Sabudana Vada or Sago Vada are popular during Hindu fasts. These deep-fried crispy sago fritters are made with the addition of sugar and lemon juice to give that authentic Gujarati taste. We love eating them during Mahashivratri, Navratri and Janamasthmi and serve them with piping hot sweet Masala Chai.

An image of sabudana vada in a metal tray.

What is Sabudana?

Sabudana are also known as pearl tapioca or sago and are a starch extracted from tropical palm stems. They are almost completely carbohydrate with little protein.

There are three sizes of sabudana that you can buy in-store. Small, Medium and Large.

Very tiny and small are ideal for making pudding, kheer or payasam.

Medium pearls are suitable for making Rajgaro Til Vada , Sabudana Khichdi and large ones known as Nylon Sabudana can be used in making Sabudana Chevdo.

Sabudana Vada 

They are also known as Sago Vada or Tapioca Pearl Fritters and have a crispy outer layer with a soft melt-in-your-mouth centre of soaked tapioca, boiled potatoes, roasted peanuts and a delicious seasoning with spices.

Sabudana vada are vegan and gluten-free. They are best served in the evening or mid-afternoon with tea. They are most popular during the Hindu fasting season.

These vada are mostly known as hailing from Maharashtrian but they are equally Gujarati too. Gujarati Sabudana Na Vada do not have any red chilli powder, only fresh green chilli and ginger and also have freshly squeezed lemon juice and sugar to give that unmistakable sweet and tart taste.

Often served with green yogurt chutney, imli chutney and masala chai, also they are perfectly fine on their own.

What goes in Crispy Gujarati Sabudana Vada?

Tapioca Pears/Sabudana - I have used medium size sago pearls here. They are easily available anywhere.

Potatoes - I have used King Edward floury potatoes, they don't make the mixture sticky but keeps the mixture dry. They have a dry and fluffy texture that helps in binding vada.

In the UK we have King Edward, Maris Piper, Estima and Desiree varieties.

Peanuts - they provide some protein and crunchiness to the vada, you must roast them first to use in this recipe.

Spices and herbs - to spice up the vada I have used minced fresh green chillies and ginger. Coriander adds freshness and flavours.

Sugar - I have used powdered sugar, powdered sugar do not release any water. I made powdered sugar at home just by grinding regular sugar in a coffee grinder.

Lemon juice - freshly squeezed lemon juice works best.

Salt - I have used rock salt known as Sindhav mithu or Sendha Namak as we prepared these for fasting. Use regular salt if not making for fasting.

Oil or ghee for deep frying

How to make Sabudana Vada 

Printable recipe card with exact measurements and methods below 🢃 To simplify there is cups and tablespoons measurements as well as a metric to this recipe.

1. Clean and wash the sabudana under running water until the water comes out clear. Soak it for at least 10-12 hours. 

2. After 10-12 hours check soaked sabudana, there should not be any water left. 

3. Add steamed/boiled potatoes, powdered/crushed roasted peanuts, chopped coriander, crushed ginger-chillies, lemon juice, sugar and salt. 

4. Combine everything and knead a stiff, dry and fluffy dough. 

5. Make equal size vada.

6. Heat oil and carefully add vada in hot oil.

7. Fry in hot oil.

8. Fry until they turn medium brown all over and crispy. 

How to prevent Sabudana vada breaking in hot oil

There could be various reasons behind the vada mixture having moisture which is what causes the vada to break up in oil.

1. Sabudana not soaked right - first, wash sabudana in running water in the sieve until water comes out clean. If you are using a medium size of sabudana I recommend you to soak for at least 10-12 hours. 

2. Soak sabudana in a flat tray or thali in one layer with just right amount of water, keep 1cm water above the pearls. 

3. After 10-12 hours there should not be any water left, but when your press the sabudana between your index finger and thumb it should be pressed easily like a sponge. If not add little water and let them soak a couple of hours more. 

4. Right potatoes are not used  - to keep the vada mixture dry and fluffy use floury potatoes and not waxy. The floury potatoes have more dry matter and not so much water. They are starchier than waxy potatoes and starch helps in binding the vada dough. 

5. Also, if potatoes are not cooked right and if left soggy, they add moisture into the dough. Rather than boiling potatoes, I would recommend steaming it. 

6. Make sure half of the roasted peanuts are made into a coarse powder as peanut powder helps in absorbing the moisture from the mixture. 

7. Do not add regular sugar but make powder and add.

8. Use washed but totally pat dried coriander.  

9. Keep the dough in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes before frying vada. 

10. Make sure the oil you heat reaches right temperature before frying, it should be heated on medium heat and once you add the fritters don't move them around too much. 

I am sure if you follow the above tips and tricks you will be able to cook perfect sabudana vada, but still, no success, add a small amount of fine semolina or buckwheat or rajgira flour (if fasting) to soak up the extra moisture from the dough. 

Is Sabudana Vada healthy?

The answer is rather disappointing, although this vada often labelled as light and healthy. The truth is they are not.

This vada consists of tapioca and potato which are full of carbs and on top of that deep-fried, they are loaded with empty calories and should only be consumed occasionally. 

Non-fried Sago Vada

Have you not eaten these moreish vada before? I suggest you should try deep-fried ones to taste their original. Although they taste excellent many like to avoid fried for various reasons

You can shallow fry in a non-stick pan with less amount of oil.

Use Indian style Panniyaram or Japanese Takoyaki grill pan.

Bake in the oven.

Air fry it in the air fryer.

What can I use instead of regular potatoes?

You may use sweet potato if you like, just steam, mash and add it but skip the sugar.

How to make Sabudana Vada  Chutney?

This chutney easy and straight forward recipe, just combine mild plain thick yogurt with Green Mint and Coriander Chutney, mix well and serve with vada.


These vada best taste hot, but if any leftover you can freeze them too.

Place them on a serving tray and leave it in the freezer to freeze. Once they freeze, put them in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer for a couple of months.

Defrost thoroughly and reheat in the oven before consuming.

Make Farali Sabudana Vada Chaat using leftover Sabudana Vada.

More Farali Vrat/Upwas recipes

Farali Mogo Vada

Farali Buff Vada

Farali Moriyo Vada

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Crispy gujarati sabudana vada, sago vada, sabudana vada
Yield: 6-8 VADA

CRISPY GUJARATI SABUDANA VADA made with sago pearls.


These vegan, gluten-free sabudana vada or tapioca fritters are so hard to resist, they are sinful though!
prep time: 10 hourcook time: 50 Mtotal time: 10 H & 50 M


  • 1 cup sabudana - 150g
  • 2 big potatoes boiled/steamed peeled and mashed -350g *
  • 1/2 cup peanuts - 80g **
  • 2-3 tbsp. crushed ginger-green chillies 
  • 2 tbsp. sugar ***
  • 3-4 tbsp coriander finely chopped 
  • 2 tbsp. lemon/lime juice freshly squeezed 
  • Salt ****
  • Oil for deep frying 



  1. First clean and wash sabudana then soak in water for 10-12 hours. 
  2. Meanwhile, dry roast the peanuts, remove the skin and make a coarse powder of half of them and crush another half. 
  3. Check soaked sabudana, there should not be any water left yet the pearls should be soft when pressed between index finger and thumb.
  4. In a big plate or bowl add sabudana, mashed potato, peanuts, chilli-ginger, coriander, sugar, lemon juice and salt.
  5. Combine and make a stiff but fluffy dough by mixing it with your hands. 
  6. Apply little oil on your palms and divide the mixture into equal portions. 
  7. Make round vada and leave it aside.
  8. Heat oil in a kadai on medium heat, carefully add a few vada in the hot oil.
  9. Do not flip it straight away, after a couple of minutes carefully flip the vadas using a slotted spoon.
  10. Fry until medium brown all over.
  11. Remove it using a slotted spoon.
  12. Serve hot with chutney or chai. 


*I recommend that you use floury potatoes for this recipe.
** Make powder of half of the peanuts and keep half crushed.
*** I have used powdered sugar, just use a coffee grinder to grind the regular sugar.
**** If you are making these for fasting use farali salt known as sendha namak.
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