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Sabudana Vada (Tapiaco Pearl Fritters)

 Published 2008-Feb-19   Updated 2019-Feb-27

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Sabudhana Vadai, Sago Cutlet, Javarisi Vadai, Chowwary Vada)

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I recently had play date organized for my kids over the weekend. I decided to prepare a snack for the kids which would be nutritious, crunchy, filling and an easy to digest dish so that their mommies do not complain to me of skipping the dinner. Sabudana or sago is the only ingredient which meets up all the listed qualities. I made yummy and crunchy sabudana vadas and served them with ketchup and mint curd dip. While they were eating they had several questions about sabudana, from what is it called in the local language to the nutrition present in it to the recipe of the dish. Sabudana is a high carbohydrate ingredient with full of starch. It is highly recommended for skinny children who need to gain weight. Sabudana also serves an excellent weaning solid for new born babies as they are very easy on digestion.

While I was telling all these facts to the children I also shared with them an interesting tale from my childhood. When I was a little girl, fancy or new recipes were never a part of our meal. Our meal was always simple, mostly rice with accompaniments or dosas or idlis. After being in Bombay for a small stint, my mother learnt to make the famous sago upma or the javvarisi upma. We had some guests at our house to whom she made the sago upma. For some reason which I don’t remember there was a lot of upma that was left over. My mother, being a queen of turning left over to delicious dishes, quickly boiled some potatoes, mashed and added them to the upma along with coriander leaves and made small sized bondas. As calculated by her, it just got finished in a jiffy. For a long time my mother thought it was her invention recipe until she saw Sanjeev Kapoors Khana Khazana in zee tv demonstrating the Sabudana Vada as a part of vrat ka khana recipes. When I think of it now it is so hilarious but back then my mom thought sanjeev Kapoor has patented her discovery. Huh!! 

Recipe For Sabudana Vada

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3-4


  • Sago (sabudana/Javarisi) - 1 cup
  • Potato - 2 (boiled and peeled)
  • Onion - 1/4 (grated)
  • Green Chillies - 2 or 3 (minced)
  • Ginger - a small piece (grated)
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Peanuts (optional) - 1/4 cup (coarsely powdered)
  • Curry leaves - 2 strands
  • Cilantro - 2 strands
  • Mint leaves - 4 (Optional)
  • Asafoetida - a pinch (optional)
  • Oil - to deep fry


  1. Soak the sago in water for at least three hours or overnight. Drain the water after soaking.
  2. Peel the boiled potatoes, mash it well and add it to the drained sago.
  3. Add the grated ginger, grated onion, green chillies, peanut powder, cumin seeds, asafoetida and salt to the above mixture.
  4. Finely chop the curry leaves, mint leaves and cilantro and add to the above mixture.
  5. Mix everything together. Make small balls out of the mixture, press it with your palms to get the vada shape and keep aside.
  6. Heat oil in a deep kadai. When the oil is hot enough deep fry the vadas.
  7. Drain the excess oil in paper towel. Sabudana vada is ready to be served.

Serving Sabudana Vada

More Sabudana Recipes

Tricolour Sabudana Kichadi Tricolour Sabudana Kichadi Sabudhana Kichadi Sabudhana Kichadi Ada Pradhaman Ada Pradhaman Mallige Idli (Kushboo Idli) Mallige Idli (Kushboo Idli)
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Comments (12)

Person   ()
Hi Dahlia, Thank you for stopping by my blog. I reciprocate the compliment. You have a good blog too. Sago is something i've never cooked. Will try this out. Thank you.
Person   ()
Do try dershana. Its really yummy.
Person   ()
You will not find Maharashtrians (Sabudana Vada is a Maharashtrian dish) putting onions in a sabudana/sago dish.
Person   ()
Sure Narendran. The recipe given is a variant to suit to my taste. Do give it a try.
Person   ()
what is sago or sabudhana in malayalam?
Person   ()
Sago is called chowwary in malayalam.
Person   ()
Never tried this before, but instead of deep frying, how about sautéing it like potato petties or even Better baking in oven?? Has anyone tried it.
Person   ()
never tried it...
Person   ()
Use more potato without water, to conceal the sabudana
Person   ()
i made this today. did not add mint leaves and curry leaves. but it started popping up like in the sweet appam we make. shall send you the image. i pricked it in the middle with fork still it was popping up.

nice it was. my children enjoy the same with sauce, sweet dahi.
Person   ()
I'm sorry to hear that it was popping. Try frying on medium flame.
Person   ()
ok thanks for the tips.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2019-02-27.