Sago Vada / Sabudana Vada

Sago vada reminds me of Ekadasi (Eleventh Lunar day as per Hindu calendar) when a lot of people in India observe a fast. The rules on fasting in India are quite loose and funny and its severity(or lack thereof) ranges from very hard to very friendly. You can eat a 100 different types of food but if you abstain from eating grains and dals you have observed a “legitimate” fast. There are quite a few “fast foods” that are popular and Sabudana vada is one of them. Fasting or not, try these crispy vadas with a cup of garam chai.

Potato-Sago Vada (Small)

1 cup sabudana/sago soaked for about 4 hours. Overnight works too.
3 medium size potatoes
8-10 hot green chilies finely chopped
3 table spoon peanuts, coarsely powdered
1/4 tea spoon jeera/cumin seeds
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro/hara dhaniya
1 sprig curry leaves/kadhi patta/mitho limdo cut into tiny pieces
1 tea spoon red chili powder

  1. Boil and mash potatoes.
  2. Drain all the water from sabudana and add to mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  3. Add salt, jeera, red chili powder, peanuts, cilantro and curry leaves.
  4. Heat 3 cups of oil.
  5. Make 2 inch diameter balls from the dough, flatten it a little in your palm and deep fry in hot oil 6-8 vadas at a time.

1. Oil should be really hot when you immerse the vadas. After that, reduce the heat to medium hot and fry on both sides until golden brown in color.
2. Sometime the vadas break in oil if the potatoes and sago are not mixed well or if the oil isn’t hot enough. You can blend the potatoes and sago in a food processor to avoid this problem. It really helps.


15 Responses to “Sago Vada / Sabudana Vada”

  1. Subal Krsna das Says:

    Thank you for sharing this excellent recipe – today it is ekadasi and, oh dear, I am acutely conscious of my tummyrumbling, and now more so. 😀

  2. Pavani Kaushik Says:


    I tried the vadas for the first time last evening and they were a huge success. Love the level of detail you insert into your recipes & it also helps to read the comments. Looking forward to trying the other recipes.

    Very ‘tastefully’ done blog!


  3. malu Says:

    I tried these yesterday and they came out really good. The ladies I invited for lunch went crazy over these vadas. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Jayshree Shelat-Bhatt Says:

    Hi Anupama,

    I had made(not with this recipe) these vadas many months back. But, the mashed potato mixture had turned watery and so i had to make ‘gottas’ out of them. I understand the potato mixture has to be such that it can be handled easily and made into neat flattened balls which are not sticky and gluey.
    Is there a certain kind of potato (russet/idaho/etc.) to be used. Or may be certain brand of sago? Let me know which kind of potato and what brand sago u have used.

    Ur guidance will be highly appreciated.


    Jayshree Shelat-Bhatt

    • Anupama Krishnamurthy Says:

      Hi Jayshree, One thing that’s very important in making these vadas is that you should drain the sago of all its water before adding it to the potato. I suggest that you soak the sago overnight. As far as potatoes, I used Idaho but I have used the Russet variety also for these vadas and it works just as well. I used the Laxmi brand of sago available in Indian grocery stores in California. Basically if you keep the ingredients as dry as possible (including hara dhaniya), the potato mixture will be nice and soft yet hold together well. Do try these again.

      All the best,

  5. parita Says:

    We too prepare this during fasting, even sabudana khichdi.
    Wadas look crispy!

  6. Anita Sood Says:

    Hi Anupama, I had eaten these years back at a friend’s house in Nagpur. I made these for a potluck lunch today and they were just fabulous. Everyone’s been asking for the recipe and I have directed them to your web site.

    Anita from New York

  7. Lata Raja Says:

    Well said about rules of fasting. If you think of rumblings in your stomach and observe a fast, what is the point?
    The Sabudhana vadas are invitingly crisp.

  8. Muskaan Says:

    I love sago vada, I make it using plantain..yours look too good & crispy..

  9. Malu Says:

    Looks delicious, sounds easy to make. Haven’t made this in a long time. Thanks for the extra tips.

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