6 hours (or preferably overnight). Strictly, the quality also has a huge role in the soaking. The best quality requires just a sprinkling of water to make it soft and spongy. With trial, you would have to find out under what category your Sago pearls fall under. I have used large pearls for this recipe.

2. Salt: If preparing this recipe for Fasting (Vrat), use Rock Salt (Sendha Namak) instead of regular salt.

3. Rice flour: Its totally optional which I use for dusting and also to provide crispiness to the Vadas. But if you are preparing this for the Dussera Fasting, then I would suggest using Rajgira Atta ( Amaranth flour) or Singhara ka Atta (Water Chestnut Flour) or a combination of both to help not only in the binding but also to provide extra flavor. You won't need much for the binding and this recipe works without any flour too.
Wash the sabudana well and then soak it overnight with just enough water to cover it. You will find that the water has been absorbed by the sago and it will look plumped up. Refer Tip1 for details on the type of Sago to use.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
When you press the pearls with your fingertips it should get mushed up.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Now drain the sago well - at least 15-20 minutes. Make sure there is no water in them before using in the recipe.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
While that's draining, dry roast the peanuts until browned
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
and coarsely chop them. You can grind it into a powder but the coarseness provides a wonderful texture along with a delightful crunch to the vadas.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Now mix all the ingredients in a large bowl (except the flour)
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
and mix until combined. You will see (if you took care to drain out water from both sago and boiled potatoes) that it really doesnt need binding to shape into vadas. But you can add few tsp of suggested flours (see Tip 3) for extra flavor (and binding if you think you need it).
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
I dusted by hands with little rice flour and shaped them into medium sized patties.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Repeat for all of them. You can refrigerate this mixture at this point which I personally think helps in avoiding retention of oil (which sabudana wadas are notoriously famous for!)
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Heat oil for deep frying. Make sure to keep the temperature at 350F to 375F for making the crispy wadas without oil retention.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Drop the Wadas to the oil, 2-3 per session, or as little (or as many) your vessel can hold. But make sure to adjust the heat accordingly.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Turn on the other side for uniform browning.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Remove and place it on paper towels.
Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
Serve hot with any accompaniment of your choice. The best wadas are those that taste crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.  This is perfect for monsoons, evening snacks or any time throughout the year and not just during fasting days :) Maharashtrian Food Recipes | Navarathri/ Dussehra Vrat (Fasting) Recipes
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32 Responses to “Sabudana Vada (Maharashtrian Style)”
  1. Srinivasa

    It’s really good recipe. just now me n my wife made sabudana Vada. it came excellent m crispy too. :lol: :lol:

  2. syed

    it is super in india when i came here and ate but present i am in UK i did’nt know much about it as i was born in UK BUT I LOVE IT WHEN I CAME TO INDAI :-D :-D :-D :-D :-D

  3. khan

    this is nyc recipe… but i want it more crispy.. plz tell me how to make it crispy.. and also it sokes oil too much :evil: :evil: :evil:

  4. perfect recipe. . .explicit in all respect.

  5. Sanjoy

    Am a Bengali who picked up a fetish for this Maharashtrian snack during my regular work visits to Mumbai. Most standard restaurants in the city provide good quality vadas that I have as an evening snack with my cutting chai whenever I am at Mumbai. Thanks to this recipe online, I can teach my family how to make a great snack from the humble sago( in Bengal, we do not hold this cereal in high esteem) when back at Kolkata.

  6. lavanya

    awsum….sure m gonna try it ….actually i love sabudana … it proved a marvelous recipe for me…
    thanks for this

  7. naseer kp

    nice ….. taste…. :wink:

  8. sharmila

    Tried the recipe… It was just awesome… Everyone at home loved it… :)

  9. Sush

    Tried it. My family loved it. Didn’t need the rice flour. The vadas came out crispy and nice.

  10. Priyanka

    :-P I m going to try these tomorrow for sure! Happy navratra guys!

  11. I have had these Vadas first time, just last week itself… Loved them so much, I just wish they were not so fatty :(

  12. Diksha

    Rajgira Atta ( Amaranth flour)where do you get this in banaglore?

  13. Diksha

    Rajgira Atta ( Amaranth flour) where do we get this?

  14. Usha Sardar

    i tried d receipe at hme..& 2 my wnder evr1 likd it..thnks fr the receipe….. :-P

  15. Archana

    I tried them this weekend for Saturday’s brunch at my friend’s place. This recipe turned out to be a big hit. I made to modifications to it. 1) Added soy flour as protein source 2) Shallow fried them on a non-stick skillet. The taste was just as wonderful as it would have been if it were deep fried or better because the vadas did not soak up oil. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I am making it again for a bigger gathering.

  16. Vanshika

    Hey i have a problem. I live in islands & here we dont get rice flour or any of the flours mentioned in the recipe. Is it ok if i use corn starch or maida for dusting. Thank you!!

  17. Archana

    I like your recipe. I’m going to try it but with a slight modification. I will try shallow frying them, will post after my experiment.

  18. So far I have been eating sabudanavadas bought from the shop. But after I gave your receipe to my wife, I feel I had the best vada in whole of my life. Many thanks.

  19. rashmi

    :wink: hi….thank q…. for giving this reciepe… im gonna try..this….. :-P yummy…..

  20. Preeti Kolekar

    I just love it!!!!… share recipe if accompanying chutney!!

  21. Ishi

    Alternatively raw potato can be used. It will be less oily than boiled one.

  22. teena

    :-P good sabudana vada but it is so oily can we shallow fry the vada

  23. Mouth watering….yummm :)

  24. Mouth waiting…yummm.. :)

  25. I’ve never heard about Sago pearls before. I wonder what it taste like.

  26. I so love sabudana vadas, this is so tempting! Unfortunately mine always soaks a lot of oil so I just avoid making them. Love the crisp golden color on these.

  27. Love these! And the fact that I am not that great fan of sabudana khichdi, this is my fav thing in Navratri!

  28. :-P :-P :-P .A must try. Hve already tried your previous fritters post.

  29. Divya

    How long does one refrigerate the patties before frying?
    I am always scared of sabuna vada as they “kudichufy” so much of oil!
    Happy Navrathri to you and yours!

    Even 15 min will do. But then as I mention repeatedly, its the oil temp. u need to be careful about. I use a candy thermometer which helps me make crispy vadas –DK

  30. Mouthwatering vadas!! Loved them :)

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