deep-fried potato dumplings in chickpea batter (with dry garlic chutney).

As regular readers will surely know, we don’t deep fry too often. Apart from occasional Falafels, Pakoras or the (in)famous Cluris, we rarely venture into this space.

When I came home this evening, B was away at the gym and I spied our stash of homegrown potatoes on the counter. Hmm…How would Bondas (aka the south Indian cousin of Batata vadas) be with purple potatoes??

I could even pass it off as health food, since we figured out that these beauties have the same flavonoids that give blueberries their antioxidant richness. (See Microwave Purple Potato Crisps.)

When Anita announced the Batata vada event, B had proclaimed her distaste for this dish (she is not fond of fried stuff – esp ones fried in besan/chickpea flour). When she arrived from the gym the cast iron appam (aebleskiver) pan was on the stove, the potato balls had just been made and everything was ready to be fried. The purple potatoes just did the trick :D I even got a helping hand. How about that?

Since we read this post @ Red Chillies, we’ve been using the appam / aebleskiver pan for all our deep-fried goodies. One to 1.5 tsps of oil in each of the seven slots is all it takes to fry several batches of dumplings and fritters.

3.5 tbsps oil in all, and most of it was left over after frying up this batch (we made exactly seven bondas). That way, we know how much oil is consumed and do not end up throwing away too much if we do not want to reuse it. Plus, the cast iron pan does not need to be washed, just wiped and put away. The cocktail-sized treats end up crisper than regular ones and aid portion control.

It certainly was a royal treat. The filling retained its color after frying and the cut bondas looked and tasted fantastic. Bottomline – when we do fry it had better be good. I certainly enjoyed every moment of making and eating them. B grudgingly gives her approval!


(Makes 7-8 small bondas)

For the batter

4 heaped Tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
1 Tbsp rice flour
1 tsp dry Chilli Garlic chutney (optional)
** or a dash of cayenne powder
1/3 tsp of ajwain (bishop’s weed) freshly ground (or cumin)
pinch of baking powder
salt to taste

For the filling
boiled and coarsely mashed potatoes – 3/4 cup (we used purple potatoes and did not peel them)
2 serrano or Thai bird chillies
3-4 curry leaves
1/2 – 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
salt to taste

about 3.5 tablespoons of oil

Usually the filling has mustard seeds, cilantro, and turmeric. We didn’t have cilantro and I wanted to preserve the purple color, so I dispensed with the turmeric. Since I used gobs of ajwain (bishop’s weed) in the batter, I chose not to use mustard seeds.

1) Mix the batter ingredients well, removing any lumps.

2) Add enough water to make a thick batter (pancake or uthappam consistency).

2) Chop the green chillies and curry leaves very fine and mash them together with the potatoes. Add the salt and lime juice and mix it once more.

3) Make small balls with the filling.

4) Heat oil in the appam / aebleskiver pan – filling oil to 1/3 level in each slot – about 1.5 tsps per slot.

5) Gently drop the filling into the batter. Purple potatoes are one the drier, less starchy side and will not bind as easily. Spoon some batter over the filling to create an even coat.

6)Use a spoon to lower the batter covered filling into the frying pan. Fry until golden brown on one side, then using a skewer or fork, gently turn the bondas over.

7) Fry till golden brown on the other side. Drain on paper towels and serve with ketchup/chutney.

Pre-dinner bite today. Cocktail Bondas with a glass of Moscato d’Asti.

This goes to Anita who keeps reminding us that we need to indulge ourselves once in a while.

- Jai

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  1. Nirmala says:

    Those purple potatoes look lovely inside the bondas! And using appam chatti for deep frying is an excellent idea. That reminds me of my turn of frying these too :)

  2. bee says:

    I’m going to keep the appam pan in the boot of my car so that you can’t deep-fry anything when I go to the gym.


  3. Cham says:

    Seems someone is enjoying when Bee is away for few minutes :) Awesome purple beauties!

  4. sushma says:

    Jai such a great idea to use the appam dish to deep fry the vadas.. really liked it and purpule potato loos so nice

  5. Jayashree says:

    Bondas made in an appakkarai??? I like the idea.

  6. sra says:

    Those bondas are really something else! Are you sure the red chutney goes with the colour scheme? :-D
    I like the idea of purple potatoes – most purple/coloured veggies turns an uninspiring green or brown when it’s cooked.

  7. Manisha says:

    And when will you indulge yourself, I ask.

    This entry should be disallowed.
    Totally, completely, absolutely.
    You were supposed to deep fry. This 3.5 tbsp? Isko deep-frying boltay ho? Never.
    Antioxidants in batata vadas? Never ever.
    With Asti, not chai?! No. No. No.
    So what if you used extreme bokeh in your pics. Nope. Nope. Nope.
    The only thing you did right was the dry garlic chutney.

    Even normalization like that used to determine the Olympic tie results will help you with this entry.

    But just watch. Anita will be too polite to agree with me. I can read the future.

    M out.

  8. Peter G says:

    They look delicious…I love the last ic with the setting…just wonderful.

  9. Pragyan says:

    Innovation in the extreme of circumstances is thy name, Jugalbandi duo! Purple potato, anti-oxidants, appam pan for frying..hats off to you!! Wish I was a pinch as indigenous :)

  10. notyet100 says:

    bonda ith purple potatoes,..aesome entry nd the click don ask,..i am speechless…:-)

  11. Raaga says:

    Jai…great going. These look cool :-) I use my appey kayli for almost everything now :-)

  12. Dee says:

    I really love the idea of use the paniyaram pan… The best for me is the purple color potatoes… I seem to have fallen in love with the filling!

  13. arundathi says:

    lovely… i never deep fry either – except for tempuras! mmm. definitely have to indulge once in a while.

  14. Alka says:

    Ha i wish my hubby keep sumthng ready for me to hog when i return back home…i will be flattered even with these namesake deep fried wadas he he he
    Very innovative idea of frying and also incorporating blue beauties
    But hey i was really looking forward ,till the end of the post abt the red chilly garlic chutney recipe…i was surely disappointed by its absence…

  15. Srivalli says:

    oh my looks great!

  16. sunita says:

    Although a health freak, Dinesh does like a bit of deep frying…I simply can’t bring myself to do it,so he does it himself…but, when faced with such beauties as yours, the temptation does get the better of me…if only I had that pan…did you get that from India?…maybe I should hunt around a bit :-)

    you get the cast iron aebleskiver pan on amazon really cheap – we got ours for $20.

  17. Nirmala says:

    And bee if you hide the appam pan Jai would start deep frying in the kadai with more oil! When the cat is away the mice will play :)

  18. Bhagyashri says:

    Jai, thats a great idea, will definitely use the appam pan next time for deep frying! The only problem is I have a non stick pan, which is lighter & not the cast iron one, those are too heavy to be carried from India. Do you think the frying can be done in non stick ones too?

    you get the lodge cast iron aebleskiver pan on amazon really cheap.

  19. Psychedelic indeed! Lovely color. Deep frying the vadas in appam pan is like making Takoyaki eh?

  20. RedChillies says:

    Thank you! thank you! “deep bow”. I am flattered. The usage of appe pan is quite a revolution in saving oil eh?

  21. Meera says:

    I have used my appe pan for all the lentil based vadas. but it never occurred to me to “deep fry” batata vada in it. Wish I knew it before, I already deep fried the usual way for Anita’s tea party!

    Just exceptionally fantastic idea. i have the nonstick one. Now will hunt for the cast iron one!!

  22. arundati says:

    that’s such a cool idea to deep fry in the appey chatti….the colours are lovely

  23. Rashmi says:

    wow..never thought batata vadas could get any better..till these!
    A big Thank you Jai for coming up with this brilliant way of frying these, I also saw those vadas made in the appam pan, but would have never thought of extending the funda to batter frying. Awesome.
    Bee come on, don’t say no to THIS kind of frying now:)

  24. Jeanne says:

    Wow – psychedelic indeed! Cool that the potatoes keep their colour even after frying. And hear hear to indulging yourself once in a while :)

  25. shilpa says:

    Wow..brilliant…I wanted to make these for the party but didn’t want to deep fry. I am going to try this. Thanks Jai.
    (Please save the pan from Bee, we want to see such delights once in a while on this blog :D ).

  26. Sonal says:

    This is such a good idea, Jai!! Ingenious, ingenious!
    I never deep fry because I’m too scared of all the oil and the multiple chances of burns. But this seems safer too somehow. :-)
    By the way, just in case some one searches, it’s an aebleskiver pan and its $32 on amazon today (there was a typo in your spelling :-) )

  27. Sonal says:

    The $32 is for the Lodge Cast iron pan, but there are other cheaper ones available too, as I am just noticing :-)

  28. Anita says:

    What a colourful piece of work! Frying in the appe pan?! Who would have thunk?! I am so trying this trick next time. I will agree with Manisha on one thing, and serve mine with chai.

    You score on all fronts, Jai. Especially, for bringing Bee along! :D [She really approved? Why does she want to throw away the pan?]

    Having fun is the point. And this kind of portion control means one can indulge more often! Thanks.

  29. Alka says:

    Oops did i missed hyperlink to garlic chutney recipe previously ??or should i fly on cloud nine that u did tht later in response to my grudge??Kidding…just needed to ask that i usually use soda bicarb in batter for crispiness,does baking powder plays similar role??or it has another significance?

    it was there all along. you can get baking powder which releases the gas only when the dough reaches high temp. baking soda has to be used immediately – else will fall flat. baking soda could also leave the taste bitter unless countered with other things. baking powder has both acid and base so is neutral to taste -jai

  30. Priya says:

    Hi Jai,

    Kudos! The appam pan will help in portion control too.

    I like my bondas hot and spicy……hmmmmmm……

    “Hi Bee! YOU ARE SO LUCKY!!!”

    Hope this helps to make it spicy ;) .

  31. Alexa says:

    Beautiful looking and tasty! I’ll have to go looking for an appam pan now. The batter for the bondas is perfect for me because it has no wheat. Lovely post.

  32. Rachna says:

    remember bee doesnt like it when she’s told “she’s so lucky…”…. I can tell jai…you r lucky to have bee too for making all the yummy things she makes…. i make a BIG bowl of green salad and have mountains of it with each bonda, and dont feel bad in indulging :) in fact the salad bonda combo tastes yummy too

  33. Elizabeth says:

    What a great tip from Red Chillies on the appam pan!

  34. maninas says:

    all this while you were in the gym (of all places!)! betrayal! :)

    but they do look fabulous! yuuuum

  35. Thanks for reminding me of the use of appam pan.I will use it to make many of the deep fried things in them.

  36. Bharti says:

    So Gorgeous…never thought I’d see a purple batata vada. I’m gonna check out the appam pan as well. And I completely agree on “when we do fry, it better be good”. I have a no fry zone at home too with a few exceptions. Why waste calories on crap when one can indulge in these tasty bites!

  37. sunita says:

    Thanks a lot…I’ve been eyeing it for quite a while now :-)

  38. Latha says:

    Aloo bondas – yumm! Purple ones…those dont look as divine but I’m sure they tasted great! :-)
    Poor bee -burning all those calories and then coming home to purple aloo bondas…i feel her pain!

  39. richa says:

    pre-dinner bites look good!

  40. farida says:

    Wow, this is something totally new to me! Looks and sounds so delicious. It must make a great party appetizer. Yum!

  41. sangeeth says:

    great purple bondas….luve the color

  42. DK says:

    I use the pan for “deep frying” too! I make my koftas this way by “frying” in this..almost anything and everything where I need to deep fry except of course stuff like Poori and its been ages since I had one! :(

    But I am now so J(jealous) of B(ee), I mean Bee comes all huffy and puffy from workout and she has nice purple (Psychedelic!!!!!)Bondas hot and ready! Man! Thats service!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Love the last pic Jai! Looks out of a mag:)

  43. kalva says:

    wow… great idea to use the pan istead of deep frying.. love the color and awesome pics…

  44. Pooh says:

    Appam chattis are awesome and cocktail bites are the way to go! I’ve promised Anita a batch of these goodies. Love your purple bondas!

  45. Jen Yu says:

    OMG, that frying trick is genius! Must make note… Those little bondas are beautiful and delicious looking. Now look, you’ve made me drool.

  46. Lakshmi says:

    purple stuffing inside bondas look lovely..

  47. amar says:

    picture looks awesome

  48. Pelicano says:

    Way to go with the purple taters! Appam pan…hmmm. Bee partook? You have power man.

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