Sabudana vada is as local Maharashtrian as it gets.
Sabudana is a spongy extract from tropical palm stems found in vast quantities in Maharashtra.
It is a pure carbohydrate with very little nutritional value, but said to be cooling to the system and especially popular as a fasting food.
The most enjoyable sabudana dish is no doubt sabudana vada.
A crunchy snack made from sabudana, potatoes, onions, green chili, cumin powder, ginger and lemon all mixed together, rolled into balls and then fried. The crust of the vada is beautifully crisp while the inside remains soft and chewy.
To get a taste of an authentic sabudana dish one must venture to Shivaji Park, an area in Mumbai named after a 17th-century warrior king. This patriotic neighborhood offers some small, no-frills but genuine Maharashtrian breakfasts.