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Maharashtrian Sabudana Vada / Crispy Sago Or Tapioca Pearl Fritters

Crispy Sabudana Vada

Some relationships are eternal like pakoras and rainy days. Lets welcome the Monsoon season with these crispy fried sabudana vada, a Maharashtrian specialty from the western state of India.

Deep fried goodness like samosa, pakoras or vadas are pure love. Off course not suitable for everyday consumption but surely an occasional indulgent.

sabudana vada recipe


How to make Sabudana Vada

The best part of this sabudana vada is that you can make this with very few ingredients and all are pantry staples in an Indian kitchen. The soft sago / tapioca pearls are binded together with soft mashed potatoes, the roughly crushed toasted peanuts adds a delightful crunch to every bite. And unless like other Indian pakoras the taste of sabudana vada really shines through when few spices or no spices are used. Freshly chopped cilantro or coriander leaves are absolutely indispensable here and adds such a nice lemony flavour to these sabudana vada. You can sprinkle little bit of lemon juice too to enhance the flavour further. A dash of roasted cumin powder when sprinkled in good measures heightens the flavours further and gives a nice smoky touch to these sabudana vada. Finely chopped green chillies are sure to sizzle your taste buds on fire. Use the green chillies judiciously.

What is Sabudana or Sago or Tapioca Pearls?

The beautiful pearl shaped saubudana or sago or tapioca pearls are in fact a processed food (that is not naturally occurring), made from the starch extracted from the tapioca roots. But unlike the other starch or carbohydrates, sago pearls are actually high in nutritional values. But since it is basically a starch product, so should be taken in moderation.

sabudana vada recipe


How to use Sabudana or Sago pearls in recipes?

This sabudana vada is perhaps the next to most popular sabudana khichdi , which is a breakfast staple in many parts of India.  Other than this, sabudana or sago pearls makes a delightful dessert like this sago payasam / sabudana ki kheer.

Are these gluten free snacks?

Most of the fritters or snacks contains gluten in some form. But this sabudana vada is inherently a gluten free snacks. No flours are being added for binding purposes. Starchy potatoes does its job well. But if for some reason, potatoes fails to bind the sabudana, you can add little bit of poha or soaked and mashed rice flakes. If making for religious purposes like during fasting or vrat, you can use kuttu ka aata, also known as buckwheat flour.

Sabudana Vada / Tapioca Pearl Fritter Recipe

Crispy fried sabudana vada or Tapioca Pearl Fritter is an Indian snack recipe.
Prep Time6 hrs
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time6 hrs 15 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Sabudana Vada
Author: Sukanya Ghosh


Sabudana vada / tapioca pearl fritters

  • ½ cup Sabudana / sago pearl
  • 2 Boiled Potatoes
  • ½ cup Peanuts (crushed toasted)
  • 1 or 2 Green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cumin powder, roasted
  • ½ cup Coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying

Peanut Coriander Chutney

  • 1 cup Peanuts, toasted
  • 1 cup Coriander leaves, chopped
  • 2 Green Chillies, chopped
  • 2inch Ginger piece, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Garlic, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Salt as per taste


How to make sabudana vada

  • Soak the sabudana/ sago pearls in water for 6 hours or overnight. Amount of water requires to soak the sabudana depends upon the type and varieties of sabudana. Preferably same or double the amount of water is required to soak the sabudana.
  • Prepare the other ingredients as instructed.
  • Sabudana is ready to use when it is readily mashable when pressed between fingers.
  • To the sabudana, add rest of the ingredients. Mashed the potatoes well before adding it to the sabudana.
  • Make small balls out of it. Make fat and thick balls if you are going to deep fry them. For shallow fry, make the balls little on thinner side and flat.
  • Keep it in the fridge for 15 minutes. It helps in the binding process.
  • Heat enough oil in a pan. When it is hot enough, drop the sabudana balls and fry on medium low till it is cooked through and brown from all sides.
  • Serve hot with peanut chutney.

Peanut Coriander Chutney

  • Put all the ingredients into a mixer jar. Blend it with water till medium coarse paste. Dilute it with more water as per the consistency requires.
  • If you want you can add tarka of red chillies and mustard seeds.


How to upgrade the healthy profile of this regular sabudana vada?

Sabudana is basically a starch product and so as the potatoes. If you make these often, then it would be advisable to add few healthy ingredients too like flax seeds which adds a nice texture to the dish. You can roll these vadas onto amaranth seeds too for that extra crunch and crispiness. Apart from adding buckwheat flour, ragi flour also adds a nice touch to the dish.

Though these sabudana vadas are generally deep fried and that really makes it superbly tasty but you can also shallow fried it in pan in less oil. My cast iron pan helps me in this immensely. It not only browns the sabudana vadas faster but also requires less oil too. If you are shallow frying these sabudana vadas, then make sure to make it little thinner and flat. The fattier ones need deep frying.

Other than that, appe pans are also good to make these saubudana vadas. It requires even less oil and able to hold the crispiness of the vadas.

What to serve with this Sabudana Vadas?

All pakoras and fritters can be served with tomato ketchup but this Peanut – Coriander chutney really completes the whole experience.

Looking for more ideas to indulge in this Monsoon season? Please check this out – Baby Corn Satay and Spice Crusted Paneer Tikka.

Stay Tuned,


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