Sabudana Vada or Sago Pakora is a crispy crunchy tea-time snack which is also made during fasting days. I remember the first time I tasted it, it was in a relative’s house-warming function. It was so addictive, that I ended up stuffing myself with about a dozen of them. If made right, it is so light and crispy that it will just melt in your mouth !!
Yield: makes around 15 vadas
Sabudana/ Sago pearls – 1 cup
Potato – 2 No’s (medium sized)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Green chilli – 3 No’s (finely chopped)
Ginger – 1/2 inch (grated)
Coriander – 2 sprigs (finely chopped)
Jeera seeds- 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Dry Mango powder ( Amchur powder) – 1 tsp (can be substituted with 1 tsp lemon juice)
Turmeric – pinch
Salt – 1 tsp (vary as per taste)
Oil – for deep frying
1. Wash and soak sago pearls in water for minimum 4-5 hours or over night. They would puff up and become soft. Drain and squeeze out excess water from the soaked sago.
(Tip: soaking time may differ based on the type of sago used)
2. Boil, peel and mash the potatoes. Make sure the potatoes are not too watery, else they might make the vadas soggy.
3. In a pan, roast the peanuts till they slightly turn brown. Coarsely crush them using a mortar and pestle . Keep the texture coarse and not too powdery as they add a great crunch to the vadas.
4. Now mix all the ingredients together. There is no need of adding any extra water as the moisture in sago and potatoes helps in binding the ingredients together.
5. Make equal lemon-sized balls and shape them into flat round patties. If required, use oil or rice flour to prevent the mix from sticking on the hands.
6. Heat oil in a wide pan for deep frying. Make sure the heat is on medium high. Drop 2-3 patties at a time and fry till both sides turn golden brown. Transfer onto a paper towel for absorbing excess oil.
8. Serve hot with tomato ketchup or green chutney!
Cooking Tip: The temperature of the oil is the key to making crispy vadas. Make sure the heat is medium high. If the heat is low, the vadas absorb a lot of oil and they become soggy.