Jevvarisi Vethal Recipe | Sago Fries Recipe
Sigh! This post is bringing back so many memories. If the next 5 minutes of reading takes you to mushy-land, well, blame it on my nostalgia that's taken over me ever since I sat down to work on this post.  First things first. My parents are here. YAY! Right? :) I am ecstatic to say the least. Life's made plans for us such,  that its not been easy  to visit our birthplace as often as we would have liked to.  But parents are awesome, arent they? They solved our heartache by coming to us :) So, at the risk of being criticised by my little one, I have been behaving extremely child like with my mom around. I mean, can you blame me? :)
Jevvarisi Vethal Recipe | Sago Fries Recipe
Amidst all that pampering, the blogger in me perks up every time my mom talks about making some traditional dish.  Its a good thing that I have a supportive system who instead of shaking their head at my childish enthusiasm, only egg me on to continue doing likewise. With the summer in full swing, my mom insisted we make some Vadams just like back in India.  Until now, we have been insisting people visiting India show their love for us by getting us some vadams. So, finally getting down to make some right at home, seemed like a prudent decision. The process of making these helped to recreate my childhood memory of me helping my mom make these. I would volunteer to watch over them while they were drying up the terrace;  obviously because I could help myself to the raw semi-drying vadams, under the pretext of watching over them from the meddling birds.
Jevvarisi Vethal Recipe | Sago Fries Recipe
I am sure my mother knew that the only bird that was finishing up a considerable amount was her me :p. But she humored me anyway :) Aren't moms the best? (Yeah myself included, even if I say so myself ;)) These are crunchy and crispy with a light-as-air texture to it. Their flavor is quite bland on their own and very dependant on the seasoning you provide. For this post, I have kept it pretty basic and have not added chillies given our low endurance for "hot" foods. But do refer my tips section for ideas.
  • Cook time:
  • Prep time:
  • Yields: Makes around 500 grams
  • 3 cups Sabudana/Sago/Javvarisi
  • 1 tbsp Sea Salt, or as per taste
  • 1 medium Lemon, or as per taste
  • 7-8 Green Chillies, or as per taste (optional) - see Tips
  • 1. Tomato Vadams: Take around 3 medium sized tomatoes, grind into puree and add it in Step 2 along with water.
  • 2. Color Vadams : To make them colorful, try using these natural food coloring. Turmeric: Yellow; Beet Juice: Pinkish Red; Carrot Juice: Orange. The quantity will depend on the juice varying from 2-3 tbsp. Add it towards the end, boil it for few more minutes and remove from heat.
1. Green Chillies: My Mom's measurement of Green Chillies is based on the Indian variety. Use prudence to add chillies based on the variety and taste of your preference. Since my family does not prefer the heat, I did not add any in this post.
1. Soak the Sabudana in enough water overnight. It's not necessary (and 30 minutes soak is also enough) but it helps to cut short the cooking process considerably.
2. Once its done, drain it using a strainer.
3. Bring around 8 cups of water to a boil in a large saucepan.
4. Once it comes to a boil, add the drained Sabudana to it.
5. Add salt. Usually my mother would eyeball the quantity of the salt once she adds the sabudana. I estimated it to be 1 tbsp but you can add as per your taste. You can always check if it's enough by tasting the mixture once the sabudana gets cooked.
6. Stir to combine. The mixture should be of a pourable consistency. Neither thick nor too flowy. If it becomes thick add some more water.
7. My mom added additional 3  cups of water (total 11 cups of water) at the time of this post.
8. Check if the sagoo is done. Its done when the sabudana is translucent. As you can see, some of them are cooked while few others are yet to be done.
9. Let the mixture cool down a bit. Add the lemon juice, mix and set aside. Meanwhile, while its cooling, lets prepare the surface to dry these to make vadams.
10. Spread a big plastic sheet where you will get the maximum sunlight.  You can also use cloth. We placed a heavy rock in the four corners to avoid the sheet flying away in case of any breeze.
11. My mom then lightly greased the entire surface with oil. If using cloth, you don't need to do this.
12. Now pour a ladle full of mixture at regular intervals.
13. Repeat it for the rest of the mixture. Now starts the long waiting process. Depending on the amount of sunlight, it can take 2-4 days. Back home in southern India, it would take just 2 days for the whole thing to dry. In the california summer, it took us about 3 days - almost 4.
14. Here you can see it starting to dry at the end of the first day. The edges are dried but the middle is still soft. Its a common sight back home to see young children (and adults), peeling this and eating it raw. Its delicious to a discerning palate! :p
15. At Day 2, it's 90%  dry with just its and bits of softness.
16. On day 3 it was all dry with a translucent "see through" appearance. When completely dry, it's time to fry these beauties up. Add it to a hot oil and fry
17. until the bubbles and the sound fizzles.
Remove and serve along as an accompaniment to a South Indian meal like rice, sambar/ kuzhambu , Rasam and a vegetable curry of your choice. Its also goes well with certain pulaos. These are great on their own as a snack - well quite addictive as well.
Jevvarisi Vethal Recipe | Sago Fries Recipe

Recipe Reference

Mom's recipe notes

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By Swetha on Sep 3, 2020

My sago papad Leo for drying looks tightly stuck to the cloth used for drying them in sun. Is there any way to take them out or should I wait for 1 or 2 more days . Will they come out on their own

Oh yes, it must be still wet. Give it time to dry and slowly try to peel it. It should come out. If you find it still hard, try this technique. Place a plate and invert the papad such that it is facing down towards the plate. Now dip your fingers in water and slightly wet the place where it is stuck. Just little not too much. Try to peel it slowly. It should come out. Now remember to dry the papad once again in the plate/any surface until completely dry. Hope this works. --DK

By Nistha Goel on Jul 2, 2020

What if we add too much water. What can i do in that case?

My mother suggested the following - Firstly try taking a portion of the batter separately and using a cheesecloth, filter it to remove excess water. Now add it back along with the rest and heat it for few more minutes until it is more thickened. If you still find it watery, then continue cooking until excess water evaporates. Only make sure to keep stirring on the side to avoid the batter sticking to the bottom (leading to burning). Hope this helps --DK

By abc on Feb 8, 2018

Hi, Love this recipe. can you tell me where did you find this plastic sheet. Please let me know the store name and the plastic sheet name. The ones i saw were very thin and i assume you are suppose to make these while the dough is still hot or spreadable. Thank you

I am really not sure since we have had it for ages! We have been using it like a tarp for our camping and likes and I think we got it at Home Depot. Just cleaned and reused it for this purpose. --DK

By Madhu on Apr 11, 2016

That's an excellent recipe bible for Vadaams.

By Nithya on Apr 5, 2016

At what step do i add the green chilies? Should i first grind it before adding?

By sapna aidasani on Mar 19, 2016

Please let me know the amount of sabudana used for 8 cups water . Thanks in advance

We are fixing some code in the background. Will be up in a bit...sorry about that. --DK

By vidya on Mar 15, 2016

simply superb.....its like a glass....experience speaks they say right???

Oh yes. Definitely :) --DK

By Hema on Jan 27, 2016

When to add the green chillies at the end along with the lime juice? As a kid I used to help my mother to pour the mixture into the cloth , but since I lost her at a young age did not have the recipe thanks for sharing.

By rene on Nov 10, 2015

Hi...i want to try this recipe..just wondering when do i add the lemon thats mentioned in the list of ingredients

Step 9, right at the end, once the mixture cools down a bit. Thank you for pointing out the lapse; will correct it likewise :) --DK

By Santha on Oct 5, 2015

Hi, thank you for for the awesome recipe. I have couple of questions here, 1. Can I try this with dehydrator? Any idea? 2. Can we use a hand blender to blend sago pearls, I kind of remember my Amma doing it... I thought it would be better to have to bite the raw pearls if any left... Would appreciate an reply. Thanks a lot again for this wonderful recipe...

Given how dehydrator works similar to drying stuff out in sunlight, I can totally see it as an option. Yes, you can blend if you like although I have only seen it without. But I don't see why it shouldnt work. Yes, it might not look like a traditional vadam, but it shouldn't affect the taste. --DK

By Anirudh on Sep 15, 2015

Nice presentation i really love to eat this " Sabdana vadiyam" thank you for sharing it :)

By Hema on Sep 14, 2015

Hi DK, after the 8th step drain the sago and allow it is cook again?

I deeply apologise for a mistake that I just noticed while answering your query. The 8th step is in fact step 2. You don't need to drain the sagoo once cooked. That liquid mixture is what we use to pour to make as Vadams. Some glitch in the system caused this and I have rectified pronto. Sorry once again and thank you for pointing it out. --DK

By Nance on Sep 7, 2015

For us non-Indian followers, I looked up and found that sabudana = tapioca pearls.

Its also called as "Sago" in English as well. Pls refer: --DK

By coralie on Sep 7, 2015

Could you dry these in a dehydrator instead of our in the sun?

I haven't tried it myself, but it should work. --DK