Fasting on various religious occasions is a big deal with Hindus in India. Some people fast every week, others only on certain auspicious days each year.
The fasting can be either for fulfillment of specific wishes or an exercise in general purification of the body and soul. There are also certain days where the fasting is observed as a duty.
For instance, on the day of Karva Chauth, wives fast to ensure their husbands a long life. There are also certain days of the week, where devotees of particular Hindu Gods fast as a kind of sacrifice for the God.
The fast can take on various forms: some people give up all food and drink for the entire day and eat only when the sun sets and the moon appears.
Others forgo certain types of food and eat food from a prescribed list. Such as fruits, raw vegetables, potatoes and dishes made with buckwheat and tapioca.
I have never fasted a day in my life, but I have always been fascinated with people around me who do. Some take it really seriously and abstain strictly.
Others, well, I am no one to judge 😉 But as a kid, I used to watch my neighborhood ‘aunties’ ‘fasting’ with wide-eyed amazement… eating copious amounts of potato chips, loads of fruits, steaming plates of sabudana khichdi, vrat ka halwa, dry fruits and freshly fried sabudana vada… 😀
I wondered if it was fasting or feasting and I still do… I think some of the most delicious food is made on the fasting days and one such gem is this Sabudana Vada.
Soaked tapioca pearls are mixed with boiled potato, toasted peanuts and a few herbs and spices, shaped into patties and deep-fried. Brilliantly crunchy on the outside, soft savory deliciousness on the inside… Never have such simple ingredients and techniques come together to create such perfect alchemic balance 😀
I have qualms about wolfing down these divine creations without any excuse of a fast. They are so, so good. The only issue for me is that these are deep-fried. So, I made a pan-fried version, simple!
All the taste, most of the crunch, none of the guilt 😀
Here’s the recipe.
Pan-fried Sabudana Vada (Tapioca Pearl Patties)
1/2 cup Sabudana (Tapioca Pearls)
2 medium Potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 slice of Bread
1/4 cup toasted Peanuts,crushed
2-3 Green or Red chillies, finely chopped (add more or less, as per taste)
5-6 sprigs Cilantro, finely chopped
1″ Ginger, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons Cooking Oil
Wash the tapioca pearls twice and add enough water until it is just above the level of the tapioca pearls.
Soak it for 4-5 hours.
In a large bowl, add the mashed potatoes, crushed peanuts,chopped green chillies, chopped ginger,chopped cilantro, salt and lemon juice.
Add the soaked tapioca pearls.
Dip the bread slice in a bowl of water and squeeze out as much water as possible. Crumble the soaked bread into the bowl with the potato and tapioca pearls.
Mix all these ingredients well till uniform.
Oil your palms. Take a lemon-sized ball of the mixture and form it into a patty.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Heat a griddle or tava and add a couple of tablespoons of oil.
Spread it around and place the patties on the griddle.
Fry them on both sides until golden brown. They cook pretty fast and takes around 2-3 mins on each side.
Serve them hot with Tomato Ketchup.