It was Indira’s birthday last Sunday and after a good lunch at the Petite Provencale and a very fun afternoon at Aquasplash in Antibes, we came home to a dinner of sabudana vadas and the tomato-avocado-pesto sandwich that is Indira’s current favorite thing to eat.
These vadas may not be quite like the original – and I fried them a little too long this time I think, so that some were a little too crisp – but they do satisfy my craving for this food. I remember all the train rides from Mumbai to Pune when I traveled between those cities on work – I used to look forward so eagerly to the vendors bringing around hot, crispy sabudana vadas !
For about sixteen small vadas –
3/4 cup of sabudana (sago pearls)
2 medium sized potatoes
1/2 a cup of roasted, roughly crushed peanuts
1 (or 2) green chilli, chopped fine (optional)
1 tablespoon of fresh coriander leaves, chopped fine
1/2 a tablespoon of lemon juice
salt to taste
enough oil – at least 400 ml – to deep fry the vadas
1 teaspoon of fresh, grated ginger(optional as well; the reason I put this in most things I cook is because I trust my Ma’s notion that ginger improves the digestion of pretty much any food. And since these vadas combine two starches – sago and potatoes- they are a prime candidate for this ingredient I feel)
Soak the sabudana, in just enough water to cover it’s top, for 3-4 hours. At the end of this time, the sabudana will have typically soaked in all the water; else drain any excess water (though this is unlikely to occur if you use only enough water to cover the sago pearls)
In the meanwhile cook the potatoes in the microwave oven (this way there will be no risk of their becoming sticky or retaining any water, which can cause the vadas to break) then after they have cooled peel their skins off and mash them in a bowl.
Add the rest of the ingredients, combine everything well and divide the mixture in to four equal portions. From each of these, make 4-6 equal sized balls and flatten them by pressing gently between your palms.
Fry the vadas in medium-hot oil till golden brown (so a little less brown than the ones in the picture).
On a rainy day, this is heaven.