Sabudana Vada Air Fryer

5 from 1 vote

Crispy sabudana vada made in an air fryer for a healthier alternative than deep frying! Perfect for fasting days and festivals from Mahashivratri, Navratri, Ekadashi and more.

Sabudana vada made in an air fryer.

Air fryer sabudana vada offers a non-fried version of the popular Indian snack usually eaten for fasting or vrat days in observance of religious holidays.  I love them with a cup of Masala Chai.

Aloo means potato in Hindi.  Sabudana is the Hindi word for sago pearls or tapioca pearls.  So, this dish is made with potatoes, tapioca pearls, ground roasted peanuts, and minimal spices.  

These crunchy vadas are a popular Maharashtrian snack.  You can even find them sold as street food in Mumbai with some green chutney.  

See how easy it is to make in the quick video below!

YouTube video

There is something about sabudana that just everyone loves! Just like Sabudana Khichdi and Sabudana Kheer.

Other popular fasting dishes include Rajgira Sheera, Moraiyo Khichdi and Sukhi Bhaji.

Sabudana vada made in an airfryer on a white laced plate with green chutney to the side.

I like making air fryer sabudana vada because:

  • No need to worry about hot oil
  • Healthier alternative to deep frying
  • Easier cleanup and less mess
  • Tastes delicious
  • Fasting/Vrat Friendly 
  • Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free
  • Quick to prepare

Ingredient Notes

Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post. 

Sabudana vada or tikki ingredients in small plates.

Sabudana: Any brand can work.  Just note, the quality and age of sabudana may affect the total soak time required.

Potatoes: I’ve used Russet potatoes.

Crushed roasted peanuts: If you don’t keep this ready-made, lightly roast peanuts on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until flagrant.  Let cool then grind.

Whole roasted peanuts can be used too but crushed peanuts help with binding and give better flavor.

Ginger: Fresh ginger is finely shredded.  A ginger paste can work as well.

Green chili paste: I always keep this frozen and handy. In case you don’t have a paste, just finely chop 1-2 green chilies. 

Powdered spices: Cumin powder, salt (make sure to use rock salt or sendha namak for fasting), and sugar

Coriander leaves: Finely chopped cilantro adds a nice fresh flavor.

Sabudana vada uncooked on a white plate.

Preparation

Soaking Sabudana 

Sabudana is washed thoroughly and then soaked in water. 

You have two options for soaking sabudana:

  1. Soak overnight – this ensures sago pearls are soaked well
  2. Soak with lukewarm water for 3-4 hours

Ensure the water is at least 1-2 inches above the top of the sabudana.

Notes:

The required soaking time for sabudana can vary depending on the quality of the sago. 

Check if it is done by rubbing a pearl between two fingers.  If it easily breaks apart it should be good to go. If it feels a bit hard, it needs more time.

It is important to drain the soaked sabudana pearls well before making vadas. Drain using a strainer. Excess moisture leads to less crisp vada.

Boil and Mash Potatoes 

Boil potatoes.  Peel and mash using a potato masher or fork. 

Mashed potatoes in a bowl with a potato masher.

Ground Roasted Peanuts

I keep some ready-made on hand.  If you cook Indian food, especially fasting food like this and Sabudana Khichdi, I suggest keeping it ready to save time later!

If you need to make some, then simply place raw peanuts in a pan on medium-high heat.  Mixing about every 30 seconds.  You will notice a flagrant smell and they will begin to slightly brown.

It will take about 3-5 minutes.  Turn off the gas and let them cool.  Then grind the peanuts into a coarse powder.

Making Sabudana Vada In An Airfryer

Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.

Mix well using a potato masher and/or your hands so all ingredients are incorporated well.

Mashed sabudana vada ingredients in a white bowl.

Make vada shapes by taking a little bit of the mixture and rolling it lightly between your hands and flattening slightly.  Roll it on the edge as well to make a smooth shape.  Optionally, lightly grease your hands with a little oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.

Sabudana vada made into patties on a white plate.

Place vada on the air fryer basket or tray in a single layer.  Brush the tops with a little oil.  

Preheat the air fryer to 400F.  Once preheated, air fry for 18-20 minutes.  Flip once at the midway point.  If you’d like, you can brush the other side with a little oil.

Note: you can use parchment paper if you prefer, just check to ensure your parchment paper can be used up to 400F.

Serve sabudana vada warm with cilantro chutney or mint chutney.  See notes for links to both.

Sabudana vada in an airfryer.

Serving Suggestions

These can be eaten all year round but are specially made with fasting foods for Maha Shivratri, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navratri, Ekadashi, and other fasting days.

Sabudana vada tastes great with Cilantro ChutneyMint Chutney, or a variation of Yogurt Chutney (skip the garlic!).  They are often served with tomato ketchup as well.

It can also be served with Masala Chai.

Just be mindful of the ingredients per your fasting requirements.

Bright green Indian coriander chutney in a small white bowl on a bamboo placemat.

Variations

Use other fasting-friendly ingredients like raisins or cashews to make this an alternative way.  You can also add a small teaspoon of lemon juice to brighten up the sabudana cutlet.

Storing

Hot sabudana vadas taste best fresh and warm!  But, if you have leftovers you can heat them in the air fryer at 350F for about 3-5 minutes.

Be sure to store them in an airtight container in the fridge.

Sabudana vada made in an air fryer.

Sabudana Vada Air Fryer

Shilpa Joshi
Crispy sabudana vada made in an air fryer for a healthier alternative than deep frying! Perfect for fasting days and festivals from Mahashivratri, Navratri, Ekadashi and more.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Snack
Cuisine Indian
Servings 9 vada
Calories 108 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Mixing bowl
  • 1 air fryer

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup sabudana 92g
  • 3 small potatoes 380g
  • 1 tbsp ginger shredded
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 3-4 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp salt senda namak for fasting
  • tsp sugar
  • 1 cup crushed , roasted peanuts

Instructions
 

Preparation – See blog post for more detailed information

  • Wash sabudana well. Soak sabudana overnight or atleast for 4-5 hours with warm water (atleast 1 inch water above the top of the sabudana). When tapioca pearls easily break apart between two fingers it is ready. Drain well.
  • Boil potatoes. Peel and mash using a potato masher or fork.

Making Sabudana Vada In An Airfryer

  • Add all ingredients to a bowl.
  • Mix well using a potato masher and/or your hands so all ingredients are incorporated well.
  • Make vada shapes by taking a little bit of the mixture and rolling it lightly between your hands and flattening slightly. Roll it on the edge as well to make a smooth shape. Optionally, lightly grease hands with a little oil to prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands.
  • Place vada on the air fryer tray. Brush the tops with a little oil.
  • Preheat air fryer to 400F. Once preheated, air fry for 18-20 minutes. Flip once at the midway point. If you'd like, you can brush the other side with a little oil.
  • Serve sabudana vada warm with cilantro chutney or mint chutney. See notes for links to both.

Nutrition

Calories: 108kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 1gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.03gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.03gSodium: 262mgPotassium: 248mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 13IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg
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