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a plate full of maharashtrian style sabudana vadas with ketchup, yogurt, and extra vadas on the side

Sabudana Vada Recipe (3 methods - deep fry / air fry / appe pan)

step by step recipe to make sabudana vadas - using 3 methods - deep fry / air fry / appe pan
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Indian, Maharashtrian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 15 vadas
Calories 47kcal



  • ½ cup sabudana (sago / tapioca pearls)
  • ½ cup water for soaking sabudana
  • 2 cup grated / mashed boiled potatoes
  • ¼ cup roasted peanut powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 6-7 curry leaves (cadipatta) chopped
  • 1 big green chilli chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon salt


Soaking & Prepping Sabudana

  • In a bowl, take ½ cup sabudana, and rinse it well, till the water runs mostly clear, to get rid of all the excess starch.
  • Then soak the sabudana in water overnight. I use ½ cup water for ½ cup sabudana. But the exact quantity of water needed might vary just a bit based on the quality of sabudana. Much like the exact soaking time might vary depending on the kind / type of sabudana you use. (see notes 1-3)
  • After the soaking period is done, try to smash a couple pearls of sabudana between your thumb and your index finger. If it smashes easily, the sabudana is soaked well. (see note 4)
  • Drain any excess water from the sabudana using a strainer.

Making Sabudana Vada Dough

  • In a wide bottomed utensil / paraat - mix together the soaked and strained sabudana, along with 2 cups of grated / mashed boiled potatoes, ¼ cup of roasted peanut powder, ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, 7 chopped curry leaves, 1 chopped green chilli, ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves, and ¾ teaspoon salt.
  • Grease your hands, and shape the dough into small flattened balls for deep frying or air frying, or into small round balls for shallow frying in the appe pan.

Deep Frying Sabudana Vada

  • Heat up the oil really well, and start putting in the vadas in the oil, one at a time. Keep the batches small to avoid overcrowding. (see notes 6-7)
  • Fry for 5-7 minutes on medium high flame, till the vadas have turned golden brown and crispy. (see note 8)

Sabudana Vada in Air Fryer

  • Grease the air fryer basket / liner with oil, and place the vadas in the basket, spreading them out, so that they don't touch each other.
  • Air fry at 390 F / 200 C for 20 minutes (flipping the vadas once at the half way mark), till the vadas have turned golden brown and crispy. (see note 9)

Sabudana Vada in Appe Pan

  • Lightly heat up the appe pan, for a minute or so, grease the molds with oil or ghee, and place the vadas in the molds.
  • Cook covered on medium low flame, for 10-15 minutes, adding a little oil / ghee as required, and ensuring to flip the vadas every couple of minutes, to cook them evenly on all sides, till the vadas are evenly golden and crispy on the outside.



  1. I prefer (and recommend) to soak the sabudana in a small deep container, instead of a wide bottomed one, where the water may not completely cover the sabudana.
  2. Depending on the quality of your sabudana, you might need to soak ½ cup sabudana with  cup - ½ cup water.
  3. Again, depending on the quality of the sabudana, the soaking time needed can vary from 4-6 hours to 8-10 hours. Experiment with the kind of sabudana you have.
  4. If you find that the sabudana pearls are still a little firm, and not easily smashed, even after soaking with the right quantity of water for the right amount of time, then liberally sprinkling some water on the top, and letting it soak for some more time will help.
  5. I usually have dry roasted peanut powder on hand. But if you don’t have it ready to go, just dry roast some peanuts, and crush it in a mixie, or even using the mortar & pestle right before making the vadas.
  6. Test that the oil is really hot by first putting a small piece of dough in. If the dough rises to the top immediately, the oil is ready. If the oil is heated well, the vadas will not stick to the bottom.
  7. If the vadas seem to stick to each other while frying, let them fry in oil for a minute or two, then separate them with a fork, and they'll not stick again.
  8. Frying time will vary based on the size of the vadas and the size of the batch.
  9. Air frying time and temperature will differ slightly based on the air fryer you use. Use this as a starting point, and adjust based on your preference.



Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 35IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg