This food article strengthens the body and is very useful for muscular development. It is good for all constitutions and digests easily – if taken in moderate quantities. It is recommended to be consumed as a side dish once a week along with rice, dosa or chapati. It should not be consumed too often by those with phlegm disorders.
Bonda can be made from potato, green pepper or chuchu. Cooking times vary depending on which vegetable is used.
It is recommended to use a small pot for frying in batches as this reduces the amount of oil needed and less will be discarded at the end. Ayurveda strongly recommends using fresh oil when frying. Once the frying process is done, it is recommended to discard the oil.
2 medium-sized potatoes
For the batter :
1 cup/140g Bengal gram flour (chickpea flour)
1 heaped tsp rice flour
¾ heaped tsp fine rock salt
½ heaped tsp chilli powder – depending upon one’s preferred level of spice
¼ heaped tsp turmeric powder
A pinch asafoetida powder
½ heaped tsp cumin seeds
2 Tblsp peanut oil (oil should be heated well for a crispy bonda)
1 ½ cups/375ml water
For frying :
1 ½ cups/375ml peanut or vegetable oil
Wash, peel and slice the potatoes into thin round pieces – approximately ⅛ inch. Set aside while you make the batter.
For the batter :
In a medium bowl mix the dry ingredients until combined.
Heat 2 Tablespoons of oil until smoking, remove from heat and pour into the dry ingredients. Use a spoon to combine, then using your fingers, separate any lumps in the batter.
Slowly add in the water, a little at a time, starting with 1 cup, mixing with your hands until the batter becomes pasty & resembles a similar consistency of dosa batter. It should not be too watery or too thick. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Frying the Bondas :
Arrange a bowl of water next to the vegetables for washing your hands in after each dipping and a colander to place the cooked pieces of bonda in.
In a heavy-small pot, pour in the oil. Heat the oil to 180/350F. Test the oil by dropping teeny batter coated scraps in. If they bubble up and float, it is ready to go.
Dip 5 – 6 pieces of potatoes in the chickpea batter to coat.
Picking them up with your fingers, being careful to keep the pieces thick with batter. Carefully but swiftly, lower the battered pieces from all sides of the pan into the oil.
Fry until lightly golden on one side, about 1 – 2 minutes (Don’t be tempted to flip too early as the batter will separate from the potato.) Flip the potato pieces over and cook until golden and crisp on the other side, about 1 – 2 minutes (repeat, flipping 3-4 times until properly fried).
Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and place in the colander.
Repeat with the remaining pieces until the vegetables are used up, coating them in the batter individually and ensuring that you don’t overcrowd the pan. Serve immediately, as an accompaniment to the main meal. It is recommended for the bonda to be consumed while hot – within approximately 15-30 minutes for proper digestion.