Sabudana Vada or No Fry Sago Fritters

Cooking For One

Sabudana VadaNo Fry Sago Fritters or Sabudana Vada is perfect breakfast on a hot summery morning as it possesses a high cooling effect and is quite easy to digest. I love the Payasam or dessert made with this sago pearls and milk in south India. Strangely it is not a grain or a lentil but is extracted from the center of sago palm stems in the form of starch. As it is made of starch Sago or sabudana is a food full of energy and carbs. It is also known as tapioca or cassava pearls.

I was of the impression that it is native only to India but now I have come to know that it is popular in most of the tropical countries. Sago is helpful in binding the dishes or thickening them. Being low in calories, I prefer it as a light meal option. Being very easy to digest, it can be used as baby food, especially when a baby has diarrhea, give it gruel of sago in place of milk. Same applies to adults too.

In north India, it is used as fasting food or Vrat ka khana when eating grains is not allowed. Usually, Sago or sabudana khichdi is eaten.

The pearls of sago turn whiter when soaked in water and translucent when cooked. Fermentation may improve the nutritional value of sabudana.

Sabudana vadas are simple Indian fritters made from sago, potatoes, groundnuts and green chillies. Usually, they are deep fried and I used to avoid making them but now it is made in the Appe pan or Aebleskiver pan. I use the appe pan which is quite reasonable and good while the fancy pancake/ Aebleskiver pan costs much more.

They taste delicious even if they are not fried and lighter as well. I make paniyarams with dosa batter in this same pan and they turn out great.


Recipe for Sabudana Vada or No Fry Sago Fritters


2 cups sago/sabudana

3 potatoes boiled and mashed

2 chillies & tiny piece ginger paste

1/2 cup roasted and coarsely ground groundnuts

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp red chilli powder

Fresh coriander leaves

Juice of one lemon

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil



Rinse the sabudana and soak it in a bowl with 3 cups of water. Cover and keep aside for 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Dry roast and coarsely grind the peanuts.

In a bowl mash the boiled potatoes( I prefer grating), add chillies& ginger paste, salt, groundnuts, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, lemon juice and finally the soaked Sago pearls or sabudana.

Mix everything nicely, preferably with your hand. Wet your hand and make small balls with the mashed mixture.

Heat the appe pan. Spray a little oil in each of the pits.

Place the sabudana vadas in the appe pan and cook patiently.

When the underside begins to brown, flip the vada with a skewer. As it cooks continue to turn it until all sides are completely brown. They are crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside. The flavor of the ginger, spice of the chilli and tanginess of the lemon juice tickles the palate.


Serve hot with a dip of your choice. I prefer the  Coconut Chutney.

Sabudana Vada or No Fry Sago Fritters is an anytime healthy snack. Did you like it?
























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