Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin cutlets - color, crunch, spice to celebrate beautiful autumn

I was just thinking yesterday that if I keep up the rate at which I am writing my blog posts, I would be doing one per season and talking about changing seasons :-), do I see heads nodding out there? come on, really, I am not that infrequent. Didn't I chat with you all when the trees were just turning colors at the tips? now that I said it aloud, I guess it has been a while since they are all in full colors now. Life has been going at supersonic speed and before I realize the weekend would have whizzed past and planted me right at the start of a work week. This week we had a fall festival at work and I took some delicious veggie fried rice with cucumber raita making it right bang in the middle of work week. Not that I am complaining, I am savoring all of it..
Today being Halloween, we have been opening the door to kids dressed up in different costumes since evening and sharing candies with them, Elsa (from Frozen) seems to be the 'in costume' for little girls while spiderman is going strong with the little guys :-). My own little girl is all grown up for 'trick or treating' and she would have done some horror movie watching with her friends if it was not her college application time, she is heads down into work currently. Flora is excitedly barking every time someone comes up the front steps but waits patiently behind me as I hand out candies to the kids and do small talk with them :-), she just wants to be part of the excitement.

Back to blogging, last week, on my grocery shopping I spotted these really bright orange colored, perfectly round and cute looking pumpkins in the store and on a whim bought one. DD & BH thought it was a carving pumpkin as Halloween was just around the corner and became apprehensive knowing my free hand skills :-). I had to reassure them that I had no plans to show off my carving creativity on the pumpkin but rather was planning to cook with it. Since I bought the pumpkin home without any idea of a recipe, I wanted to be adventurous this time and try out something new and outside of my repertoire.
A quick search landed me on these really toasty looking pumpkin fritters which immediately reminded me of the Indian cutlets. Cutlets are some of the very popular and sought after snacks in India. You can make cutlets with pretty much any vegetable as long as you have something that binds the ingredients together, some of the common choices being starchy roots like potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains etc. Coated with a coarse powder like bread crumbs or rava gives the final product a toasty finish whether you deep fry, shallow fry or bake them in the oven. DD has loved cutlets ever since she first had them on a train journey in India. Infact her top 2 reasons for making a train journey in India are the upper births where she gets to cuddle up with a book and the cutlets or other food served during the journey :-)
The version of cutlets I have today don't have any of the usual suspects, but does blend two vastly different ingredients to make them work together. Pumpkin puree brings a subtle aroma and flavor while bland garbanzo beans add body to the cutlet. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The original recipe had hemp seeds which I replaced with sesame seeds and instead of the vinegar, I used lemon juice and amchoor powder.

What do you need to make pumpkin cutlets?
Recipe source
1 cup cooked chick peas/garnanzo beans (I used the can)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 Tsp sesame seeds
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 Tsp amchoor (dry mango) powder
1 Tsp lemon/lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp oil to shallow fry
3/4 - 1 cup bread crumbs
How do you make pumpkin cutlets?
  • Take chick peas in a bowl, slightly mash them
  • Add the pumpkin puree and all other ingredients except for bread crumbs & oil.
  • Make golf ball sized balls from the mixture, roll them completely in bread crumbs.
  • Heat a pan/griddle (preferably cast iron for even heating)
  • Add a couple of drops of oil on the pan, flatten the bread coated balls to make patties, place them on the hot pan.
  • Fry on medium heat until the bottom turns bright pink. 
  • Flip over, add a couple drops on the top and cook until the other side turns pink too. 
  • Serve off the pan with a dollop of ketchup or green chutney   
  • I used home made puree, use canned if you don't have it. Also, I picked out just the cooked pumpkin pieces and mashed them with the beans, don't use the water in this recipe as it makes the mixture very soft. 
  • If the mixture becomes too damp, use a spoon of besan or plain AP flour.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Sajjappa - a traditional dessert from my home town to celebrate the festival of lights

Happy Deepavali to all my readers who are celebrating the festival of lights. If you are not into celebrations, you can still enjoy this traditional sweet from Karnataka. This is very popular in Mysore/Bengaluru region and I haven't seen or heard about it from other regions in India.

How do I begin to explain Sajjappa to someone if you haven't heard/seen/tasted this deliriously delicious sweet :-). If you are familiar with Obbattu/holige made with coconut filling, I could compare sajjappa to that in terms of ingredients. If you knew what a kachori is, I would say Sajjappa is a kachori with sweet filling (close enough but lot of differences). If you had tasted kobbari mithai, I could say sajjappa tastes like a distant cousin of it with added crunch. But if you were not familiar with any of these typical Indian dishes, I would simply say, "this is a sweet to fight for, a sweet to be enjoyed in leisure, a sweet that fills your cravings for all sweets and leaves no gaps :-)." Sounds convincing? You should try these atleast once.
When Nammamma made these as part of festivals or celebration menu, I have literally fought with my little brother for my fair share and secured it. This is one sweet from childhood that I continue to relish even after all these years. Sadly it is slowly fading away from most homes and a couple of times I tried the store bought ones on my India trip, they came no where close to the satisfaction bar. I had given up on these until I decided to try at home a couple of years back. After a couple of failures, disasters, heart breaks, phone calls etc and an unshakable perseverance, I have finally gained the skill level to make these without as much as batting an eyelid :-)

There are a lot of notes/tips in this post, guess how/why I am so knowledgeable? Been there, done that and salvaged more than once. So read through the entire post and once you are armed with the wisdom, go ahead and try out this slowly fading away dessert that deserves to be handed down generations to come. Since my generation seems to be philosophically bought in to the idea of 'less oil', I went ahead and tried baking sajjappas. 400F, lay the sajjappa on a parchment paper in a cookie sheet, bake 8 minutes on one side, turn and bake for another 4 minutes. Delicious, crispy outer cover yet moist filling, these were in no way inferior to the deep fried ones. In the spirit of Deepavali, I deep fried most while baked a couple of batches but next time onwards, I might just stick to the baked version.
Some potential mishaps and how to recover from them: 
  • Keep that smile intact on your face and march towards the final goal no matter how bad the situation seems to be :-), this applies while making sajjappa or any other time in life too. I am in a free advice giving mood & mode today. Rest of the points below are totally practical and meant to help you get out of sticky situations, so go ahead and read them. 
  • If you used more water while making the filling, just keep it on medium heat until it evaporates and becomes a soft mass. When you take a spoon of the hurana and give it a shape, it should hold and not collapse. There is no syrup consistency for this dessert.
  • On the other hand, if the filling becomes too hard after it cools down, take it in a wide plate or on your counter top, add few drops of water and start kneading to make it soft. Hard consistency of the filling will make it poke out of the cover while pressing it and causes sajjappa to burst open in the oil, not a pretty sight :-)
  • Trick to a great sajjappa is in the right balance of the filling and cover, the cover should be thick but not too thick so it remains crispy. Very thin covering will expose the filling while frying them. 
  • If you removed the filling a tad early and it is still very sticky, get it back in the pan and continue heating for a few more minutes and test if the ball sits holding its shape and when you touch it with water smeared fingers, it doesn't stick to your fingers. 
  • I really loved everything about the baked sajjappa, the fact that it is so much lower in calories compared to the other version is a HUGE BONUS. Give it a try. 

What do you need to make Sajjappa? 
Below quantities make about 25-30 sajjappas depending on the size
Hoorana or filling:
2.5 cups coconut
2 cups grated jaggery
1/2 cup chiroti rava/sooji (finer than upma rava)
4 green cardamom
2 cloves
1 Tsp gasagase/poppy seeds
2 Tbsp water
ghee roasted raisins and cashews - chopped into tiny pieces
Kanaka or outer covering:
1.5 cups chiroti rava/sooji
3/4 cup AP flour (maida)
1/8 Tsp salt
1 Tbsp oil
3/4 cup water
Oil to deep fry
How do you make Sajjappa? 
Making Hoorana or Filling: 
  • Grate or powder jaggery. 
  • Bring coconut to room temperature if using frozen. 
  • Powder cardamom & cloves. 
  • Heat a thick bottom pan on medium heat. 
  • Add 2 Tbsp water and powdered jaggery. 
  • Mix until jaggery dissolves completely. 
  • Add all the rest of the ingredients listed under 'hoorana' and give a good mix. 
  • Let it cook for a few minutes until water evaporates and you see a soft mass in the pan. 
  • Wet your palms, take a spoonful of the filling, roll it between palms and drop it into a plate. The ball should hold its shape though squishy and will not stick to the wet hands. 
  • At this stage, switch off and let cool. 
  • You can use it to make sajjappa once cool or refrigerate it for later use. 
Making outer cover: 
  • Take all ingredients listed except for water & oil in a bowl and mix them well. 
  • Add water slowly and bring everything together. 
  • Depending on the quality of flours, you may need a little less or more quantity of water. The dough needs to be soft. 

  • Once the dough comes together, knead it for atleast 10 minutes. 
  • You will feel the coarse texture of rava turning smooth and soft as you need and the dough reaches an elastic consistency. 
  • Pour 1 Tbsp oil on top of the dough, gently pat it into the dough, cover and let it rest atleast 2-3 hours or overnight. 
Making sajjappas:
  • Heat oil for deep fry in a deep and wide pan.
  • Knead the dough once more and divide into 25 equal portions. 
  • Bring the filling to room temperature if refrigerated and divide into 25 equal portions. 
  • Put a drop of oil on your palm, place the dough and press it to make a flat disk. 
  • Put the filling portion in the center of the disk and pull all the edges gently to cover the filling. 
  • Put the seam side down on a lightly oiled aluminium foil/banana leaf/plastic sheet and press gently into a circle of about 1mm thickness. 
  • Ease this gently into the hot oil, flip a couple of times to get it golden brown in color all around. 
  • Take it out onto a paper towel lined plate and let cool a little before digging in. 
  • Baked version: Preheat oven to 400F, spread a parchment paper in a cookie sheet, arrange the flattened sajjappas leaving a little space between each other. Bake for 8 mins on one side, flip and bake for 4 mins on the other side. The baking times may need to be watched and adjusted based on your oven.
  • Nammamma makes it with only coconut & jaggery, since all she has to do is break as many coconuts as needed and grate them:-). I use store bought frozen coconut and was on my last packet so followed what my friend's amma used to do and added rava to make up for the deficiency of coconut.
  • I was 1/2 cup short of jaggery and instead of making a trip to the store, used Turbinado sugar I had in the pantry, didn't make any difference in color, texture or sweetness. 
  • Proportion of chiroti Rava to maida is 1:1/2, this yields a crispy outer covering.
  • While deep frying, keep the heat on medium and fry until both sides turn light golden brown. 
  • Adjust quantity of jaggery based on your sweet preference and also the quality of the variety you use. 
  • Let the dough soak for atleast 2 hours, kneading it is important. Rough texture of rava turns smooth and soft as you add water and knead. 
  • Overnight resting is great too if you want to make ahead, keep it outside on the countertop where it is cool.
  • You can refrigerate the hoorana if you make it ahead but bring it to room temperature before making sajjappas.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cabbage Pakoda - Crispy and Saatvik :-)

Our weather changed pretty quickly into a wet, slightly nippy days laced with gorgeous colors of the trees. Yep, we are into Autumn and every day as I walk back & forth, I stop in the middle of the road to take in the colors, click some pictures on the cell phone to preserve those moments before I move on. This weather also has an uncanny ability to make me ache and miss home as I remember it from years ago and wish for a reason to get together with loved ones. There is definitely something in the air that causes the feeling to return year after year :-(. Here is a picture of the beautiful dahlias I see in the market which invariably take me back to the home where dahlias of all colors and sizes exploded in the front yard towards the end of summers.
Recently, I came across a reading about a time machine that would take you back to any specific time. Does that sound appealing to anyone? Would you like to go back in time to a specific day/time in your life? Though it sounded attractive, I still think I would like to keep moving forward in the journey for a few reasons:
1. If I went back to the happy, carefree childhood where everything would be taken care of, I would miss being a mom myself and take care of my little girl.
2. If I went back to my fun filled college days, I would miss all the fun I have as a working woman now.
3. If I went back to my running around with the school friends days, I would miss being the friend of my best friend & husband.
4. If I went back in time, I would be ignoring all the blessings I have had since then.

Memories are 'lift me ups' when you need it but one can't live in the memories themselves. Going back in time doesn't always mean it will make you happier. So, no time travel for me, either back to the past or into the future. Look at all those peppy, perky colored chilies hanging down in beautiful creations. May this Fall be as colorful and cheerful to you all.
That was a totally random chat, I told you the weather makes me goofy sometimes :-). But this weather also encourages me to go back and cook something spicy & delicious to enjoy on those wet evenings. I throw all my caution about high calorie food out the window and indulge in a few bites (or platefuls of :-)) some garma garam pakodas and chai.
Last weekend, we finally got DD to agree for her senior pictures. If you do not know what senior pictures are, don't worry, I am here to enlighten you on the topic :-). High school seniors take pictures that portray them in the best light (figuratively & otherwise)that go into their year book as a keep sake. While the rest of the grades have their pictures taken by the regular guy that visits the schools, senior pictures are taken in a non-school setting and I have seen kids and families engage professional photographers and drive around to find the best spot to take pictures. We didn't have anything like that when in school so I was personally keen on having some senior pictures taken for DD. But my child is not one that does all the expected things, she didn't even show a small flicker of interest in taking the pictures. On top of it, to shake off the annoying mom, she said that she would have one of her really talented classmates take it for her and *definitely didn't want dad to take those pictures* :-). All the grand plans kept getting postponed as she threw herself into school work and other activities and the senior pictures took a back seat in a dark alley. Finally last weekend, she relented to take some pictures and said yes to her dad being the photographer. We didn't chase any picturesque spots, but got some beautiful shots right around us, she was happy and we were more than happy :-)
To celebrate the senior pictures and also to enjoy the wet weather, I made some cabbage pakodas. If someone were to ask my family what I cooked best, you would have an overwhelming vote on my onion pakodas, since I have made them for a long time and almost everyone in the extended family have enjoyed them at one time or another. I know, I don't have that recipe yet on the blog, will get to it soon.

The other day, I was talking to a friend who mentioned eating cabbage pakodas at an event at the temple. Normally, temple food tends to be saatvik and avoids onion, garlic among other ingredients. Last week, I was also planning on taking some snacks to a group event and wanted it to be devoid of onions. If you are craving for pakodas but not in the mood to consume onions, don't fret. These cabbage pakodas will give a run for the money to their cousins made with onions and just as mouth wateringly tasty and crunchy. I can bet that you won't miss the onions. Buoyed by the successful picture session, BH & DD kept eating the pakodas before I could pack some for sharing. I had to mix another batch and take it for my pot luck. It was well received and I came back home empty handed but feeling full in the heart.
What do you need to make Cabbage Pakodas? 
2-2.5 cups finely shredded cabbage (see notes)
2-3 Tbsp besan/gram flour
1 Tbsp chopped mint
1-2 green chilies chopped fine (adjust to taste)
3/4-1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tsp rice flour
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 Tsp crushed ginger
1/2 Tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
pinch of turmeric powder (adds color, optional)
oil to deep fry
How do you make Cabbage Pakodas? 
  • Finely shred cabbage to measure about 2.5 cups, put it in a bowl. 
  • Add all the ingredients except for oil. 
  • Mix it with light fingers and keep aside for 10 minutes. Cabbage leaves some water when mixed with salt.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan. 
  • After 10 minutes, mix the ingredients again and slowly add water to bring them together, about 1.5-2 Tsp of water is sufficient for this amount. 
  • Drop small spoonfuls of the batter into the hot oil, make sure they are in a single layer and not piled on top of each other. 
  • Turning them over a couple of times, cook until the pakodas turn golden brown all over. 
  • Take them onto a paper towel lined plate, let cool for a minute or so before popping the deliciously addictive snack into your mouth. 
  • Shred or cut the cabbage in to thin and long (about 1-1.5 inch) strips. 
  • Cabbage should make the bulk with the flours only coating them. This is key to crispy pakodas. If you add too much flour or make the batter watery, the pakodas will become soggy and soft. 
  • Mint adds a wonderful flavor to the pakodas not allowing any die hard onion fans to miss onion in this recipe. Add more if you like.
  • I don't use any baking soda in the recipe, the pakodas turn and stay crisp for a long time (you can verify this yourself if you have a steely resolve to fight the temptation of eating them all as soon as they come out of the hot oil :-))

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sattvaa is now part of an e-book :-)

Just happy to share that one of Sattvaa's recipes have been chosen to be part of Indus Ladies's e-book with a compilation of 100 kids lunch box recipes. I am glad to be sharing the platform with some of the extraordinary bloggers out there.

This recipe book has recipes that suit a wide range of tastes & preferences. Whether you are looking for a carb filled, one pot rice item or more for a baked, snack item to fill the lunch box, you will find it here. And, the recipes will be perfect for an adult lunch box too :-), so without delay, go ahead and download the recipe book from here. 

Displaying IL-100KidsLunchboxRecipes-Banner.jpg

Will be back soon with a yummy, kurkure snack. I just need to sleep a little bit as it has been a long week and weekend so far. See you all soon :-)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Baalekayi Palya - smokey & spicy green banana dish, turning a leaf (page) from a favorite book

Another season of Dasara/Navaratri is over and we are already looking towards the fast approaching Deepavali and then the Holiday season starting with Thanksgiving. Where did 2014 go already? Summer cooled down into Autumn and I have started to see leaves change colors around me, I am already an old timer at my new job (honeymoon period over, start delivering :-)) and DD is busy with her senior year of school. Yes, my baby is getting ready to fly the nest come next September :-(. Ah, well I can either whine about next year or enjoy the togetherness until then and I choose the second one.

After all the sweets and other delicacies I made at home and also had to eat at friend's places in the name of Dasara, we are trying to get back to something simple and appetizing this week. I actually wanted to stay away from lentils and oil for a couple of days as we had our filling of both these heavy ingredients with all the usali and sabudana vada among other things :-). I made a lip smacking ginger chutney and steamed some oats masala idlis which seemed to help the lost taste on the tongue majorly. Back to eating vegetables with a side of some spicy chutney helps get back to normalcy.
Over the years, I have acquired a bunch of cookery books, not counting the ones I borrow from time to time from the public library. Some of these books are bought based on extensive research and recommendation while some are purchased as an impulse buy. Some of these books have many dog ears as I go back to them again & again while some of them sit in their pristine, new form as I don't touch them often enough until some day I get rid of donate them as part of a clean up :-). One of the books I love flipping through is Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan, I haven't tried a whole lot of recipes (not yet) from this book but I like it for the rich photos it has. One of the recipes that caught my attention on a random flipping is this green banana crumble as she calls it.

It is a simple enough recipe, I have made it a few times enhancing the spice powder to suit our palate and here is the 'modified from original' version of the green banana crumble or palya as I call it :-). If you have a charcoal grill, it is time to bring it out. Bananas roasted directly over flame have that wonderfully smokey flavor in this recipe. If you really don't care for it or are not inclined to spoil your gas stove by directly roasting them on the flame (I do understand this, I totally do), then go for the boil or steam method described below. The dry powder enhances the taste and makes the bland vegetable come alive with the spices. The best part about this dish is it can be eaten just like that and enjoyed as a snack too :-)
Baalekayi or plantain (green banana) is a commonly used vegetable in India. They stand cooking very well since they are firm and have an absolutely delicious taste albeit a little bland. The variety used as vegetable is never eaten ripe as a fruit. We grew bananas at home in Mysore and they were the small, yellow bananas which we ate when ripe but used to get the green variety for cooking. Nammamma's favorite recipe was the kootu or gojju with this vegetable. Amma makes crispy, dry fry(vepudu in Telugu) or an onion flavored soft cooked side dish. I love all of them, here is another side dish (or a main dish depending on how you eat it) made with green bananas that is a perfectly homely accompaniment to a rice-centric meal.

What do you need to make baalekayi palya? 
2 firm green bananas (I use the non-Kerala variety)
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1 Tbsp shredded coconut
Spice powder: 
2 Tbsp chana dal
1 Tbsp urad dal
1 Tsp coriander seeds
1/2 Tsp cumin
1/8 Tsp fenugreek seeds
4-6 dry red chilies
pinch of asafoetida
1 Tbsp oil
1 Tsp mustard
1 Tsp chana dal
1/2 Tsp urad dal
1 dry red chili broken
1 green chili (optional)
few curry leaves

How do you make baalekayi palya? 
  • Wash, pat dry the skin of green bananas and remove the ends on both sides. 
  • Make a few slits using a knife (don't cut the bananas into pieces though) and smear a drop of oil all over the skin. 
  • Roast on a flame turning the vegetable all around until the skin turns black and becomes charred. Keep the flame on medium so the banana cooks to become soft but not mushy. 
  • In the meantime, dry roast all the ingredients listed under 'spice powder' except for asafoetida until the lentils turn pink in color. 
  • Cool and make it into a powder along with asafoetida, keep aside until ready to use. 
  • Once the bananas are cool, peel the skin off. hold the skin from a knife marking and it will peel off easily.
  • Remove any charred particles by washing it in water. 
  • Grate the cooked bananas (use the largest possible gratings, smaller ones tend to make the dish mushy and pulpy). 
  • Heat oil in a wide pan, add mustard and the dals listed under seasoning, let mustard pop and dals turn pink before adding the chilies and curry leaves. 
  • Add the grated banana, salt, coconut and the spice powder and give it a gently mix. 
  • Cover and lower the heat and let cook for about 2 minutes until the flavors come together. 
  • Switch off and serve warm with rice, roti and just by itself. We ate with a yummy spinach pachadi and rice. 
  • If you do not want to roast the bananas, alternatively, you can boil them in a pot of water until they turn soft, about 15 minutes or cut them into halves and steam them in a cooker. Take care not to let them become mushy.
  • Increase or decrease the chilies depending on your heat tolerance
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and a dash of lemon juice if you like. 
  • Once roasted, dunk the bananas in a pot of cold water for 10 minutes and the skin peels off easily. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Sabudana Vada - a completely sold out affair at Navaratri Bommala koluvu

Happy Navaratri to all my celebrating readers. May this festival season bring you lots of joy and contentment.
Navaratri started last week and since there was only one weekend I could get before Vijaya Dashami, we went ahead, set up our bommala koluvu and invited friends over last Saturday. As always, it was lot of fun, music and food. Over the last 3 years since we have been here, I have made a lot of young friends through my Balavihar classes and they have become family. Some kids move onto the other classes but they come and visit our Navaratri koluvu and they all have come to realize that there is no escape from singing at my place :-). New kids start off a little shy and try to squirm out by making excuses but they give up as they see others singing. After all, Navaratri has to be celebrated the right way with joy, music and dance, don't you all agree?
Now, Navaratri though is celebrated all over India, the practices are different as you move from place to place. In some states, Navaratri is celebrated with a lot of Vrat (festival) related restrictions on food. People do not eat onions, garlic among many other things. While these festival celebrations may seem restrictive to many, this is how nammamma made food most days of the year even when it was not a festival day. I on the other hand am a total onion fan, I like them in all forms, so it takes me a little rethinking during festivals. It is always a success when a visiting parent or an elderly person asks about onion in the menu and I can confidently say that all dishes on the table fit the 'no onion' criteria:-)

In an effort to make a 'no rice' dish, I made my millet pongal which was a hit but these sabudana vadas took home all the glory and crown. Sabudana vadas are considered vrat dishes in Maharashtra and Gujarat though I am not an expert on the subject. Everybody seemed to like it going by the empty bowl we had at the end of dinner. Since Saturday, I have had atleast 4 requests for the recipe, so here it is.
These vadas are known for retaining more oil than the regular vadas, adding the flour helps reduce this a little bit and make sure you put the fried vadas on to a plate lined with paper towels for the extra oil to drain out. I made them again today as a few of the friends came by this evening. As I was planning the menu, DD said that I needed to make these vadas again and her excuse was, "amma if you don't make them, the people that come today will miss the most delicious snack in this whole wide world" :-). After such blatant flattery, I can't say 'no', so ended up making another batch of sabudana vadas. I tried shallow frying a batch of them, turned out very tasty though the texture is very different from the deep fried stuff. Look at the end of the post for 'how to'.

These taste yummy either hot or cold, the crunchiness of the outer layer stays put because of the sabudana even after they become cold making it a perfect snack for parties.
Here are some previous Navaratri posts and posts if you are in a mood to read - a must have Usili/sundal and a no recipe read about Mysore Dasara.

What do you need to make Sabudana Vada? 
3/4 cup sabudana (will become 1 cup once it soaks)
2-3 medium sized potatoes (see 'how to' below for details)
1-1.5 Tbsp rajgira or Bajra flour
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
3-4 green chilies
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp coarsely crushed peanuts (increase if you like more crunch)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp lemon/lime juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh coconut (Mysore Twisht :-), optional)
oil to deep fry
How do you make Sabudana Vada? 
  • Wash Sabudana in running water twice and soak it in water for 6-8 hours or overnight until they plump up and become soft to touch. 
  • Drain the water through a colander and let the sabudana stand for 30 minutes or so until all the water is gone. 
  • Boil potatoes until soft, peel and grate them - you can mash them but it is better to grate as it gives a smoother texture. 
  • Toast peanuts on stove top or microwave, let cool a little, pound them in a mortar & pestle or blender to coarse powder. You want small bites of peanuts, make sure you do not make them too small or powdery. 
  • Crush the green chilies into a paste. 
  • In a wide bowl, mix all ingredients except for oil until they come together. Depending on the water content, you might need a little bit more or less flour. Do not add too much flour as it changes the taste. 
  • Taste and adjust salt, green chilies as needed. 
  • Heat oil in a deep pan until a small piece of dough dropped in comes up immediately. 
  • In the meantime, break lime sized dough, make a ball and flatten into a patty. 
  • Drop the prepared patties in to the hot oil and let them cook for minute before flipping them over. 
  • Fry until both sides turn light golden in color. 
  • Take them out onto a plate lined with paper towels, enjoy with a chutney or sauce. 
  • Potatoes when grated should make 2 cups, choose the number based on the size of potatoes. Too much of potatoes make them oily & soggy. 
  • Remove outer skin of peanuts before pounding them into bits. I like the mortar & pestle since the skin tends to come out easily which you can separate and continue to pound. Else, put the toasted nuts in a ziplock bag and give it a couple brisk rubs for the skin to fall out. 
  • If you can't find Rajgira or Bajra flour, go ahead and add rice flour. The idea is to absorb the moisture in the dough as much as possible. 
  • Ginger plays the key role in enhancing the taste & flavor of this vada, do not skimp on it. 
  • More cilantro makes the vadas happy :-)
  • As both potatoes & sabudana are bland in taste, green chilies are your only ingredient of spice, adjust according to taste. 
Low Calorie alternate: 
  • If you are on a diet or wanting to avoid deep fried stuff, go ahead and shallow fry the patties on a tava. 
  • Use a cast iron pan preferably and add a generous spoon of oil to the bottom before placing the patties. 
  • Let the patties turn golden brown on both sides, cooking it on medium high. 
  • These will not be crunchy like the deep fried ones but you can sleep peacefully (eating a couple more) knowing that the chances of all that fat settling down in the middle of the body is addressed :-)