Bonda

This is a crispy chickpea batter snack, filled with fluffy, light seasoned potatoes, commonly sold by street vendors and packed in tiffin containers. You can serve bondas with any chutney you like — cilantro, coconut, mint, tamarind, tomato, etc. Best eaten while still hot!

Filling:
2 medium potatoes (about 1 lb.)
1/2 t. black mustard seed
2 dried red chilies, broken into pieces
2 small onions, finely chopped (about 2 c.)
1 small green chili, finely chopped
2 stalks fresh curry leaves
1/2 t. fine salt
1 c. water
1/2 t. lime juice

2 T vegetable oil

Batter:
1 c. chickpea flour
2 T rice flour
2 pinches baking soda
1/2 t. fine salt
1/4 t. ground turmeric

1 c. warm water

additional vegetable oil for deep-frying

1. Boil potatoes until cooked through, drain and let cool. Peel and mash the potatoes.

2. Heat 2 T oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat; add mustard seeds and dried chilies; fry for a minute. Then add onion and green chili, turn down to medium and cook, stirring as needed, until onion is golden-translucent.

3. Add the mashed potato, curry leaves, 1/2 t. salt, 1 c. water, 1/2 t. lime juice. Cook, stirring periodically, until water is absorbed and the mixture is thick.

4. Remove pan from heat, remove any large pieces of dried chili and any large curry leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired, let cool, and refrigerate until firm. Shape the mixture into small balls. (The balls of seasoned potato can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for a few days if desired.)

5. Make batter: combine ingredients and whisk until well-blended.

6. Heat oil for deep-frying (to about 375F if you have a food thermometer). Dip the potato balls in to the batter, then deep-fry for a few minutes, until golden. Remove to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain, and serve warm, with chutney.

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