Hey, this one’s for all you folks, my very own extended familia!
This absolutely unplanned post happened purely at the nudging of a dear friend who reminded me that the sweetness in our lives is always well n truly incomplete without the sour, so today I celebrate those awesome people, who cheer you through your bad times as much as your good! Friends, the family we get to choose!
And what better way to celebrate friends than on a sudden chilly wintry wet day with some steaming hot ginger tea & Sabudana vadas-crispy hot sago fritters? Those countless charchas and gossip sessions over chai, Ha ha! Can see most of you smiling, reminiscing fondly about your most recent such meeting with your besties over tea!
These irresistible crispy hot treats, very popular in Navratri fasting, are made of delicate, pretty sago pearls (made from tapioca starch) tossed with spices, crushed peanuts, mashed potatoes & lime juice, then deep fried to a glorious golden brown. Best enjoyed with a minty tangy green chutney, sweet curd or tomato ketchup.
It’s been a wonderful ride so far & a whole lotta love!! Challenging yet very exciting, complete with so much behind-the-scenes action, emotion, sugar, spices & drama but if it’s anything to go by, I’m in it for the long run!
So here’s a shoutout to each n every one of you for the overwhelming support cheer n comments, (I started off purely for my love of food) it sure helps keep me on my toes and to keep the good food pictures and posts coming! Cheers with chai, my friends! Wadda-day! Blessed with your luv!
Recipe for Sabudana Vada – Deep Fried Sago Fritters
Ingredients: (Serves 4 – 6 persons)
- 1.5 cups sabudana or sago pearls soaked in water for 4-5 hours until soft
- 4 medium sized potatoes, boiled & mashed
- ½ cup groundnuts, roasted and de-skinned
- 2 teaspoons jeera or cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped or as per your taste
- 2 tablespoons coriander leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- Rock salt or sendha namak if using as a recipe for fasting
- Oil for deep frying
- Soak the sabudana or sago pearls in water for about 4-5 hours until completely soft, but not mushy.
- Using a colander, drain off all the water and leave it to dry for about 20-30 mins until all the moisture has drained and dried off. This is important as any excess moisture will prevent the balls from taking shape and create soggy vadas.
- In a blender, coarsely grind the deskinned groundnuts (semi pieces & semi powder -not fine) Keep aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the sabudana with the mashed potatoes.
- Add the peanuts along with the jeera seeds, finely chopped ginger & green chillies, chopped coriander leaves, sugar, salt and lime juice and mix well together, mashing gently with your palms.
- This helps it all to come together as one large mass. Test for salt, spice and lime and add as per your taste.
- In a deep heavy bottom pan or kadhai, heat the oil for deep frying while you are shaping your vadas.
- Lightly grease your palms with a teaspoon of oil and taking small portions of this mixture, roll them into round balls in the palms of your hands.
- Now flatten each ball gently into ½ inch thick discs between your palms and keep aside on a pre-greased plate.
- Once the oil starts lightly smoking, lower the heat and add one vada to the hot oil to test. If this does not break in the oil, then you are ready to go!
- Using a slotted spoon, fry around only 3-4 vadas at a time in the medium hot oil, patiently flipping when one side has turned a beautiful golden brown & cooked well from within.
- Remove onto a paper towel with a slotted spoon to drain off the excess oil and then serve with sweetened curd (fasting), spicy coriander-mint chutney or tomato ketchup.
- Sago pearls are made from tapioca starch and available easily in Indian stores. Buy the medium size variety.
- As a newbie to cooking, I always preferred soaking the sabudana in the morning in a pot with water slightly above its level to allow it to bloom well. This allowed me to keep checking back until I got the hang of how long to soak it. Each brand requires a different time.
- Check back in 3 hours & stir once to ensure even blooming of all the sago pearls.
- After 4 hours, test a pearl between your fingers/teeth to ensure it is completely soft else keep for some more time.
- Once done, immediately drain off the excess water. This is important as any excess moisture will prevent the balls from taking shape and create soggy vadas.
- Depending on the size of the kadhai, fry a maximum of 3-4 vadas at a time on a medium flame, turning gently from time to time, until completely cooked from the inside and a lovely crisp golden brown on the outside.
- When the oil is not hot enough, the vadas will absorb too much oil and turn soggy.
- Frying too many vadas at a time will delay the process as the oil could turn cold and give you disappointing soggy results.
- A maximum of 3-4 vadas at a time on a medium flame yield ideal results for me.
- if you wish to shallow fry, shape them as small round balls and shallow fry in your appe / paniyaram pan with 2 teaspoons of oil in each depression of your pan.