The potato bonda is one of the favourite snacks in South India. It is deep fried boiled and spiced up mashed potato coated with a batter of Bengal gram flour and rice flour. People in Tamil Nadu occasionally use colocasia instead of potato. Though it is never sold in shops, because of colocasia’s sticky and gooey texture, it is made and enjoyed in homes. I wanted to explore bonda without deep frying. Therefore I hit upon using my kuzhippaniaram mould. I also wanted to make it different from the traditional potato bonda. The spice combination that I have used is also different from the potato or colocasia bonda that is traditionally made. It is an interesting dish whose lovely crisp exterior, when bitten into, yields the sticky, gooey colocasia. My daughter and I love this.
Colocasia provides 3g protein and 97 Calories per 100g. Only a quarter teaspoon of oil is used per bonda which means this is an unusually low fat bonda compared with the traditional deep fried version. The Bengal gram dhal and rice flour used in the batter provide a very good quality vegetable protein as the amino acids in each supplement each other. Be warned that patients who are on a low potassium diet should not be given colocasia as it contains 550mg of potassium per 100g.
For the colocasia balls
- ½ kg Colocasia (Seppangkizhangu)
- 3 Green Chillies, deseeded and diced
- 1/3 C diced Coriander Leaves
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder, or to taste
- 1 ½ tsp Salt, or to taste
- ¼ C or more Vegetable Oil
For the batter
- 1 C Bengal Gram Dhal
- 1/3 C Rice Flour
- ½ tsp Salt, or to taste
- 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
- ½ tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1/3 C Water
Preparation of the colocasia balls
- Wash the colocasia 3 times in water, or till the water shows no trace of earth.
- Remove (pull off) the fine roots that are sticking to the skin.
- Pressure cook the colocasia for 15 minutes. Cool and remove the skin. The flesh will be gooey and sticky.
- Cut into small pieces (see Photo 2 below) and then mash it to a smooth consistency.
- Add the chilli, coriander leaves, cumin powder and salt, and mix well. Adjust salt.
- Make into small balls and place on a plate.
Preparation of the batter
- Prepare the batter by mixing all the ingredients listed under For the batter.
To make the bondas
- Heat a non-stick kuzhippaniaram mould.
- Drop quarter teaspoon of oil into each depression (see photo 3 below).
- Dip the colocasia balls in the batter (see photos 4 & 5 below) and place in the depression in the kuzhippaniaram mould (see photo 6 below).
- After a minute or so, turn the balls over with a small wooden spoon (see photo 7 below).
- After another minute, remove from the depressions (see photo 8 below) and arrange bondas on a serving plate.
- If you prefer, you can add three-fourths cup of diced onion to the colocasia mixture to add flavour and texture.
- Add a quarter teaspoon of asafoetida to the batter for extra flavour.
- Use only non-stick kuzhippaniaram mould to limit the amount of oil used.
- I use Kashmiri chilli powder for its glorious colour and mild flavour. Use only half the amount for any other chilli powder.
- I use sunflower oil supplemented with rice bran oil for its cholesterol lowering properties and neutral flavour.