Aloo Bonda are deep fried balls made of spicy potatoes with a moreish chickpea flour covering. Crispy on the outside and soft inside, this is a popular tea-time snack all over India. In Bangalore, it is called Aloo Bonda, and in Mumbai it is known as Batata Vada. The girls at Baale Mane enjoy these after school with hot milk.
Makes 10-12 Aloo Bondas.
- 4 large potatoes, cut into ½” cubes
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- 4 green chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
- 3 red onions, finely chopped
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- A small handful of coriander, chopped
- 2 cups chickpea flour (gram flour or besan)
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 cup water
- Oil for deep frying
Put the potatoes in a pan, cover with cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. Drain the water and mash the potatoes. Set aside to cool.
In a small pan, heat a tbsp of oil and fry the mustard seeds till they start sputtering. Add the chillies and onion and fry till the onion turns translucent. Add the turmeric and take off the heat. Add this mixture to the mashed potatoes, along with coriander leaves and salt. Combine thoroughly and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and water, and mix into a smooth, lump-free batter. Adjust the amount of water to get a thick, smoothie-like consistency. Let it stand for 5 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, grease your palms with a dab of oil and make balls (slightly smaller than ping pong balls) out of the potato mixture.
Heat the rest of the oil in a heavy wok or a deep pan on high heat. To test if it is ready for frying, drop a dollop of the batter into the pan; it should start sizzling instantly and float to the surface.
Dip each ball of potato into the batter so it is evenly coated. Fry in the hot oil. Do not stir immediately and don’t over-crowd. There should be enough room for all the balls to float on the surface. Fry in batches. Once they start getting some colour, flip them over once or twice, and fry until they are golden brown. Take them out with a slotted spoon onto a plate lined with kitchen towels to absorb some of the excess oil.
Serve hot with mint or onion & tomato chutney.