After a good afternoon siesta during the humid and sultry Indian Summer days, a few Aloo Bondas along with a cup of warm tea while going through the days newspaper would be perfect. It is also savored during the rainy days in India. Oh, it brings back many cherished memories..
Aloo Bondas – Potato Croquettes
Aloo Bondas are balls of mashed lightly spiced potatoes dipped in chickpea flour and deep fried till golden brown. They are the most loved snacks in India, sold in most of the ready made food stalls, and also as a street food by the bandiwalas in small carts by the road side.
I often prepare Aloo Bondas for Iftaar in Ramadhan. These are our favorite snacks.
Aloo Bondas – Potato Croquettes
Makes -About 20
For the Tempering/Baghaar:
- Canola Oil – 1 tbsp
- Split Black Gram/Urad Dal – 1 tbsp
- Black Mustard seeds/Rai – 1 tsp
- Dried Curry leaves – 6, crushed (optional)
- Ginger – 1 tbsp, finely chopped
For the Potato filling/Aloo:
- Potatoes – 4, medium sized, boiled, peeled and diced into 1/4 inch pieces
- Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Finely chopped Cilanto, Mint leaves and Small Green chillies/Hara Masala – 1/2 cup, loosely packed
- Roasted Cashewnuts – 1/4 cup (optional)
- Frozen peas (thawed) – 1/2 cup (optional)
For the Chickpea flour batter/Besan:
- Chickepea flour/Besan – 1 cup
- Water – 150 ml
- Canola Oil – to deep fry
Prepare Popato Filling/Aloo:
- Pour oil into a small frying pan at medium heat, and add the black mustard seeds, split dal and chopped ginger. Cover with a splatter screen. Saute for 30 seconds or until the seeds stop popping. Add the dried crushed curry leaves. Remove from heat. This is the ‘Baghaar’.
- Add red chilli powder, salt, turmeric and the prepared baghaar to the chopped potatoes. Also add the cashewnuts and peas, if using, and mix well. Take a little bit of the potato mixture at a time in your hands and shape them into walnut sized balls pressing them between your palms. Keep doing this until the whole potato mixture is completed. Keep them aside.
Prepare the Batter/Besan:
- In a bowl, add the chickpea flour, water, red chilli powder, salt and turmeric to it and whisk it till there are no lumps and it is a smooth, pancake or buttermilk like batter of pouring consistency.
Deep frying the Croquettes/Bondas:
- In a kadai or a wok at medium heat, pour oil and let the oil heat up. After a little while, drop about 1/4 tsp of the chickpea flour batter into the hot oil. If it floats on surface the oil is ready for deep frying.
- One at a time dip the potato balls into the chickpea flour batter. With the help of a tablespoon, bath them well so they are covered all over with the batter. (Note: The potato balls should be completely covered with the batter or else they will disintegrate during deep frying)
- Carefully drop them, one at a time, into the hot oil. Deep fry about 4-6 balls depending upon the size of the Kadai or wok. They need to be turned for even frying. Once they are golden brown in colour, remove them on a tray lined with paper towel. Continue doing this until all the potato balls are done. Discard excess chickpea flour batter. Serve warm.
Suggested Accompaniments: Enjoy them along with Tomato ketchup, Kothmir-Pudina ki Chutney or any of your favorite Chutney as a dipping sauce along with a cup of warm tea.
This goes to ‘Joy from feasting to Fasting’. Takecare everyone and enjoy your weekend!