This year’s Superbowl was exciting for us since the Panthers were playing. I personally was rather sad and bitter about the Steelers not being there, but I rallied and gave some support to my current state of residence. (But in my heart I was singing “Here we go Steelers, here we go!” the whole time). Rajat and I went to my sister-in-law’s house and from there we went to watch the game at a friend’s house all together. However, before we left for the friend’s house, my husband made us the most amazing sabudana vadas for a snack. Well, it was meant to be a snack, but we ended up eating a meal size amount of these puppies.
Sabudana is the Hindi word for tapioca pearls. I had only ever had tapioca in pudding before this, so these pretty much blew my mind. It really is amazing how different places use foods in different ways. Every time I discover a new use for a food, I hear that Game of Thrones Wildling lady saying “You know nothing John Snow/Liz Garg.”
We enjoyed the sabudana vadas with tamarind and green chutney. They were also pretty tasty with just ketchup if that’s all you have around. Sadly, the Panthers lost (Go Steelers!), but these vadas were definitely a win (Picture me saying this while giving a thumbs up, a big toothy smile, and then holding that pose for a little too long).
- 3 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cooled for about an hour to dry out excess moisture
- 3/4 cup dry medium size sabudana (tapioca pearls)
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 chilies, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp toasted cumin powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- oil (for frying)
- Soak the sabudana for about 8 hours. Cover the sabudana just barely with water. The sabudana will soak up all of this water and their should not be excess at the end, so you don’t want the sabudanas to sit in more water than necessary. You should use about 1 part sabudana and 2 parts water. When the sabudana are finished soaking, you should be able to press a pearl between your fingers and feel no graininess nor should it just be mushy and sticky. If it feels too dry, add some drops of water, mix around, and let sit another hour or so.
- Mash the potatoes with a fork or even with your hands. It’s okay if there are some small chunks still.
- Add all spices, cilantro, peanuts, and chilies to the potatoes. Mix together until well combined.
- Form patties from the potato mixture. The patties should be about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. The patties should be pressed together enough so that they are not falling apart when handled.
- In a heavy bottom pot or kurdai, heat oil to 350 F. Fry sabudana vadas in batches until golden brown on both sides. Be careful not to over crowd pan. Remove from oil and cool on wire rack when finished.
- Vadas should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Serve with tamarind or green chutney or ketchup.