- Course: Hors D'oeuvre, Snack
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Moderate
- Favorited: 6 Times
These dumplings are from the Maharashtra state in India, where people love very spicy foods. Though they are often eaten for breakfast, I usually ate Aloo Bonda as an after-school snack while I was living with my family in Nagpur in western India. Made from spiced mashed potatoes that are formed into balls and dipped into chickpea flour batter and then fried, Aloo Bondas are amazing served with Tomato Chutney or ketchup. In Mumbai, you get them as street food smashed between two slices of bread with hot green chile and garlic chutney. Nandini, a dear friend from southern India and now a consummate New Yorker, makes Aloo Bondas in advance and freezes them. She microwaves them alongside a glass of water to keep them moist.
For the Filling:
- 2 pounds (about 5 medium) red potatoes, peeled and quartered
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1½ tablespoons canola oil
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 24 curry leaves
- 3 to 6 dried red chiles, coarsely crushed
- A 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 small jalapeno (cored and seeded if you prefer a milder flavor), finely diced
- Juice of one lime
For the Batter:
- 4 cups canola oil, for frying
- 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon asafetida (optional)
- ½ cup water
- Tomato Chutney or ketchup
To make the filling:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the potatoes, turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender but not falling apart, about 25 minutes. Drain, transfer to a large bowl, and set aside.
Heat the oil, mustard seeds, and curry leaves in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1½ minutes. Add the chiles and cook until the curry leaves become brittle, about 1 minute longer. Stir in the ginger and jalapeño, cooking for 30 seconds, and then add the mixture to the potatoes.
Mash the potatoes against the sides of the bowl until they are semismooth. Stir in the remaining 1½ teaspoons salt and the lime juice. Take 2 tablespoons of potato mixture and roll into a small ball, set the ball on a baking sheet, and repeat with the remaining potato mixture.
Heat the canola oil to 350°F in a medium saucepan. To make the batter, whisk together the chickpea flour, cayenne pepper, salt, and asafetida (if using) in a small bowl. Whisk in enough water so it resembles a thick pancake batter. Dip each potato ball in the batter and roll it in your hands to coat evenly. Gently drop a few battered balls into the hot oil and fry until they are golden brown, turning often, for 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer the dumplings to a paper towel-lined plate and serve hot with Tomato Chutney or ketchup.
© 2007 Suvir Saran
Note from Cookstr's Editors
Nutritional information is based on 20 servings and does not include Tomato Chutney. For nutritional information on Tomato Chutney, please see link above.