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Sabudana Vada

4.84 from 24 votes
Total: 30 minutes
Serves 10

Sabudana Vada is a mildly spicy, super flavorful, perfectly crispy snack that can be prepared in under 30 minutes! You can shallow-fry them, deep-fry them or even Air-fry them for a healthier option. 

These sabudana tikkis are naturally gluten-free and vegan and make an excellent grain-free diet on fasting days, such as Navratri, Janmashtmi, and Mahashivratri.

Sabudana Vada in a plate with chutney

Here is an easy and mouthwatering recipe for the ones who are fasting and are looking for an ideal Satvik diet.

Sabudana vadas are easy to prepare, and even the novice can make them comfortably following the super-easy guide provided below.

Crispy from the outside and soft from the inside, these delicious Sabudana vadas are best enjoyed with green chutney, dip, or tomato sauce.

What is sabudana

Sabudana, also known as Sago, are tiny pearl-like spears made from tapioca roots starch. It is high in carbohydrates but considerably low in vitamins and minerals.

As it is high in carbohydrates, it keeps the stomach full for longer and provides an energy boost during long fasting days.

Therefore, it is preferred as a fasting food and is used for preparing dishes like Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana kheer, Sabudana vadas, etc., during fasting.

How to soak Sabudana for Khichdi

What is Sabudana Vada

Sabudana means tapioca pearls, and Vada is the Hindi term for cutlet; therefore, Sabudana vada means tapioca pearls cutlets.

This recipe of sabudana vada, also known as Sabudana Tikki or sabudana cutlet, is a savory dish made with sabudana, boiled and mashed potatoes, and a few flavorful herbs and spices.

Crushed peanuts add a lovely crunch and a dose of nutrition to this carbs-rich recipe. 

This Maharashtrian snack can be relished as breakfast, a mid-afternoon snack, or a tea-time snack at any time of the year. These delightful crispy bites are kids-friendly and can also be packed in the lunch box.

Reasons You’ll ♡ Sabudana Vada

These delicacies are surprisingly easy to make and healthy to eat and are famous for their crispy deliciousness. Here are the other reasons you will love this recipe for —

  • Uses common ingredients
  • Excellent grain-free diet on fasting days
  • A family favorite, and
  • Can be enjoyed at any time of the day!

The best part, it’s a perfect make-ahead recipe. Sabudana tikkis can be prepared in advance and stored for later consumption. And being scalable, they can be prepared in a big batch and served to a crowd as well.

Ingredients for Sabudana Vada

Sabudana Vada Ingredient List

Sabudana/ Sago pearls — Tapioca or Sabudana pearls are the chief ingredients in this recipe which give structure to the cutlets. Use fresh sabudana for the best-tasting vadas. Soaking them for 4 to 5 hrs before making vadas will make them soft and easy to cook.

Potatoes — These are added to the vadas for more volume and creaminess. Potatoes also help bind the other ingredients together in the recipe.

Peanuts — Add a fascinating nutty texture to the cutlets besides the delightful flavor and essential nutrients that make the recipe so irresistible. Almond flour can be used in place of peanuts, but then expect a difference in taste.

Green Chillies — These are added to spice up the recipe though you can add fewer or altogether skip them as your preference. 

Herbs and Spices — Cilantro leaves, cumin powder, red chili powder, and salt add tons of flavor and zest to the recipe! 

Oil — Oil is used for frying the cutlets. You can use any neutral flavored oil that doesn’t overpower the flavors of the other ingredients.

Stacked Sabudana Vada

Recipe tips and variations

Use fresh Sabudana — Sabudana is the main ingredient that renders structure, texture, as well as taste to the vadas. Always use fresh sago pearls, as the old ones will render a stale taste, which may spoil the recipe.

Soak Sabudana — Soaking the sabudana pearls is an essential step as this ensures a successful preparation of the vadas. Soaking gives proper hydration to the sabudana, which is needed for the vadas to fry properly. If not properly hydrated, vadas will burst open in the oil. So, always soak the Sabudana for at least 4 – 5 hours or until they double in size, become fluffy, and are easy to mash when pressed between thumb and index finger. They should feel soft, with no hard part in the center.

For proper binding — Use cold potatoes for making the cutlets mixture as the starch in the cold potatoes settle once they are refrigerated. This binds them well with other ingredients in the mix and prevents them from falling apart when they are fried.

Alternative to potatoes — For those conscious about calories, you can swap potatoes with sweet potatoes for this recipe to cut back on calories.

The peanut-power — Besides adding extra crunch to the vadas, peanuts also perk up the nutrition of this recipe. Peanuts are powdered and added to the vada mix; as such, they help absorb any extra moisture.

Replace peanuts if intolerant — If you do not like peanuts or have an intolerance for them, you can omit to add them or replace them with almond flour or cashew flour.

Shaping the sticky dough — Sticky mixture will not be easy to shape into cutlets. If the vada dough feels sticky while binding, greasing your hands and then shaping them will do the trick.

Fry at best oil temperature — Always fry the vadas at medium heat. Frying them at high heat will brown them quickly while leaving the inner portion uncooked, making them taste raw and unappetizing. Likewise, frying at low heat will absorb more oil, making them soggy. Drop a small portion of the vada dough into the oil to check for the right temperature. If it gradually rises to the top, it indicates that the oil is ready for frying.

Fry in batches — Do not overcrowd the pan while frying the sabudana cutlets, as flipping will become difficult, and they may break in the process. They will also not get enough space to fry properly. Therefore, it is best to fry them in batches to give them room to get flipped easily and fry evenly.

If vadas break in oil — Vadas can break in the oil following any of these reasons- either it needs more binding or it has excess moisture. To fix this, add more potatoes to the mix or any vrat flour to it to reduce the excess moisture.

To fix the wet and sticky vada mix — You can quickly resolve the vada mix that feels sticky due to excess moisture. Add a teaspoon of gluten-free flour like kuttu flour, singhara flour, or even cornstarch. These soak away the excess moisture instantly and act as the best binding agents.

For additional flavors — This sabudana vada is a fasting recipe for vrat; therefore, it is mildly spiced. If you are not using it as a vrat recipe, feel free to add ginger powder, turmeric, and chaat masala to pump up the flavor and make it spicy and tasty.

Flavorful add-ins — Feel free to experiment with this sabudana vada recipe if you are not preparing it for fasting. Consider adding some baby spinach leaves and mashed carrots to the vada mix for a flavorful and nutritional boost!

Appe pan/ paniyaram pan Method — To prepare your sabudana vadas, first heat the appe pan/Ebleskiver pan on medium-low heat. Now, add a few drops of oil into each mold and place a sabudana vada in each cavity. Cook covered for 4 to 5 minutes. Once cooked to a golden brown hue, flip them one by one and cook again till the other side is also crisp and golden. 

Serve Sabudana Vada with chutney

Let me know what you think!

Are you wondering what to serve your family as the evening snacks today? An excellent snack recipe is here with clear step-by-step instructions and the little secret tips to help you create the best sabudana vadas that your family will simply love to delight in!

Healthy, hearty, and irresistibly delectable, this recipe is a must-try! So, shall we start?

Should you make this Sabudana Vada recipe, please let me know your thoughts by sharing your comment below.

And don’t forget to share it with your family and friends.


Follow the step-by-step instructions below to make the best Sabudana Vada Recipe

Sabudana Vada

4.84 from 24 votes
Sabudana Vada is a mildly spicy, super flavorful, perfectly crispy snack that can be prepared in under 30 minutes! You can shallow-fry them, deep-fry them or even Air-fry them for a healthier option. These sabudana tikkis make an excellent grain-free diet on fasting days, such as Navratri, Janmashtmi, and Mahashivratri.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Calories: 92 kcal
Servings: 10


  • 1 cup Sabudana/Sago Pearls
  • 2 small Potatoes boiled and peeled
  • ½ cup Peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon Chopped cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon Green chilies chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin powder optional
  • ½ teaspoon Red chili powder
  • Salt to taste (Vrat salt – Saindha namak)
  • Oil to cook the cutlets



  • Transfer sabudana to a bowl and wash thoroughly under tap water. Drain it completely.
    How to soak Sabudana for Khichdi
  • Next, add just enough water to cover the sabudana. ALWAYS use a 1:1 ratio to soak sabudana as we do for sabudana khichdi.
    How to soak Sabudana for Khichdi
  • Allow it to soak for 4-5 hours or until the sabudana pearls are soft enough to break when pressed between your index finger and thumb.
    Tip — Some varieties of Sabudana may need longer to hydrate. So, leaving them soaked in water overnight will be great.
    How to soak Sabudana for Khichdi
  • Drain the soaked Sabudana pearls.
    Tip — Draining the sabudana is important — Though there will be no water in the soaked sabudana, make sure to drain it again. If it feels wet, soak the excess water on a paper towel. Excess moisture will cause the vadas to break in the oil, therefore, do not neglect this step if it seems necessary.
    How to soak Sabudana for Khichdi
  • Your sabudana pearls are ready for cooking. Set the soaked sabudana pearls aside.
    How to soak Sabudana for Khichdi


  • Heat a large pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add peanuts in a single layer. Do not add any oil. They have enough fat on their own. 
    Keep stirring the peanuts frequently until they are slightly golden brown. Remove from the stove and allow it to cool comfortably. 
    Roast peanuts
  • Now rub the peanuts between your hands and gently blow air into the pan to separate the peanuts’ skin. 
    Remove peanut skin
  • Transfer the peanuts to a grinder.
  • Grind until the peanuts resemble-like breadcrumbs. Set it aside.


  • Place soaked sabudana in a large mixing bowl.
  • Add mashed potatoes and ground peanuts.
    Tip — For a lump-free, smooth-textured mix, always grate the potatoes and then mash them into the mixture.
  • Mix until everything is well combined.
  • Now add cilantro leaves, green chilies, salt, red chili powder, and cumin powder. 
  • Fold it gently; take care not to break or mash the sabudana pearls.


  • Grease your hands with oil. Take 3 tablespoons of sabudana mixture in your hands. Roll the mix into a ball and then gently flatten the sabudana ball. 
    Place it on a clean plate. Repeat the process with the remaining mixture until all the vadas are formed. 


  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Once the oil is hot enough for frying, drop 3-4 vadas in the pan, do not overcrowd the pan. 
  • Allow the vadas to cook over medium-low heat until golden. Now, flip and cook from the top until evenly brown.
  • Once done, remove the vadas from the oil and drain them on a kitchen paper towel. 
  • Serve with your favorite chutney and enjoy these delicious cutlets/patties!!


  • Heat and grease a nonstick pan over medium flame.
  • Transfer cutlets/patties onto the hot pan and cook until evenly brown on both sides – turning occasionally.


  • Heat the appe pan/Ebleskiver pan on medium-low heat. Now, add a few drops of oil into each mold and place a sabudana vada in each cavity. Cook covered for 4 to 5 minutes. Depending on the pan's thickness, it could take more or less time.
    Gently flip the top side of the patties using a chopstick or a small knife. Add a few more drops of ghee on top of each vada. Cover and cook for another 4-5 mins on medium-low heat until they are golden brown and crisp.
    Once cooked to a golden brown hue, remove the vadas and serve them immediately.



Frequently Asked Questions
How can I store the leftover Sabudana vadas?
The cooked and completely cooled sabudana vadas can be stored in an air-tight container for 4 to 5 days and served when required after warming them in the air fryer.
Can I reheat these sabudana vadas?
Yes, you can reheat the leftover vadas to serve later. But do not reheat them in the microwave as they will become soggy. Instead, layer them in a single layer in your air-fryer basket and bake them for 5 minutes at 375 F. They will become crispy and as good as freshly prepared.
Can I make the sabudana tikkis in advance?
These sabudana vadas are a great make-ahead recipe as well. Shape them like patties/ cutlets/ vadas and store them in the refrigerator, in an air-tight container for 1- 2 days, and fry them when required.
Can I bake these sabudana vadas?
If you avoid fried food and prefer to bake these vadas, you can go ahead and cook these vadas in an oven or an air-fryer.
To bake these vadas in an oven – 
Grease a baking tray and layer the vadas on it. Spray the vadas with oil and slide the tray into the oven. Bake the vadas at 350 degrees F for 10- 12 minutes and when they turn golden brown, flip them and again bake them for another 10- 12 minutes until they take a golden hue.
To Bake the vadas in the Air-fryer – 
Spray the sabudana vadas with oil and place them in the air-fryer basket in a single layer. Bake them at 350 degrees F for 10- 12 minutes or until golden brown. Turn them halfway through baking to ensure they are well-cooked and perfectly crisped!
Can I freeze these Sabudana Tikkis?
Yes, you can! Cooked sabudana tikkis freeze perfectly for up to 2 months in the freezer when stored in an air-tight, freezer-safe container. However, ensure the tikkis have completely cooled before you store them.
For freezing the tikkis- 
Place a single layer of tikkis at the bottom of the freezer-safe container and layer them with parchment paper. Stack another layer on top. The parchment paper prevents the tikkis from sticking together. Alternate the layer of tikkis and parchment paper until all the tikkis are stacked. Now, secure the lid and slide the container into the freezer. Use when required!


Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided above is approximate. Variations may exist due to the ingredients/brands used. These numbers should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.
Author: Ruchi
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegetarian

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  1. zenovia says:

    Hi dear,
    this recipe is blank. please paste it, i’d love to try it.

  2. Bhagya says:

    Hi! Will the Vargas get cooked on the inside properly with this method?

    • RK says:

      Thanks for stopping by Bhagya! Yes, they are fully cooked, crunchy on the top and soft on the inside. If in doubt make smaller size vadas and cook them either in a pan or appe pan. Hope that answers your question.

  3. Gayathri says:

    Where did you find the white cutting tool that you have used to cut the vadas.loved your recipe in every way.

    • RK says:

      Thanks Gayathri. 🙂 I bought them from a local store but you can always use a katori or a small round bowl to cut the vadas.

  4. Farzana says:

    Would you have an alternative for Buckwheat flour?

    • Ruchi says:

      You can use any flour for this recipe. Some other options are cornflour, water chestnut flour, Oats flour or tapioca flour.
      Breadcrumbs or boiled quinoa would be a great option too.

  5. Abhilasha says:

    Heloo very helpful recipe if I m using corn floor with this so can I make it in appa stand
    Or have to mix eno also in this.
    I’m curious to know it

  6. Anubhavijay says:

    Very nice instant receipe

  7. Laura says:

    I wonder if you could use an idli pan for these…

  8. Alka Dighe says:

    I have leftover sabudana khichadi can I use it to make the vada’s ? if so how?

    • Ruchi says:

      Of course, you can! Mix the leftover sabudana khichdi with boiled potatoes, green chilies, and coriander leaves. Season and shape it like vadas.