2 medium or 1 ½cupsPotatoesboiled, peeled and mashed
½cupPeanutsroasted & crushed
1 ½teaspoonGinger paste or freshly grated or crushed
5-6Green chilieschopped finely
3tablespoonsCilantro or coriander leaveschopped finely
Rock salt (sendha namak)to taste
Oilfor deep frying
Soaking Sabudana & Other Prep:
Take sabudana in a colander and wash under running cold water till water runs clear. Make sure to get rid of all the starch otherwise, vada mixture will become sticky.
Then soak in the water for 3-4 hours or overnight (depending on the type of your sabudana). The one we get here in the USA always requires overnight soaking. After the soaking time, they swell up almost all the water and they become double in size.
Transfer them into the colander, rest for 15-20 minutes and let the excess water drain out. You must get rid of most of the moisture otherwise, the vada mixture will become loose and sticky.
when you press between your fingers it should mash easily. That’s how you know that your sabudana is soaked perfectly.
While sabudana is draining, dry roast peanuts in a pan on medium-low heat until they get light brown.
Let them cool down and then coarsely crush them using mortar and pestle.
Making Sabudana Vada:
Take all the ingredients (soaked sabudana, mashed potatoes, crushed peanuts, ginger paste, green chili, cumin seeds, rock salt, sugar, lime juice, cilantro) in a bowl.
Mix them well and make a dough-like ball. This dough mixture should be stiff so you can form the vada easily. It should not be loose or sticky. If it is loose then you can add a couple of tablespoons of rajgira atta or singhare ka atta.
Now heat the oil in a pan on medium heat for deep frying. Meanwhile, grease your palms with little oil. And make round and flat vadas like tikki or patty and keep aside.
Oil should be hot enough (more hot than usual all frying). How to check the oil is hot enough or not? Drop a small portion of vada mixture into the oil and if it comes on top of steadily then the oil is ready for frying. If it sits at the bottom for longer then the oil is not hot enough.
Slide vadas gently into the hot oil. Do not disturb them for a minute otherwise, they will break in the oil. After a minute or so you can flip it. Fry 3-4 vadas at a time. Do not overcrowd vadas.
Deep fry on both sides until golden brown and crispy. Remove it using a slotted spatula and keep on a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat the frying for the rest of the vadas.
Wash the sabudana to remove starch. For this step use a colander and get rid of all the starch by rubbing the pearls while washing. I would avoid the rinsing method.
Sabudana must be soaked well. When you press between your finger and thumb, it should mash easily. If it is not soaked properly then it will stay hard, chewy even after frying the vadas. And you will feel it while biting meaning raw tapioca pearls will stick to your teeth.
The amount of water to soak sabudana: Always follow 1:1 ratio for sabudana:water. Or use another method - add just enough water that sabudana are submerged into the water (About ½ - 1 inch above the pearls).
The moisture content: Sabudana should be drained very well. There should not be any moisture in it. If water is present in the sabudana then the vada mixture will become sticky and you’ll be unable to shape vada. So let it drain for good 15-20 minutes.
By any chance or mistake, if the mixture becomes soft and sticky. You can mix a couple of tablespoons flour (any vrat atta - rajgira~amaranth, singhara~water chestnut or kuttu~buckwheat flour). This flour will absorb the extra moisture. If making on regular days, then you can add rice flour.
While shaping sabudana vada, grease your palm with little oil. So vadas won’t stick to your palm. Shape 5-6 vadas and it will start to stick. So wash your hands or wipe it dry with a kitchen towel, grease again then and shape vadas.
The oil has to hot enough for frying. If fried on super hot oil then they get brown quickly from the outside and stay raw from inside. If fried in less hot oil then vada will soak up too much oil.