Vegetable bonda

Courtesy: K. Raghunandan

This is a separate breed and is usually a separate snack in its own right. It does not have anything in common with the uddina bonda, except the shape.
Step 1: Prepare vegetable filler – to do this, usually 3-4 potatos have to be boiled. This can simply be done in a pressure cooker.

After that, chop a few oinions (fine) along with green chillis, coriander leaves and Ginger. Keep a spoon or two of oil in a large frying pan, add mustard when the oil is hot. After the mustard splits, add a pinch of Arishina (turmeric/haldi), then the green chillis and ginger. After a short fry, add the boiled potatos. Turn them around slightly mashing the potato each time. Add salt to taste. Some people would like to add green peas at this stage (purely optional).

Other vegetables like choped carrots,fine cut beans or dill,can be added and fried before adding potatos. This would then taste quite distinct and is the “vegetable bonda”; not the commonly available Bombay bonda – the standard potato stuff available in hotels/restaurants back home. Particularly bonda with dill has a superb taste and flavour.

Usually vegetable bonda needs less of potato (1 or 2 will do).Here potato is used simply as a binding agent and this bonda is therefore not heavy. In all cases, squeez the juice of a lime, which makes the filler very tasty.
Step 2: Prepare the dipping dough – this is nothing more than the Besan (kadale hittu, or channa powder), with red chilli powder added to it. Also add salt to taste and mix it with water into a semi solid paste (watery enough like tomato ketchup to coat the potato/vegetable mix, when dipped). The trick is to add a little of rice flour so that the outer coat becomes crispy when fried.

Some people add a pinch of baking soda, but this is upto the individual (purely optional). The reddish tinge that is seen after mixing the dough with water, is a good indicator of the hotness (in terms of chilli) to control proportion.Taste a drop of watery dough for the right proportion of salt and chilli powder.
Step 3: Roll the vegetable filler into small lime sized balls. Dip them in the watery dough and directly put them in the hot frying oil. The right consistency of the dipping dough is ensured if the bonda fries well.

If the dip is too watery, the bonda opens up spilling out the contents. If the dough is too hard, covering the vegetable ball becomes difficult (can see this by experience). If dip is too thin, add a bit of besan powder to thicken (you may also add chilli powder and salt to keep the right proportion).

Serve hot, with chutney, or without it. ENJOY …. 🙂

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