Baked sabudana vada (Tapioca fritters)



Sabudana or sago vada is a sumptuous and delicious, deep fried snack popular in Maharashtra, India. It is made of soaked sabudana aka tapioca pearls, boiled and mashed potatoes, coarsely crushed roasted peanuts and a few spices. It is crunchy, a little spicy and somewhat sweet, everything you’d want in a snack. It is mostly consumed for fasts (vrat), however they are an excellent any time snack as well.


I tried it for the first time at my office canteen for breakfast. It is prepared often on Thursday’s as it a day of abstinence from meat/sea food for Maharashtians. I fell in love with these  vada’s that were crunchy on the outside and and melt in the mouth on the inside. Sweetened yogurt and green chutney make for a great accompaniment to these vada’s ! So sometimes there would be vada’s or else plain khichdi. Also my Maharastrian colleague’s would get this for lunch sometimes, half of which I would end up eating 😀 I absolutely love both, the vada’s and the khichdi and make it at least once a week for breakfast. It is quite filing and keeps your tummy and soul both sorted and satisfied until lunch!


If you have read my earlier posts, you know how much I dislike deep frying anything, although I enjoy having them outside 😀 I still try to avoid it at home wherever I can simply by baking, like these baked veg manchurians. Baking always takes more time but so much more healthier with no compromise in taste and texture. That is pretty satisfying, don’t you think? When you can enjoy all your favorite things without all the guilt ?


Let’s make some sabudana vada’s 🙂

Ingredients: Measuring cup used, 1 Cup = 250 ml ( Makes 10-11 vada’s)

1/2 cup sabudana, after soaking it will be about 1 & 1/2 cup

2 medium boiled potatoes, about 1 & 3/4 cup of mashed potatoes

1/2 cup peanuts

2-3 green chillies, as per desired heat

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 inch ginger, grated

Juice of half a lime

1 teaspoon sugar, adjust as per desired sweetness

salt to taste

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Oil, as required


1.Wash the sabudana well under running water. Add approx 1/2 cup of water, just about enough to soak the sabudana. Let it soak for 3 hours or until all the pearls have swelled up and are soft when you try to mash with your fingers. Soaking time will vary depending upon the quality of the sabudana. I usually leave it overnight in the refrigerator. By morning the sabudana has soaked up well, retains it’s shape whilst still being soft. If there is any extra water left after the soaking time, drain it. If the sabudana is still hard, sprinkle some more water and let it soak for few more hours.


2.Dry roast the peanuts in a skillet, remove the skin and transfer to the blender and make a coarse powder.


3. Transfer the mashed potatoes, soaked sabudana, coarse peanut powder and all the remaining ingredients except the oil in a mixing bowl. Mix it well to form a dough. Adjust spices as per your preference. I do not add a lot of chillies, as my son enjoys this, so the spice levels are low.


4. Pre heat the oven to 425 F. Grease your palms and make the vada’s/ patties, transfer them to a baking tray lined with greased parchment paper/aluminum foil. Brush each vada with oil or oil spray.


5.Bake at 425 F. Flip the vada gently with the help of a spatula or fork after about 30-35 mins when it turns golden brown on top, brush with more oil if required and let the other side turn golden brown too. That will take another 20-25 minutes. So it will take about a total of an hour approx, depending on the thickness of your vada. Keep checking at frequent intervals during the baking process. Serve hot with sweetened yogurt and green chutney.


So that’s how I made these healthy baked sabudana vada’s. They were warm & crunchy even after the 20 minutes it took me to take all the pictures.


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  1. Loretta says:

    Wow, I can see each little pearl in your pictures. Just gorgeous! I don’t think I’ve ever heard of sabudana, but it sure looks interesting. Love all the ingredients and the fact that they were baked.

  2. Rasakama says:

    Although vada is a snack that is popular in Sri Lanka, this is the first time I am seeing it made it in this way. Very very interesting and looks so delicious. I want to taste one with a plain tea.

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