Crispy on the outside and soft on the outside- just how it should be! The next time your evening hunger pangs hit, give this easy Sabudana vada recipe a shot! There is a teeny bit of prep time involved, but it is all totally worth it when you bite into the layers of flavor in this spiced tapioca fritters recipe!
Sabudana Vada Spiced Tapioca Fritters
But what exactly is a Sabudana Vada? Sabudana is the Hindi word for Sago which is made from Tapioca pearls. This deep-fried, salty, spicy, and delicious fritter is super popular as an evening snack and street food in many parts of India, specifically Maharashtra.
Tapioca in itself is devoid of any essential nutrients and is loaded with carbohydrates. For this particular reason, Sabudana is consumed in India during religious fasts. People doing fasts do not consume grains or millets and eat just fruits. Sabudana helps them to get the missing carbohydrate in their daily diet, thus providing them with a boost of energy for the entire day.
Sabudana Vada is a crispy fried Maharashtrian snack that is enjoyed best with Coriander chutney and tea. Since tapioca is pure starch, peanuts are included in the vadas to provide some amount of nutrition.
Is Sabudana Vada a Healthy Snack?
While Sabudana vada is packed with a lot of healthy ingredients, if you're deep-frying it, it isn't really a healthy snack. Opt for the air-fried version if you're really keen on cutting the calories.
The Vadas are made up of potatoes, which are a good source of fiber and antioxidants, and also contain peanuts, which contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber. You can also choose to swap the regular potatoes with sweet potatoes to make the Vadas even more healthy.
And of course, the tapioca pearls are rich in carbs and calories and give you a quick energy boost.
How to Make Sure My Sabudana Vada is Crispy?
Sabudana vada is one of those foods that don't need you to put in too much effort for them to be crispy. If you make them right, they'll have that crunchy outer on their own.
By getting the right ratio in the patties, then cooking in hot oil, you should be able to keep them crispy. Make sure your oil is hot, and the pan is not overcrowded. You'll also want to cook slowly so as not to leave the centers too mushy wish would create a soggy exterior after being removed from the oil.
Like crispy snacks? You might really like this papdi chaat recipe with the layers of flavors!
Why Does the Sabudana Break in Oil?
This is an issue a lot of people tend to face, especially when they’re making Sabudana vada for the first time. If you’re wondering why your Sabudana vada breaks apart in the oil while you’re frying it, the reason is actually quite simple - your vada mixture might have more moisture than needed.
Make sure the potatoes are not overly soggy, and that you have4 properly drained the tapioca pearls. While it will be somewhat moist as you patty the fritters, you don't want it to be too wet or it just won't be able to crisp or stay formed. Plus, it will break or the tapioca will burst while cooking. Ideally, the vada mixture should be soft and pliable.
Another common reason why your Sabudana vada breaks while deep frying is because you haven’t heated the oil properly. The temperature of the oil shouldn’t be too hot, because it might end up browning your vada from the outside but leaving it raw from the center. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the vada will soak up too much oil and you won’t have that ideal crunchiness and crispiness to it.
How Long Should I Soak the Tapioca Pearls?
You can soak the tapioca pearls for 4-6 hours and use them for this recipe. If you can, however, try to soak it overnight, and remember to drain off all the excess water to get rid of the starch. Rinse the Sabudana and drain- keep doing this until the water runs clear.
Ingredients For the Sabudana Vada
- Tapioca pearls
- Cooked potato
- Green chile
- Cumin (seeds or powder)
- Black salt
- Lemon juice
- Fresh coriander
- Vegetable oil
Note: If using black salt versus table salt, you may want to start with less and add as needed. While it is often replaced in equal measurements, some individuals find it a bit more potent than table salt.
Kitchen Tools Needed
How to Make Sabudana Vada
In a medium bowl, cover tapioca pearls with water and soak for at least 4 hours up to overnight. Before adding to the recipe, drain well until the water runs clear and starch is removed.
In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat and fry the peanuts for 2 minutes until aromatic and toasty. Remove and pat off any excess oil, then crush them into a coarse powder.
In a large bowl, add the cooked mashed potatoes, drained tapioca, green chile, cumin, salt, lemon juice, peanuts, and fresh coriander leaves. Mix together until well incorporated.
Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form each into a small ball. Flatten these balls into discs and set them aside on a plate.
In a large non-stick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the Sabudana vada to the pan in a single layer, being sure to not overcrowd the pan.
Fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until nicely golden and crisp on the outside.
Serve hot with your favorite green coriander chutney and plain yogurt.
Can I Make Sabudana Vada in Air Fryer?
Yes! Like many deep-fried items, you can definitely make these spicy tapioca fritters in an air fryer. While they won't always have the same texture, they will be delicious and a healthier alternative to the traditional deep-fried method.
Follow the first 4 steps above. Once patties are formed, pre-heat the air fryer to 375°F to 380°F.
Place the fritters in a single layer in the air fryer basket and spray or brush lightly with oil.
Cook for 4 minutes, turn, and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
How to Store Leftovers
Got some leftover Sabudana Vadas that you want to store for later? It is actually pretty easy. Just transfer them to an airtight container or resealable Ziploc bags, and pop them in the refrigerator if you plan to consume them within the next 3-4 days.
If you want to store them for a longer period of time, you can also freeze them for up to 3 months in a labeled and dated container or storage bag. Remember that these vadas are one of those that lose their crispiness once they cool down, so don’t expect them to have the same level of crunch.
To reheat, pop them into the oven at 400°F for 5 to 7 minutes, or in your air fryer at 375°F for 3 to 4 minutes for the best crisp texture.
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
Sabudana vadas are super versatile. You can have them as is as an evening or mid-day snack, or team them up with some dips, chutneys, or other accompaniments. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
- Serve a plate of freshly fried and hot vadas with a cup of chai (Indian tea) or coffee.
- Not a tea or coffee person? Chase them down with a refreshing and cooling mango lassi- an Indian yogurt-based drink.
- Team them with some green chutney on the side if you’re someone who loves the spice factor!
- Don’t want to put in too much effort? You can also pair the sabudana vada with some tomato ketchup.
- Want to tone down the spiciness in the vadas? Dip them in some yogurt or a yogurt-based dip.
Loved this recipe? Looking to try some more Indian snacks and appetizers? Here are a few worth trying out.
- Aloo Tikki- Indian Mashed Potato Patties
- Kurkuri Bhindi- Crispy Fried Okra
- Spicy Baked Chicken 65 Recipe
Indian Sabudana Vada Spicy Tapico Fritters Recipe
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Large skillet
- ½ cup tapioca pearls
- 1 large Potato cooked and mashed
- 1 tsp Green chilies chopped
- 1 tsp Cumin powder
- 2 tsp Black salt
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- ¼ cup Peanuts roasted or fried and crushed
- ¼ cup Coriander leaves chopped
- 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
- In a medium bowl, cover tapioca pearls with water and soak for at least 4 hours up to overnight. Before adding to the recipe, drain well until the water runs clear and starch is removed.
- In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat and fry the peanuts for 2 minutes until aromatic and toasty. Remove and pat off any excess oil, then crush them into a coarse powder.
- In a large bowl, add the cooked mashed potatoes, drained tapioca, green chile, cumin, salt, lemon juice, peanuts, and fresh coriander leaves. Mix together until well incorporated.
- Divide the mixture into 8 portions and form each into a small ball. Flatten these balls into discs and set them aside on a plate.
- In a large non-stick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the Sabudana vada to the pan in a single layer, being sure to not overcrowd the pan.
- Fry on each side for 2 to 3 minutes, or until nicely golden and crisp on the outside.
- Serve hot with your favorite green coriander chutney and plain yogurt.
How to Air Fry Sabudana Vada
- Follow the first 4 steps above. Once patties are formed, pre-heat the air fryer to 375°F to 380°F.
- Place the fritters in a single layer in the air fryer basket and spray or brush lightly with oil.
- Cook for 4 minutes, turn, and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.