Sabudana Vada/ Sago Pakora


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.


Sabudana Khichdi/ Saggubiyyam upma

Sago or Sabudana is a common ingredient used in desserts and snacks during festive season in India.  Sago is extracted from sago palm trees and is packaged in the form of pearls. It is a starchy low-fat staple, which is full of carbohydrates and gives a quick boost of energy. It has a great cooling effect on the body and is easy to digest. Sago boiled in milk and flavored with sugar and cardamom is served to reduce stomach inflammation.

Sabudana khichdi is a very simple dish made with sago and peanuts that is served as breakfast in Maharashtrain house holds. It is a perfect dish during religious fasting days as it gives the required boost of energy from the carbohydrates in sago and protein content in the peanuts.
Sago/Sabudana – 2 cups (soaked for 2-3hrs)

Roasted peanuts – 3 tbsp

Salt – 1 tsp

Sugar – 1 tsp

Potato – 1 medium size (cut into small cubes and boiled)

Green chilli – 2 No’s

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera – 1/2 tsp

Urad dal – 1/s tsp

Coriander – 2 sprigs (chopped)

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Turmeric – 1/s tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp


Soaking the Sago

1. Wash the sago thoroughly in a bowl under water till all the white residue is washed away.

2. Fill water in the bowl till all the sago is completely immersed and let it soak for 2-3 hrs.

(Tip: I used small size sago pearls, the soaking time may differ based on the type of sago used)

3. To check if the sago has swollen enough, press one ball in between your fingers, it should be spongy.

4. Squeeze the sago, drain out all the water and place the drained sago on a plate. Make sure the sago pearls are not too mushy, they shouldn’t stick to each other.

Mixing the khichdi

1. Roast the peanuts and grind them into a coarse powder.

2. Add the peanut powder, salt and sugar to the sago and mix with your hand.

3. In a pan, heat 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, jeera, urad dal. Next add green chilli, potato and curry leaves.

4. Once the potato is slightly fried, transfer the sabudana into the pan and mix well. Cook for 3-4 mins by stirring continuously.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.