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