Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bombay Street Food Special #8 - Sabudana Vada

Some of you know that in the past few posts, I've tried a few new things with a view to using up what was in the pantry, since we were going to move. These little gems were the result of one such experiment in my kitchen. I'm a big fan of sabudana (globally known tapioca pearls) preparations. I've had a few of them in the form of Kheer (sweet pudding), Khitchdi (savoury stir-fry) and these Vadas (fritters). I'd bought a packet of these pearls in the hopes of making all of these in my own kitchen at home. I didn't have too much luck with the Khitchdi, but these Vadas were superb. They were beautifully flavourful, nice and crunchy on the outside and would be great as a snack served with some ketchup or green chutney or as a side dish as part of a meal too. I'm happy I got around to trying these.

When going through Kanan's blog, I learnt that there are different varieties of sabudana. Some need to be soaked for just 2-3 hours, others overnight, depending on the quality of the pearls. Mine was good to go in about 2 and a half hours. When you soak the pearls, it is best to use a wide, shallow dish for this. If you're not sure how long your sabudana needs to be soaked, so what I did the first time around. Check on them every now and then. When you press a pearl between your fingers, it should mash easily, that's when you know they are done. Do not oversoak as the pearls will just get mushy and you don't want that to happen.



Sabudana Vadas
Recipe from: Spice Up the Curry
Yields about 20 vadas

3/4 cup Sabudana
2 medium sized potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed (1 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
5-6 green chillies, finely chopped (Or to taste)
10 sprigs fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt, to taste
Oil, for deep frying

Wash the sabudana under cold, running water, till the water runs clear.

Soak in a shallow dish till done. (See information above the picture.) The pearls will more than double in size so use a dish size that will accommodate this.

Drain the water and leave the pearls in a colander for about 10 minutes.

Roughly chop the roasted peanuts.

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix till everything is well incorporated and form into a ball.

Heat the oil for deep frying. To check if the oil is hot enough, carefully place a small portion of a the mix in the oil. If it rises to the top immediately, you are good to go.

Grease your palms with a little oil, to avoid the mix sticking to your hands.

Take portions of the mix and shape them into little patties, round and flat.

Gently slide the patties into the oil, and fry till they are golden brown on both sides, on medium heat.
Do not overcrowd the pan that you are deep frying in.

Drain them on a paper towel lined plate to do away with the excess oil.

Serve them hot, with some ketchup or green chutney (coriander or mint) and a cup of hot tea.

Perfect snack for evenings when its raining or cold outsides. Alternatively, you can also serve these as part of a larger meal.

Enjoy!

 
Notes:
  • After shaping a few of the vadas, if the mix starts sticking to your hands, wash your hands, wipe dry, grease your palms lightly again and continue.
  • If the oil is not hot enough, the vadas will either fall apart in the oil or will soak up too much oil when frying.
  • Once the vadas are place in the oil, do not disturb them for about a minute. If they are disturbed, they could break up and absorb a lot more oil than they should.
  • These vadas are nice and crispy on the outside, if stored and reheated, they will lose their crispness to an extent.
  • Between batches while frying, let the temperature of the oil come back up before you can add the next lot. Do not overcrowd the pan.

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