Sabudana tikki are thin pan-fried patties made with tapioca pearls, mashed potatoes and spices. Also known as sabudana cutlet, these crispy patties make for a delicious snack that will get over in no time. This recipe is suitable for Hindu fasting days like Ekadashi, Navratri, Mahashivratri or Chaturthi. It is also easy to customize this dish with the ingredients you include during your fast.
Sabudana called as sago or tapioca pearls are often consumed during fasting or vrat. Basically these are small white pearls made from tapioca flour starch.
Even thought the preparation of sabudana tikki looks similar to that of Sabudana Vada, some of the ingredients included in the tikki are unique and different. Unlike a sabudana vada which has a good amount of peanuts, sabudana tikki has a few cashews and raisins added to it. Dry mango powder is added here instead of lemon juice to give a slight tang to the patties.
Sabudana tikki is a North Indian style recipe and Sabudana Vada is a delicacy from the Maharashtrian cuisine. Moreover sabudana vada are deep fried and these sago tikkis are pan-fried with a few tablespoons of oil.
Serve sabudana cutlet with a satvik coconut chutney or a homemade tomato ketchup made without preservatives or a satvik coriander chutney or mint chutney.
With sabudana, I make some more fasting recipes like:
How to make Sabudana Tikki
1. Rinse and then soak ½ cup sabudana pearls in water covering them above from 1 to 2 inches, for 5 to 6 hours or overnight.
Depending on the quality of sabudana you can even soak for 2 to 3 hours. When properly soaked, the sago pearls, will get mashed easily when pressed. If you feel some hardness in the center, then soak for some more time.
2. Then drain the soaked sago pearls very well in a strainer.
Cooking and Mashing Potatoes
3. Boil or steam 1 large potato in a stove-top pressure cooker, steamer, Instant Pot or microwave oven. The potato has to be softened and well cooked. Drain all the water from the boiled potato.
Add water as needed when steaming or boiling the potatoes using any cooking method that you follow – in a pan, instant pot or stove-top pressure cooker.
Note that the water has to be drained thoroughly before you begin to peel and mash the potato. Any water logging in the potato, will make the tikki mixture moist or pasty.
4. When the potato is slightly hot or warm, peel and mash it with a fork or a vegetable masher very well in a bowl. Let the mashed potato become lukewarm or cool completely at room temperature before you begin adding the remaining ingredients to it.
5. Now add the following ingredients. You can also use roasted and slightly crushed peanuts instead of cashews.
- the sabudana pearls that have been drained of all the water
- ½ teaspoon chopped green chillies
- 10 to 12 cashews (chopped) or 4 tablespoons chopped cashews
- ½ tablespoon chopped raisins
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur powder) or add as per taste
- edible rock salt (sendha namak) as required
6. Mix very well. I was very sure that the tikkis will not break while frying. This recipe works. But if you are in doubt, you can add 1 tablespoon of arrowroot flour or water chestnut flour or buckwheat flour.
Making Sabudana Tikki
7. Then form flat patties from the mixture. Keep the width of the patties to ⅓ inch as when cooking they cook quickly from outside.
If you make thick sabudana tikki, then the outsides become golden, but the center will feel raw. We need to keep the thickness of the patties thin as we are pan-frying them and not deep frying.
8. Heat 2 tablespoon peanut oil in a frying pan or skillet. Place 4 to 5 sabudana tikki in the pan and fry on medium heat. You can also use ghee (clarified butter) to pan-fry.
9. When the base is lightly browned, flip using a spatula and pan-fry the other side. If needed you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil.
10. Flip again when the second side is golden. Flip a couple of times more, until the sabudana cutlets are crisp and golden from both sides.
11. Place the pan-fried sabudana tikki on kitchen paper towels to remove any extra oil.
12. Fry the remaining batches in the same way add 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or as needed. The recipe makes for 8 sabudana cutlet.
Serve sabudana tikki hot or warm with a satvik coconut chutney or homemade tomato sauce made without preservatives or coriander chutney or mint chutney.
If you are looking for more Navratri recipes then do check:
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Sabudana Tikki | Sabudana Cutlet
- ½ cup sabudana (tapioca pearls or sago)
- 1 large potato or 130 grams potato – boiled, peeled and mashed
- ½ teaspoon chopped green chilies or 1 green chili
- 10 to 12 cashews – chopped or 4 tablespoon chopped cashews or 2 tablespoon roasted peanuts, coarsely crushed
- ½ tablespoon chopped raisins or 8 to 9 raisins – chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ¼ teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur) or add as per taste
- 1 tablespoon rock salt – edible and food grade, (sendha namak), add as required
- 3 to 4 tablespoons peanut oil – for pan frying
- Rinse and then soak the sabudana pearls in water covering them above 1 inch, for 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Depending on the quality of sabudana you can even soak for 2 to 3 hours.
- When properly soaked, the sabudana pearl, should get mashed when pressed. If you feel some hardness in the center, then soak for some more time.
- Then drain the soaked sabudana pearls very well in a strainer.
- Boil or steam 1 large potato in a pressure cooker, steamer or microwave oven. The potato has to be well cooked. Drain all the water from the boiled potato.
Making sago mixture
- When the potato is hot or becomes warm, peel and mash it very well in a bowl. Let the mashed potatoes become lukewarm or cool at room temperature.
- Later add the sabudana, chopped green chillies, chopped cashews and raisins to the mashed potatoes.
- Add cumin powder, dry mango powder. Also add rock salt (sendha namak) as required. You can also use roasted and slightly crushed peanuts instead of cashews.
- Mix very well.
- Then form flat patties from the mixture. Keep the width of the patties to ⅓ inch as when cooking they cook quickly from outside. If you make thick tikkis, then the outsides become golden, but the center will feel raw. Since we are pan frying the sabudana tikki and not deep frying.
Pan-frying sabudana tikki
- Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in a skillet or frying pan. Place 4 to 5 sabudana tikki in the pan. Fry them on medium heat.
- When the base is lightly browned, flip and pan fry the other side. Flip again with a spatula when the second side is golden and crisp.
- Flip a couple of times more till they are crisp and golden from both sides. If required you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil.
- Place the fried sabudana cutlet on kitchen paper towels. Fry the remaining batch in the same way adding 1 to 2 tablespoons more oil.
- Serve sabudana tikki hot or warm with fasting a satvik green chutney or coconut chutney.
- You can also serve sabudana cutlet with curd (yogurt) sweetened with some sugar.
- Soaking sabudana: I soak sabudana for 6 to 7 hours or overnight due to the quality of sabudana I get here. You can soak them for 2 to 3 hours if they soften well. A properly soaked sabudana pearl, will get mashed easily when pressed. If you feel some hardness in the center, then you will need to soak for some more time.
- Potato: Remember not to overcook the potato as it can get water logged which will result in your tikki mixture becoming sticky. Simply cook them until they are softened well and tender. Also keep in mind to drain the water completely from the cooked potato. Mash the potato when it is still hot or warm. Add the sabudana and other ingredients to the mashed potatoes only when the potatoes are warm or at room temperature.
- Cashews: In place of cashews, include roasted and lightly crushed peanuts or almonds.
- Size of cutlets: Keep the width of the tikki or patties to ⅓ inch. When pan frying these tikki cook quickly from outside as we are not deep frying them. So if you make a thick sabudana tikki, the outside will cook and have a golden crust, but the center will be undercooked or raw.
- Pan-frying: In order to avoid the cutlets sticking to the pan, use a heavy, thick bottomed and seasoned cast-iron pan, tawa or skillet.
- Scaling: You can easily make a big batch of this recipe by doubling or tripling the ingredient proportions.
- Fats: When making these sabudana cutlets on fasting days, use peanut oil or ghee. On non-fasting days, pan-fry with any neutral oil.
- Non satvik recipe: To make these on regular days, you can add onions, or garlic if you prefer. You can also add regular sea salt or white salt when making these on non-fasting days.
- Green chillies: You can skip adding green chillies when making for small kids. Alternatively to add some heat and spice, you can add ¼ teaspoon red chilli powder or ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper instead of green chillies.
- Note that the approximate nutrition info is for 1 sabudana tikki.
Nutrition Info (Approximate values)
This Sabudana Tikki recipe post from the blog archives (first published in December 2015) has been updated and republished on 30 June 2021.