August 19, 2008

Aloo Methi Bonda (Batter Fried Spicy Mashed Potatoes) With Coriander-Mint Chutney And Grilled Bonda Sandwiches

Printable version here.

Y eah, we’re going to Anita’s,
Yeah, we’re goin to have a party……….
Before I get on to talking about the party, I just wanted to mention the question I had asked in the previous post.
Yes, it was a dried out coconut, also called copra, without the shell. I knew most of you would recognize it. I had tried to crack a coconut and the shell split to reveal a whole coconut! This usually happen when the coconut has been kept for a long time and the water inside it dries out. Copra is what coconut oil is extracted from. Copra is also used in various Indian dishes and also to make a very tasty dry chutney powder, which I shall post at a later date.

So, Anita is having an “Aloo Bonda” Party to commemorate the anniversary of A Mad Tea Party. When she issued the invite at her blog, I was suddenly reminded that it had been ages since I had made this perennial Indian favourite at home. And what better time than right now, when a hot deep fried snack is perfect in the monsoons.

An Aloo (meaning potato in Hindi) Bonda is a spicy mashed potato ball which is dipped in a chickpea flour batter and deep fried. This is a snack that has crossed state and language boundaries across India and can be found everywhere, masquerading in one form or the other. One such version is the famous “vada pav” where the aloo bonda is placed inside a small bun, a sort of local burger if you will.

Frankly, I’m not sure how a party could to survive on a surfeit of batter fried mashed potatoes, no matter how differently they’re dressed. But going by the fact that her last year’s party was a huge success, this one is sure to be loads of fun, given the enthusiasm of the host and many of the invitees. So I’m going over there with these delicious round little balls of spiced mashed potatoes, coated in batter and deep fried to a crisp golden brown.


For the mashed potatoes:

2 cups mashed potatoes

¾ cup fenugreek leaves (methi), cleaned and chopped

2 big onions, finely chopped

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

2 tsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 ½ tsp black gram (urad) dal

¼ tsp asafetida

¼ tsp turmeric powder

1 ½ tsp cumin powder

¾ tsp chilli powder

1 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

For the batter:

1 cup chickpea (besan) flour

½ cup rice flour

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp chilli powder

½ tsp baking powder

salt to taste

Oil for deep frying


Mix all the ingredients for the batter with enough water to make a batter thick enough to coat the mashed potato balls for deep frying. Keep aside.

Add the chopped coriander, salt, turmeric, cumin, chilli and garam masala powders to the mashed potatoes and knead so that everything is well mixed.

Heat the 2 tsp oil and add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, mix once and add the asafetida and immediately add the chopped onions and the ginger-garlic paste. Sauté till the onions are soft. Now add the fenugreek leaves and sauté till they wilt. Add the mashed potato mixture and mix till everything is well blended.

Take off the heat and allow to cool. Divide into 12 portions and roll each into a ball.

Heat the oil for deep frying. When the oil is almost at smoking point, dip each mashed potato ball into the chickpea batter and deep fry till golden brown and crisp. Drain the “bondas” on paper towels and serve warm with date- tamarind chutney and coriander-mint chutney, or coconut chutney or even tomato ketchup. I like them best without any accompaniment, just plain crisp bondas with hot masala chai preferably watching the rain.

For the Coriander-Mint Chutney:

A big bunch of coriander leaves

A small bunch of mint leaves

The juice of a lemon

2 to 3 green chillies

A pinch of sugar

Salt to taste

Grind all these together with very little water to a fine paste. This chutney should be prepared fresh and doesn’t really keep in the fridge. It keeps in the freezer for a week. Or you can mix leftover chutney to make sandwiches or add it to some butter to make a lovely herb butter.

If you have any aloo bondas left over after everyone has had a go (this does occasionally happen), then you can convert them into another version of “vada pav” or grilled bonda sandwiches. I did. I refrigerated the bondas and made the sandwiches the next day.

For one sandwich, spread some coriander-mint chutney on one side of two slices of bread. Place the aloo bonda between them and grill in your sandwich maker/ press till lightly browned. The sandwiches are ready and make a great snack.

RC at Red Chillies is hosting this month’s Herb Mania, where Fenugreek is the chosen herb. As these bondas will fit in with that theme, they’re heading there as well.


jayasree said...

Loved the idea of adding methi leaves to it. And the sandwich idea is too good. It looks so crisp on the outside with a soft inside

sra said...

Ah, Vengaboys!
The sandwiches look good and so does your signature, I'm off to explore.

Sireesha said...

aloo bonda looks awesome loved the idea of adding methi leaves to it.Sandwich also looks inviting......

Nidhi said...

I like this Bonda Sandwich! Methi in Aalo bonda is a nice variation.
Enjoy the Rains in Goa!

Redchillies said...

I have never tried using methi in the potato curry for Aloo Bonda. Very nice entry Aparna and thank you for eveyrthing.

Mike of Mike's Table said...

How have I never seen these before? This sounds like it would be awesome! This is definitely on my to do list the next time I do Indian food.

Laavanya said...

The bondas look great and the sandwiches even better :)

Priti said...

Aloo the methi touch and also the sandwich you made..looks so yum


wow aparna .. loved the aloo methi bonda .. had never mixed methi to it .. making sandwiches with the leftovers is a good idea .. loved the sandwich pic

madteaparty said...

Look, you already made it different! :D Methi sounds like a good addition and the grilled sandwich looks great! Thanks for joining in the fun, Aparna!

Mints! said...

Looks yummy, Aparna! I loved the sandwich!

There is something waiting for you on my blog.

Bharti said...

Ooh..interesting twist with the methi aloo bhondas. I'm very tempted join the party! It's been too long since I made these yummies.

PG said...

Yumm yumm yumm! Superb! Methi, oh! How I crave for it. But have to do with kasurti methi here.

bee said...

hmmm.... **flees**

Sukanya said...

The Bondas look so yummy and so does the grilled sandwiches. You have a lovely blog.

Sunshinemom said...

I too made bondas last weekend, but the usual ones! I liked your grilled sandwich better! It looks very crisp!

Sia said...

am i loving it or what??? its been ages since i had deep fried but reissting it looking at my ever growing waistline ;)

A_and_N said...

Aaaah, I should do this too!

farida said...

This looks so good! I love both the round and sandwich versions. Yum!

bee said...

**flees** 'cos i don't like any bondas (poor jai thinks i liked the ones he made, so don't tell him this). but if it's hidden in a sandwich, and you don't tell me it's a bonda, i'll eat it.

Pearlsofeast said...

Wow Aparna,hope u pardon me for visting ur blog so late ha ha ha.I saw these bondas while sipping morning tea.They look so tempting and the sandwich too.Adding methis sounds great.

Aparna said...

Thank you for all those nice comments.

I had a blast frying these bondas after a long time, thanks to Anita.
The methi in the bonda was an inspired addition as it was waiting to be finished! Just as the grilled sandwiches were. They went to school the next day in my daughter's snack box.

Thank you, Mints.

Do join the party, Bharti. It should be fun.

I'm glad you like my blog, Sukanya.

Evergrowing waistlines are an occupational hazard of good food, especially if can't resist it, Sia. I know.:)

Got it now, Bee.

No problems, Shibani. I'm perpetually late at most blogs!