Sago or Sabudana is a great Sattvik food during the Navratra, and is traditionally made as a part of Vrat ka Khana. It has to be eaten freshly cooked (fried) and the best accompaniment is a spicy green chutney, although during Indian festivals, people prefer eating it just like that, or with plain curd. In Maharashtra, Sabudana Vada is a very common snack during the upvas (fasting) in the Hindu festivals. The fasting food is not only essentially devoid of grains such as rice, wheat and pulses, but it does not even have onion and garlic, as these are considered as Tamsik foods. During Navratras, even spices are used sparingly in cooking. Ideally, people just add rock salt, cumin seeds and a hint of green chillies during cooking.
Sago comes as a great alternative during the nine days of Navratras, and people generally make a lot of dishes like Sabudana Kheer, Thalipeeth, Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana Bhel, etc. In Mumbai, people eat Sabudana Vada just like that as a snack, throughout the year. In fact, it is a great Maharashrian street food too! But during the festive days of Navratras, it is preferably eaten with a slightly sweet yogurt, which makes a simple and filling combination!
- Sago (sabudana): 1 cup
- Mashed, boiled potatoes: 3/4 cup
- Roasted peanuts (coarsely chopped): 1/2 cup
- Finely chopped green chillies: 1 tbsp
- Lemon juice: 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds (toasted): 1/2 tsp
- Sugar: 1 tsp
- Grated ginger: 1 tsp
- Finely chopped coriander leaves: 1/4 cup
- Salt: according to taste
- Oil for deep-frying
- Soak the sabudana pearls overnight in sufficient water. The next morning, drain the excess water from the pearls.
- Combine all other ingredients and mix well with hand.
- Divide the mixture into equal parts and shape each part into a big lemon-sized ball. If you prefer, you can flatten the ball slightly as well.
- Heat oil in a deep Kadhai. Fry the vadas, a few at a time, till these are uniformly golden-brown.
- Serve with slightly sweetened yogurt or coconut chutney.