Saggubiyam Vadiayalu (Sago Crisps)

Saggubiyam Vadiayalu (Sago Crisps)

Most summers across Andhra Pradesh, you will find terraces filled with plastic sheets spread out and held down with stones, and various shapes and sizes of crisps drying out in the sun. In fact, this is mostly done in the first half of summer (March – April). So whenever We made a trip back home for the holidays, The crisps would be ready for us to consume! 🙂

Ready to fry!

Ready to fry!

There are various kinds of crisps or vadiyalu as they are traditionally called. They are made with various dals or rice, sometimes even mixed proportions of all! 🙂

Since my marriage, my mother-in-law has been making for us. This year, since she was with us during early summer, I took the opportunity to note some of her recipes down. So here are the saggubiyam vadiyalu. 🙂

NOTE: Most of the measurements/amounts  were shown by hand and not with any measuring cup; I have given approximations based on my personal understanding. This is the traditional way of working in most families. Recipes, and amounts, differ on this basis. And that also accounts why one person’s cooking may taste better than another’s even though they made it the same way with the very same ingredients! 😀


  • Nylon sago – 1/2 kg
  • Green chillies – 1/4 kg
  • Salt – 1.5 tsp
  • Water – 6 ltrs
  • Black hing (asafoetida) – 1 tsp (approximation as these are broken pieces)
  • Juice from 2 lemons
  • Large plastic sheet ( 4ft x 6 ft)


  • Boil water in a large vessel (approx 8-9 ltrs size)
  • Simultaneously grind the chillies and black hing. Add a little water to ensure it grinds properly to a very fine paste.
  • Once the water boils, add the chilli paste and salt to the water and mix well
The water and chilli paste boiling away

The water and chilli paste boiling away

  • Wash the sago and set aside.
  • When the chilli water boils, gently add the sago while constantly stirring
  • Keep stirring until it thickens, and the sago has become completely transparent and fluffy to look at. Turn off the flame.
Note the color change after the sago is added

Note the color change after the sago is added

The texture is thick, and ready for spreading out

The texture is thick, and ready for spreading out

  • Spread out the plastic sheet at a place where you will get a lot of direct sunshine and hold down the corners.
  • Take a tea spoon and pour out approximately 3/4th spoon amount of the batter onto the sheet.
freshly spread out...

freshly spread out…

.. and beginning to dry out. See how the sheet is pulled by the drying vadiyalu

.. and beginning to dry out. See how the sheet is pulled by the drying vadiyalu

  • Keep a litre of water handy. Be sure that the batter is liquid enough to spread a bit and not stick to the spoon, but not runny.
  • Once they dry out completely the vadiyalu will come off the sheet by themselves. However, they will need about 2-3 days of good sunshine to dry properly
  • Store in an airtight container.
all ready to be stored / fried up!

all ready to be stored / fried up!

Couple of points to be kept in mind are:

  • It’s a good idea to complete the process before8-9am in the morning. This is for 2 reasons:
    • You can take full advantage of the sun during the day
    • Your feet won’t burn on the hot terrace while spreading out on the sheet! 😉
  • Do not make in the 2nd half of summer (May-June). By this time the winds will start carrying dust, as well as the unpredictable pre-monsoon showers can play havoc with the process of drying the vadiyalu.

This vadiyalu will last in storage for about a year. Actually, I’ve never tested that out: the vadiyalu never really last the year! 😉

At any time you can deep fry them in hot oil, without a worry! It can be served with hot rice and sambhar, pulusu, pulusu-kura or even pindimiriyam!

6 responses »

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