Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mixed Vegetable Bonda

Bisi Bisi Bonda..(Bisi = Hot)an irresistible appetizer, served mostly at Buffets in India, somehow I feel this one is not as popular as its other deep fried counterparts as a street food. People eat onion pakodas, bajjis, aamboDe etc., but somehow forget this tasty, healthy(except for the deep-fried part ;-) ) snack. The other day this one came to my rescue when I had run out of ideas for evening time snacks. My memory cells juggled this one out and I said why not! Turned out to be quite a hit. Crispy on the outside, soft, savoury filling on the inside, each bite is a taste explosion.

Next time you have to make appetizers for a party, a potluck or a weekend tea, think Big, think Bold, think BONDA! Enjoy..


For the Filling:
1 big Potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
1/2 cup Onions, finely chopped
1/2 cup Carrots, finely chopped
1/2 cup Cauliflower, cut into small florets
1/4 cup Beans, finely chopped
1/4 cup Peas(I used frozen. If using fresh, cook them separately in boiling water)
4-5(or as required) Green Chillies, minced/finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Cumin(Jeerige) powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric(Arishina) powder
1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala powder, optional
2 teaspoons Lime Juice or 1/4 teaspoon Amchoor powder
Salt, to taste

For the Batter:
1 cup Gram Flour(kaDle hiTTu/besan)
Note: Use "ladu besan", if you can get it. It is coarser in texture than the fine flour and tends to make the bonDas crispier.
1/2 cup Rice Flour(akki hiTTu)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Carrom seeds(Om kaaLu)
1/2 teaspoon Red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Oil, for deep frying


1. Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan. When hot enough add the onions and saute until translucent.
2. Now add the other vegetables one after the other, sauteing for 2-3 minutes after each addition, cover the pan and let them cook. Add a little(3-4 teaspooons) water if necessary. (I add the veggies in this order, Beans, Carrots, Cauliflower and Peas)
3. When all the veggies are cooked and tender, mix in the mashed potato. This acts as a binder. Then, add Salt and all other powders and mix well.
4. Take off the heat. Add lime juice and mix. Do a taste test. Adjust seasonings as needed and let it cool. When cold enough to handle, make small quarter/one rupee coin sized balls and set aside.
5. Mix all the ingredients for the batter in a vessel. Add water slowly, little at a time and make a smooth, lumpless, thick batter. When dropped from a spoon the batter should fall down in chunks and not as a stream. This is so that it will form a nice outer coating to the bondas.
6. Heat the oil for frying in a deep wok(kadai).
7. Add 2 teaspoons of the hot oil to the batter and mix in.
8. Now, dip each veggie ball into the batter so that it forms an even coat around the ball and gently drop the coated ball into the hot oil. Continue with the other balls. Depending on the size of your kadai, add as many bondas as would fit in one layer.(6 should be ideal, as the bondas will fluff up)
9. Fry until they are golden brown in color. Using a slotted spoon, strain onto a paper lined plate.
10. Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup.

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