Sabudana Vada or Sago fritters is an addictive breakfast or a fasting snack from India. Crunchy outside and soft inside, these addictive fritters are also a favorite tea-time snack.
This sabudana vada is made using sabudana pearls, potatoes, peanuts, and a few spices. Typically they are deep-fried and served with green chutney and a yogurt dip.
Today I am sharing a relatively guilt-free version of this Vada, by making them in an air fryer. Yes, this Air Fryer Sabudana Vada is baked with minimal oil, only required for brushing the vadas.
Even though air fried, these baked sabudana vadas are still tasty, crunchy on the outside, and soft inside. All this without the need to fry and with no excess oil. Needless to say, I no longer fry the vadas but always air-fry them now.
Sabudana Vadas for Fasting
These fasting vadas or sago vadas are vegan and gluten-free. They are loaded with carbs and are a good source of energy. Sabundana helps you keep full for a long. Hence it is generally consumed during fasting/Vrat/Upvas days like Shravan, Navratri, Ekadashi, Mahashivratri, etc.
Few more Indian Fasting/Vrat/Upvas recipes
If you are looking for more fasting recipes then try this easy Samak Rice Khichdi | Vrat ke Chawal | Farali Khichdi or Farali Kuttu ki Khichdi | Buckwheat Khichdi. If you are looking to make pancakes for fasting then this Farali Kuttu ka Cheela | Buckwheat Groats Pancake or this Buckwheat Sweet Potato Pancakes is a must-try. The complete collection of fasting recipes can be found here.
Process of making Sabudana Vada
It needs a bit of preparation but once done this lip-smacking vada’s get finished in no time. The sabudana needs to be soaked overnight or at least for 8-10 hours in water.
Along with the sabudana, you need to add potatoes, roasted and ground peanuts, and a few spices. All the ingredients are mixed together and shaped into balls.
They are then deep-fried, air-fried, or baked and served fresh along with chutney, yogurt, or simply with tea.
Tips and Tricks while making Sabudana Vada
Soak your sabudana well
Sabudana should be soaked well. Some require more time and some less. To be safe I generally soak the sabudana overnight or for a minimum of 8-10 hours. The soaked sabudana vada should not have excess water. The sabudana should soak them well.
Boil your potatoes ahead of time
I like to boil the potatoes the earlier day or at least 4-5 hours before I am making the vadas. This helps the potatoes cool down completely. Cooling the potatoes completely will help bind the sabudana well and also not retain much moisture and not soak too much oil if frying.
Peanut mixture in Sabudana Vada
I like to use a coarse and semi-coarse almost fine mixture of peanuts. A semi-coarse or a fine mixture helps in binding the vadas and a coarse mixture gives the crunch. Too many coarse peanuts or whole peanuts will break the vadas and at times the peanuts simply fall off.
Air Fryer Sabudana Vada Tips
Preheating the Air Fryer
I would advise preheating the air fryer. In my Cosori Air-Fryer, it takes 4 mins to pre-heat at 180 Deg C. Do check your air-fryer instructions to pre-heat.
Refrigerating the vadas before Air-Frying
I would advise refrigeration of the vadas for 15-20 minutes before frying or air-frying. This is an optional step, but it helps in making the vadas crunchy.
FAQ for Sabudana Vada
Can the Air-Fried or Fried vadas be stored?
Yes definitely. They can be stored at room temperature (If you are in a cold climate) or in the fridge.
How to reheat the Air Fryer Sabudana Vadas?
Reheating in Air Fryer
When required simply reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.
Reheating in Microwave
One can reheat it in the microwave too. For reheating in the microwave, do it on full power for 1 minute with half a glass or cup of water. Microwaving vadas will make them a bit soft. They would not be as crunchy as the air-fryer ones or the same on the first day. But said that they are tasty with a cup of tea, and I do love them.
My Vada’s are breaking or bursting in oil
One needs to be careful while making these vadas when frying. At times the sabudana might not bind well. This may be due to sabudana not being soaked well, excess moisture in sabudana or potatoes, or less potato in the mixture. If your vadas are not binding means they have fewer potatoes, add more potatoes and bind them again.
Can I soak the sabudana 1 day before
Yes, you can, once soaked refrigerate it. Before mixing you would need to bring it at room temperature or else you might have difficulty in binding the vadas, as the sago pearls might be cold
Can sabudana be stored in a fridge?
Yes, soaked sabudana stays good in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Can we make the vadas and refrigerate them?
Yes, one can. Store them in an air-tight container. When required fry or air-fry them. I always make a batch for 1-2 days.
Can we freeze them?
Yes, you can freeze them and air-fry them. I have yet not fried after freezing so cannot comment on that.
What else can be made with the same mixture?
With the same mixture, one can make this Sabudana Pancake or thalipeeth.
What to serve this Vadas With
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Sabudana Vada (Air Fryer & Deep Fry)
- 3 Cups – 400 grams Sabudana see Notes for soaking method
- 2 Cups – 4 Medium sized Boiled potatoes more might be required if the vada cracks
- 1/2 Cup coarsely grounded roasted peanuts
- ½ Cup finely ground or semi-coarse roasted peanuts
- 1-1.5 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- 1-1.5 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar This adds taste and balance the flavour, it is not for sweetness
- 5-6 Green chilies finely chopped as per taste
- Salt to taste
- Chopped Coriander Optional
Air Fryer / Oven baking method
- 1 tablespoon oil If Air-Frying
- 1-2 Cups Oil for frying Depending on your wok Size
- Clean and rinse the sabudana well3 Cups – 400 grams Sabudana
- Rinse 2-3 times in clean tap water.
- Drain all the excess water.
- Soak the sabudana in just enough water.
- Tip – I like to keep around ¼ cm of the water layer on the top.
- Dry roast the peanuts in a wok or in an oven.
- Let them cool completely.
- Once done, remove the skin of the peanuts.
- Coarsely ground half the peanuts
- Coarsely ground the remaining half of the peanuts.
- Roasted peanuts stay good for a month or two in a clean air-tight container at room temperature.
Boil the potatoes
- Boil the potatoes 1 day before or at least 4-5 hours before making the vadas.
Making of the Vada Mixture
- In a large bowl, add the sabudana.3 Cups – 400 grams Sabudana
- Add the ground peanuts.1/2 Cup coarsely grounded roasted peanuts, ½ Cup finely ground
- Grate the potatoes using a grater and add it to the mixture. Tip – I like to grate as then you do not have lumpy potatoes in the mixture and it is evenly mashed.2 Cups – 4 Medium sized Boiled potatoes
- Add the cumin seeds, green chili, salt, sugar, lemon juice, and Coriander.1-1.5 teaspoon lemon juice, 5-6 Green chilies finely chopped as per taste, Salt to taste, Chopped Coriander, 1-1.5 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
- Mix everything.
- Make lemon size balls in between your hand.
- First, shape the balls by pressing them tight between your hands. Once you attain the shape, either you can make it round or flatten it between your palms.
- If the vada mixture is sticking to your hand, clean your hand with a spoon, apply some oil or some water to your hands, and shape them.
- Shape all and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Optional step, but best for crunchy vadas.
- Preheat the air-fryer at 180 Deg C/ 356 Deg F. For my cosori air-fryer, it takes 4 minutes.
- Once done, spray the baking tray with a little oil.1 tablespoon oil
- Arrange the vadas on the tray.
- Spray the top again with some oil.
- Air-Fry it for 15 minutes at 180 Deg C/ 356 Deg F.
- After 15 minutes flip them, and spray a little oil if they appear dry.
- Air Fry for 10-15 minutes until they are done.
- Heat oil in a large wok.1-2 Cups Oil for frying
- The oil should be medium hot and not very hot. If you fry the vads in very hot oil they might cook fast from the outside but would be raw from the inside.
- Slowly add the vadas in the oil, and cook them on one side for 2-3 minutes, until they start floating on the top, or appear somewhat cooked on the bottom.
- Flip and cook on both sides until golden brown.
- If your vadas, are breaking add more potatoes and bind again. Reqd tips above.
- Yummy vadas are ready.
- 1 Cup = 235 ml, 1 tablespoon= 15 ml, 1 teaspoon = 5 ml
- Any size cup and spoon can be used. Just use the same one.
- Read the tips above on soaking sabudana, Tips on making the best vadas, and troubleshooting if the vadas are breaking.
- Air fryer baking time varies depending on the size of your air fryer.
This post first appeared on my blog on 17, November 2014. Today 26th February 2023, I am adding more content and pics. Adding the air fryer method along with frying. The recipe remains the same.
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