1 cup sago or tapioca pearl, soaked overnight for 4 hours
2 mashed,boiled potatoes
1/2 cup crushed peanuts, you can roast them
2 pinch spice chili powder, optional
3 pinch sendha namak or black salt
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ghee or clarified butter
1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
Vegetable oil to deep fry
1. Rinse tapioca pearls well under running water. Wash them until excess starch, a white powdery layer is washed-off completely.
2. Soak it at room temperature water for 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
3. Check if sabudana has been soaked well. Take a pearl and mash it in between your thumb and index finger.
4. In the meantime, roast peanuts for 4 to 5 minutes on medium-high heat and put them in a blender. Do not turn the peanuts into a fine powder.
5. Mash the potatoes with a fork. (Boil them for 3 whistles in a pressure cooker, with 2 cups water.)
6. In a bowl, add the mashed potatoes, soaked sabudana, green chillies, cumin seeds, peanuts, salt and sugar. Mix them well using your hands.
7. You can grease your hands with a little oil, if you feel the dough is turning out to be sticky.
8. Mix well so that all the ingredients bind well and do not crack upon frying.
9. Break the dough into small-sized balls and flatten them to form a patty-like shape.
Note: Do not make the patties too thin, as they might break while frying. Also, making them too thick will not cook the insides of the vada.
10. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Do a quick heat check by sliding a small portion of the vada into the oil. If the vada rises up quickly without browning, you can start deep-frying.
11. Slide the vadas into the oil using a mesh skimmer or a deep-fryer ladle. Do not add more than 2 pieces at a time. You do not want them to stick to each other.
12. Deep-fry the vadas for a few minutes, do not touch them. In a few minutes they will firm up and turn golden in colour. This is when you should turn them over carefully.
13. Once the vadas are cooked they will puff up and both sides will turn golden in colour. Collect the vadas using a strainer and remove them on a paper kitchen towel. This will absorb excess oil.
Serve warm with fresh yoghurt or coriander chutney.
Recipe courtesy: Swades vegetarian restaurant, Dubai. To know more about them, read here.