Monday, October 11, 2010

Vrat ka Khana | Fasting Foods: Sabudana Vada | Sago Fritters

Just about three years ago, when I began this blog, one of my posts was about Sabudana Khichiri. Extremely popular during fasts, this savoury made with sago pearls is as delicious as it is addictive. Sago is also used to make other delicious savouries during fasts including thalipeeth (pancakes) and vadas (fritters). Sweet kheer with sago pearls (milk based pudding) is prepared with sugar or gur (jaggery) as a Bhog (food offering to the Gods).
I generally restrict any serious deep frying to the holiday season. And so Sabudana Vadas (Sago Fritters) have become a seasonal and festive snack in my home. However, with a crunchy exterior and a well-cooked soft interior, these are a wonderful tea time snack. They also make for the great occasional treat in the lunch box, and can more can take the blues out of any cold gray day!!

1 cup sago (dry)
3 medium potatoes
3/4 cup peanuts (raw)
Sendhav Salt, to taste (Farali | Fasting Salt)
2-3 grean chilies, chopped fine
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
Juice of half lemon
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Oil, for deep frying

  1. Soak the sago overnight in 11/2 cups of water. The sago will have absorbed the water by the next morning and become soft and plump. If you see any excess water, drain it off completely.
  2. Boil and peel the potatoes and dry roast the peanuts, till crunchy. Allow both potatoes and peanuts to cool. Then dry grind the peanuts until they are a fine texture, and mash the potatoes.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the sago, mashed potatoes, ground peanuts, salt, cumin seeds, green chilies, and cilantro, and the lemon juice. Mix well to get a malleable dough.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan (not non-stick).When it reaches smoking point, reduce the heat to a medium.
  5. Divide the dough into small golf ball sized pieces. Picking one at a time, roll it into a ball, then press gently between the palms of your hands to flatten it out into a thick disc. Repeat for the remaining dough.
  6. Deep fry these discs in the heated oil, until they appear golden brown and crunchy.
  7. Remove from the fryer and drain on kitchen towels. 
  8. Serve warm with a condiment of choice and a steaming hot cup of tea.
  9. They can also be enjoyed for a fasting meal with plain yogurt.
If you are worried about deep frying, you could try shallow frying the vadas or even baking them. The texture and consistency of these vadas using this classic recipe however do not yield the best results with either of these methods. They may be undercooked or overcooked, get too dry or fall apart during the cooking process. To get the best taste and crunch, go for deep frying. Its just once a year after all!!

Vegan Recipe, Gluten Free Recipe

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  1. Looks awesome and crisp. Lovely vrat recipes.


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