Air fryer sabudana vada is a healthy 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!
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
Below are ingredient notes. Full ingredients and directions are in the printable recipe card at the end of the post.
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 is washed thoroughly and then soaked in water.
You have two options for soaking sabudana:
- Soak overnight – this ensures sago pearls are soaked well
- Soak with lukewarm water for 3-4 hours
Ensure the water is at least 1-2 inches above the top of the sabudana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It can also be served with Masala Chai.
Just be mindful of the ingredients per your fasting requirements.
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.
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 Air Fryer
- 1 Mixing bowl
- 1 air fryer
- 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
- 1½ tsp sugar
- 1 cup crushed , roasted peanuts
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.