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Sabudana vada served with yogurt chutney
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4.64 from 22 votes

Sabudana Vada - A No-Fry Version {Crispy-Spicy Sago Fritters}

Sabudana Vada - Spicy Sago fritters with an healthy twist!
Prep Time4 hrs
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time4 hrs 20 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5
Calories: 387kcal


  • 1 cup sabudana Sago, best bought from Indian stores
  • 2 medium yellow potatoes
  • ½ cup roasted and ground peanuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon crushed green chilies or 1 teaspoon red chili powder or both for a spicer version
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar optional
  • 3 tablespoon cooking oil or ghee
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro optional

Chutney Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain yogurt or low fat
  • ¼ cup roasted and ground peanuts
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ cup water


  • Rinse sabudana and drain all the water. Add 1 cup of water and allow the sabudana to soak for 4 hours or overnight.
  • Steam, peel and mash the potatoes.
    Note: I like to use Instant Pot to steam the potatoes - Add 1 cup of water to the stainless steel insert, place the trivet and place the medium sized potatoes on the trivet. Pressure cook for 12 to 15 minutes depending on the size and allow natural pressure release.
  • In a medium bowl, add soaked sabudana, potatoes, peanuts, cumin, green chili, red chili powder, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, salt, and sugar. Mix everything, kneading it gently with your hand. Using around 2 tablespoons of mix at a time, form 20 balls.

Using paniyaram/aebleskiver pan

  • Heat the paniyaram/aebleskiver pan on medium low heat. Add a few drops of ghee in each round section. Place the fritter balls in each section and cook covered for 4-5 minutes.
  • Gently flip the fritters using chopstick or small spoon to cook the top side. Add few more drops of ghee on top of each fritter. The one's in the center definitely cook much faster, so they will have to flipped first. Cover and cook again for another 4-5 minutess on medium low heat until they turn crisp and golden brown

Using Mealthy Airfryer

  • I prefer using the Mealthy CrispLid for this method. Coat CrispLid basket with 1 teaspoon cooking oil. Place basket over the tall trivet inside the Multipot or Instant Pot. 
  • Press each ball gently between the palm of hands to form 2-inch flat discs. It is ok if some of the sides look uneven. Coat both sides of the pressed vadas with oil using your fingers or a brush.
  • Place 6 to 7 vadas at a time in the basket with some space between each. Close the CrispLid and press the handle back and down. Set the temperature to 500 degrees and adjust the cook time to 8 mins
  • After the 8 min cooking cycle completes, gently turn the vadas in the basket using a pair of tongs. Close the CrispLid and adjust the cook time to 7 minutes. You may brush more oil on the vadas after turning them over. Take the vadas out after the cooking cycle completes

Traditional Frying Method

  • Press each ball gently between the palm of hands to form 2-inch flat discs. It is ok if some of the sides look uneven.
  • Heat oil for frying in a medium frying pan. Once the oil has heated well, add 2 to 3 flattened Sabudana Vadas to the oil and fry them on low-medium heat until the outside of the vadas are light golden brown and crisp
  • Note: flattened sabudana vadas work best for deep frying giving the best crispy texture. Be careful and keep a safe distance from the pan as sometimes the individual sabudana pearls may burst in the oil splattering oil out of the fry pan

Make the Chutney

  • In a medium bow, whisk together yogurt, ground peanuts, red chili powder, sugar and salt to make the chutney
  • Serve the fritters hot with this sweet and spicy chutney



  1. You don’t need to soak overnight. Soaking for four to six also works.
  2. You can also cook the Sabudana vada using the traditional air fryer. I have the Philips XL Airfryer and the highest temperature it goes is 390 degrees. So I cook it for 11 to 12 minutes on each side.


Calories: 387kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 1444mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4mg
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