Sabudana Vada (Fried Dumplings of Potatoes and Tapioca)

Sabudana Vada (Fried Dumplings of Potatoes and Tapioca)

Sabudana Vada (Fried Dumplings of Potatoes and Tapioca)

Sabudana Vada is a delicious snack with a great texture. It is crunchy on the outside and soft inside. This can satisfy just about anybody, even those on a gluten-free diet. This recipe is completely gluten free.
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Course Appetizer
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people



  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 1/3 cup tapioca (sabudana)
  • teaspoon salt adjust to taste(namak)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 finely chopped green chili adjust to taste
  • Approximately 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro (hara dhania)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Oil to fry



  • Wash the tapioca and soak it in 3 cups of water for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Drain the water. After soaking, the tapioca will have increased in volume, by about 2 times. Set aside.
  • Par-boil the potatoes, so they are only half-cooked. Insert a knife into the potato to ensure that it is still somewhat firm.
  • Cool the potatoes, then peel and grate them using a vegetable grater.
  • Mix all the ingredients together. The dough will be a little sticky and soft in consistency.
  • Divide the potato dough into 16 parts.
  • Roll each one into a smooth patty. You will need to lightly oil your palms to prevent the dough from sticking.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. There should be at least 1½ inches of oil in the frying pan. To check if the oil is ready, drop a small piece of dough into the oil. The dough should rise to the surface, and not change its color immediately.
  • Slowly drop the patties into the frying pan.
  • Fry the vada until both sides are golden brown. Turn them occasionally. It will take approx. 4 to 5 minutes to cook.
  • Remove the vada and place over a paper towel so the excess oil is absorbed.
  • Sabudana vada should be crunchy on the outside and soft inside.
  • Serve them as is or with cilantro or tamarind chutney.


The frying oil needs to be sufficiently hot, or else the Vadas will turn out greasy and may break into pieces while cooking.
Serving suggestions
  1. Sabudana Vadas are best served with cilantro chutney or tamarind chutney as a dip.
  2. Vadas taste best when they are served hot.
  3. Sabudana Vadas can be made one day in advance and stored at room temperature. Do not refrigerate. When ready to serve, place on a cookie sheet and heat in the oven at 300 degrees till warm.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Making Sabudana Vada: A Traditional Indian Snack

Sabudana Vada, a popular snack especially during Navaratri and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, is a gluten-free and vegan appetizer commonly enjoyed as a delightful treat during festivals like Krishna Janmashtami, offering a crunchy texture and savory flavor to those seeking gluten-free and vegan snack options. Sabudana Vada is a beloved snack in Indian cuisine, especially popular during festivals and fasting periods. 

Sabudana vada is essentially fried dumplings made from potatoes and tapioca pearls. It’s a delightful blend of flavors and textures, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. This sabudana vada recipe is not only delicious but also relatively simple to make, requiring just a few basic ingredients commonly found in Indian households. 

Let’s delve into the process of how to make sabudana vada and explore some tips, variations, benefits, and frequently asked questions regarding this classic snack.

Tips for Perfect Sabudana Vada

  • Soak Sabudana Properly: The key to making good sabudana vada lies in soaking the tapioca pearls properly. Rinse the sabudana under running water until the water runs clear, then soak them in water for at least 4-5 hours or overnight. They should be soaked enough to be easily mashed between your fingers.
  • Use Boiled Potatoes: Ensure that the potatoes are boiled properly and mashed well. This helps bind the vada mixture together and prevents them from breaking apart during frying.
  • Adjust Seasonings: Feel free to adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. You can add more green chilies for extra heat or increase the amount of lemon juice for a tangier flavor.
  • Fry on Medium Heat: Fry the vadas on medium heat to ensure they cook evenly from inside out and develop a golden-brown crust on the outside.
  • Serve Hot: Sabudana vadas are best enjoyed hot and fresh. Serve them with mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or yogurt for a delightful snack experience.

Variations of Sabudana Vada

  • Sabudana Aloo Tikki: Instead of shaping the vada into traditional round patties, you can make them into tikki shapes for a twist. Flatten the mixture into small discs and fry until golden brown on both sides.
  • Sabudana Vada with Peanuts: Add roasted and crushed peanuts to the vada mixture for an extra crunch and nutty flavor.
  • Sweet Sabudana Vada: For a unique variation, add some sugar and grated coconut to the vada mixture to make sweet sabudana vadas. Serve them as a dessert or a sweet snack.
  • Baked Sabudana Vada: If you’re looking for a healthier alternative, you can bake the vadas instead of frying them. Simply brush them with oil and bake in a preheated oven until golden brown and crispy.

Benefits of Sabudana Vada

  • Rich in Carbohydrates: Sabudana, being made from tapioca pearls, is rich in carbohydrates, providing a quick source of energy.
  • Gluten-Free: Since sabudana is derived from tapioca, it is naturally gluten-free, making it suitable for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
  • Good Source of Protein: Potatoes used in the vada mixture add a decent amount of protein to the snack, making it more satiating.
  • Easy to Digest: Sabudana is easy to digest, which makes it a popular choice during fasting periods when heavier foods are avoided.

FAQs about Sabudana Vada

  • Can I make sabudana vada ahead of time?

  • While sabudana vada is best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the mixture ahead of time and refrigerate it. Fry the vadas just before serving for the best taste and texture.
  • Can I freeze sabudana vada?

  • Yes, you can freeze uncooked sabudana vada. Place them on a tray lined with parchment paper and freeze until firm, then transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or container. Fry them directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the frying time.
  • What can I serve with sabudana vada?

  • Sabudana vada pairs well with various chutneys such as mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or yogurt. You can also enjoy them with a hot cup of masala chai for a perfect snack time treat.

For more mouthwatering recipes and culinary inspiration, explore the following links from Manjula’s Kitchen:

Crispy Spinach Pakoras, Vegetable Biryani, Paneer Tikka Masala, Vegetable Pakoras Recipe, Baingan Bharta (Roasted Eggplant) Recipe & Matar (Green Peas) Paneer Recipe

Dive into the world of authentic Indian cuisine and elevate your cooking skills with these delightful recipes.

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44 thoughts on “Sabudana Vada (Fried Dumplings of Potatoes and Tapioca)

  1. hi mam,

    am trying all your recipes and it comes out well…looking forward for more…..while frying this vada it started breaking for me…what should i do for it…….

  2. Hi Manjulaji,

    Thank you for the recipe.
    Tried this recipe today, but when the frying is done all the contents from inside the sabudana vada comes out. Any solution for this?


  3. Dear Manjulaji,
    Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!
    I am in love with these vadas. I have an Indian friend here who does delicious ones. Here in Brazil we are used only to sweet tapioca, it was the first time I had it spicy, and it is so good!!! Now with your help I’ll try doing it myself. Absolutely *wonderful*!!! : )

  4. Manjula’s kitchen is A true miror of indian receipies.the dishes are amazaing.Me and my wife always try some which always go well.As the receipies are nicely presented.Thanks Manjula kitchen.

    1. May be you had more water content – example, the potatoes boiled more or too much water in sabudana? Or if you turn it over too soon, then also they will break. Manjulaji has talked about them in the video.

  5. Hello Manjulaji, thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes.Can you please tell me how long you cook the 3 medium potatoes for? Did you do them in the microwave or on in the pressure cooker? Can you please share the method and time? Thanks much!

    1. Hi Suja,

      I use a Microwave for cooking potatoes. For this recipe since the potatoes should be firm and not over boiled I cook for 15 minutes. My microwave is 750W and I use Medium High setting (last but one) and not High setting (last). You can always pause, check the potatoes with a knife or fork and cook for more time as required if you are using a microwave. You can’t do the same as easily with a cooker cuz it takes time for the pressure to build before it starts cooking, then the pressure to release after you have turned off the heat.



  6. We made these for the first night of Chaunkah this year! So delicious, thank you, Manjula! We try to eat gluten-free as much as possible, so these worked well. I think I par-boiled my potato a little bit too much, but they were still excellent. We are in very RURAL America and no chutneys in sight, but spicy mustard was good too. (Yikes! I hope that’s not an offense! 😉 Nice change from the usual latke. 😀

  7. hi Manjula

    What kind of oil do you prefer for frying? The oil looks very clear and clean – wondering what it is.
    Thanks for website – so interesting and helpful!

  8. Thanks Manjulaji for the wonderful recipe.
    I generally make these for vrata and it generally came out quite soft from inside. So I added my own variation of adding equal quantities of potatoes, raw bananas and arbis. like in this recipe -1 medium potato, 1 raw banana and two small arbis. this made the vadas really crisp. arbi helped making the outer crust more crispy while raw banana helped making the inside more compact.

  9. hi manjulaji,
    I have become fan of your recipes.I have tried few of them till now they turn out to be excellent.Best thing is gravies are without onions.
    Please keep up the good work.
    For sabudana vada My tapoica are bigger in size as compared to yours Will they work too?

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