Deep fried crisp, delicious and addictive treats ~ Aloo/Batate Bonda
Winter… Cold, bitter, biting, chilling and freezing!
Winter… Thick layer of frost on the window panes, but on roads and pavements is a real pain!
Winter… A flurry of snow, here and there and other times a thick blanket of silver dust every where.
Winter… Naked trees standing tall stripped from their glossy green hair!
Winter… Red nose and cheeks, cold hands and feet, foggy breath and chattering teeth!
Winter… Thick jackets, woolly caps, leather gloves and cashmere shawls.
Winter… Excited kid and also his dad, one fussy mama with a lost mitten in her hand!
Winter… Dark coal eyed and carrot nosed snow man, adorned with tilted caps and red tie from dad.
Winter… Cuddles and kisses all around, snuggles and laughter all day long.
Winter… Hot coffees and hotter soups, all our favourite comfort foods!
Winter… Deep fried food we indulge in, and then shout that it is no sin!
And who can ever call this piece of beauty a sin?! I am talking about spicy potato balls coated in spicy gram flour batter and then deep fried to perfection, a humble Batate/Aloo Bonda! We Indians have weakness for street foods. From simple roasted peanuts to complex flavoured Chaats, from healthy snacking on roasted corn on cob to deep fried indulgence of Pakrora/Pakoda and Bajjis, we love them all! Come Monsoons and winters, my Amma would bring out her shining copper deep frying pan and make wonderful array of deep fried goodies! Although the winter in India, especially the place where I grew up, is much milder than the ones here in UK, the joy of biting into crisp shells of Puri and Pakoda was the same or sometimes even more as it was shared in a company of loving family and friends.
And it was the same wonderful feeling I had when we visited our family in India in December. We spent two days at my in-law’s farm house and indulged in traditional, simple homemade goodies cooked by our family cook. While the men in the family got busy with business and political talks, the baccha (kid) party were busy playing with (more like torturing) two sets of puppies and kittens in the garden. The ladies in our family stretched their legs and got ready to look forward next two days of no-cooking vacations. I took out my camera and went for a long walk in my in-law’s estate, stopping in between to enjoy the unspoiled greenery around and breathing in the fresh air devoid of any dust, smoke and pollution! Little did I knew that it will turn out to be one of the best holidays ever which had everything; rest, free time, laughter, entertainment, great company and amazing food!!! Move over health spas and five star hotels, you can never beat the amazing time I had at our own small piece of heaven! (I promise I will share the pictures shortly)
Deep fried goodness ~ Batate/Aloo Bonda
One of the things our family cook made for evening was these wonderful Batate/Aloo Bondas. They are slightly different from other Aloo Bonda which uses only the mashed potatoes as these have some other vegetables in them. While our family cook was preparing them, I followed him like a shadow and clicked few photographs in between playing peek-a-boo with my little nieces, nephews and my Lil Dumpling. I guess they had a gala time as I could be easily spotted some where around the cook with my bulky camera in hand! Well, a food blogger will always be a food blogger who just feels it’s her duty to take pictures of food whenever possible ;) And when the food in question happens to be one of the best tasting ones, there is no way I could just walk past it without taking few notes from the cook and sharing it with you, my reader friends. So here is one of the recipes, recipe for Aloo/Batate Bonda, I managed to get from our family cook. Although the original recipe was for two dozen people, the one I have it here makes around 12 delicious Aloo/Batate Bonda. Make them when it’s pouring outside or freezing cold. Well, make it even when it boiling outside and indulge in some deep fried goodies as Aloo/Batate Bonda can be made for any occasion and we don’t need to wait for right occasion to treat ourselves from time to time! :)
It all starts from here ~ Potatoes
And some Green Peas ~ Use dried or fresh or frozen
Cook the spuds and green peas
Peel and chop the carrots to fine pieces
And also chop the French beans in to fine pieces
Spud mountain cooked and ready for peeling
Peel the cooked potatoes and mash them
Add cooked green peas, finely chopped carrot and green beans to mashed potatoes
Add finely chopped ginger and green chillies (optional) to the mashed potatoes mixture
The tadka of mustard, urad dal, hing, curry leaves, and dried red chillies is added
Mix the whole ingredients using your hands
Divide the portaion and make lime sized balls
Prepare the gram flour batter for coating the potato balls
Dip individual bondas in batter and deep drop them in hot oil
Deep fry them until golden brown and crisp
Serve them hot with your evening cup of coffee or tea~ Batate/Aloo Bonda
Batate/Aloo Bonda (Deep fried spicy mashed potato and mixed vegetable balls coated in spicy gram flour batter)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: Around 30 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Makes: Around 12 bondas
Spice Level: Medium
Shelf Life: Best served fresh, hot from pan but can be refrigerated for 2 days and frozen for 2 weeks
Recipe Source: Our family cook
Serving Suggestion: With any spicy coconut chutney or with tomato ketchup/sauce or simply with a hot cup of coffee or tea
2 large Potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 small Carrot, peeled and finely chopped
8-10 French Beans, finely chopped
¼ cup Green Peas, cooked and roughly mashed
2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped (Adjust acc to taste)
1 inch Ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2-3 tbsp Coriander Leaves, finely chopped (Optional)
Salt to taste
Oil for Deep Frying
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
½ tbsp Urad Dal
¼ tsp Hing/Asafoetida (Optional but recommended)
1 dried Red Chilli, broken
2 springs Curry Leaves, chopped
1 tbsp Oil
1¼ to 1½ cups Besan/Gram Flour
1 tbsp Rice Flour
½ - 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder/Paprika (Optional, adjust acc to taste)
Salt to taste
Enough water to make batter
Delicious on its own or with any chutney or plain old tomato ketchup ~Aloo/Batate Bonda
Prepare the Poato balls:
- Take mashed potatoes and green peas, finely chopped carrots, beans, green chillies, ginger, and coriander leaves in a large mixing bowl.
- Next heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When mustard seeds start to crackle, add urad dal, dried red chilli, hing and curry leaves to it. Transfer the tadka/tempering to mashed potatoes just when lentils start to turn golden brown.
- Add salt to taste and mix all the ingredients well.
- Next start making lime sized balls and arrange them on a large plate until needed.
- Sift gram flour to a large mixing bowl. To this add rice flour, red chilli powder/paprika and salt to taste and mix them well.
- Next add water (about ¾ cup) and whisk to make pancake like batter. Add more or less water depending on the amount of gram flour used. If you find the batter too thin, sprinkle 1-2 tbsp of gram flour to get the required consistency. Similarly if you find the batter to be too thick, add little more water and whisk them well.
- Heat oil in a deep pan/kadai. To check if the oil is hot enough, add a drop of batter to the oil. If the oil is sufficiently hot then the batter will sizzle and float to the surface. And if the oil is not heated enough then the batter will sink to the bottom of the pan. Make sure that you are cooking on a medium flame for the Aloo Bonda to cook thoroughly.
- Once the oil is hot enough, dip individual spiced potato balls in batter and make sure that it is evenly coated. Carefully arrange them in single layer in the pan and fry them in batches. I usually fry 3-5 at a time but you can increase or decrease the amount depending on the size of the kadai and also the amount of oil taken.
- Fry them till they turn golden brown and crisp and then transfer then to a large bowl or plate lined with paper towel to absorb excess oil.
- Repeat the steps until you finish deep frying all the Aloo Bondas.
- Serve these delicious and spicy Aloo/Batate Bondas with any coconut based chutneys or with plain good old tomato sauce/ketchup and enjoy!
- To check if the oil is hot enough, add a drop of batter to the oil. If the oil is sufficiently hot then the batter will sizzle and float to the surface. And if the oil is not heated enough then the batter will sink to the bottom of the pan.
- Make sure that you are cooking on a medium flame for the Aloo/Batate Bonda to cook thoroughly.