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Monday, November 20, 2006

mysore bonda

'Bonda' and 'Vadai' are fried indian snacks, usually served with a few chutneys, like coconut chutney or mint chutney, or even with sambar.

There are quite a few versions of vadai* - masala vadai, keerai vadai, ulundhu vadai and so on.
* Not to be confused with 'vadaam' - vadaam is a different class of food, falls closer to the pappadam, appalam category.

There are quite a few versions of Bonda: some use chickpea flour batter to coat the mashed vegetable filling (like potato bonda), some just use urad dal or rice flour.

The bonda in this recipe is sometimes referred to as Mysore Bonda, uses just urad dal and no filling. The batter used for this bonda recipe can also be used for vadai, with slightly different add-ons.
easy recipe bonda
Ingredients
1 cups urad dal, soaked for about 1 hour
3 Tbsp cup finely diced fresh coconut
1 Tbsp whole black pepper
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
4-5 curry leaves, finely chopped
salt to taste
oil for frying

Preparation
  1. drain the soaked urad dal as best as possible, grind it into a fluffy paste, no lumps - usually, I let it run in the wet grinder for about 30-40 mins; there is no need to add water as the soaking absorbs enough water, and any excess water sort of ruins the batter; the consistency is sort of like a fairly thick pancake batter but fluffier and held together better
  2. add the coconut pieces, black pepper, asafoetida, salt and curry leaves, stir the batter well; set aside
  3. heat oil for frying (about 370-375 F) seems to work; in general, when the oil starts to shimmer and wisps of smoke appear, I just try to drop a tiny piece (a 1/2 cm diameter ball) of the batter - if it rises up to the surface within 2-3 seconds and then browns in about 6-8 secs, i believe the oil is hot enough for frying the first batch
  4. drop roughly shaped balls of the batter, a few at a time without crowding the pan; the outside should gradually get crisp and brown while the inside cooks well; if the oil is too hot, outside crisps up fast and the inside stays raw; if the oil is not hot enough, the result is usually a greasy and unsavory bonda
  5. after each batch, it is a good idea to test the oil for its hotness before throwing in the next batch; usually, a perfect mysore bonda has crispy crunch on the outside and a spongy, soft inside that is completely cooked
  6. serve warm with chutney, along with hot tea or coffee; this is one of my favorite tea time snacks :-)

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