Mysore Bonda ~ Black Gram Lentil Balls
Mysore bonda is a savory, crispy, spongy, deep fried snack made with urad dal.
Theme of the Week
The theme for this week is, is everything round a laddu? Well, yesterday I posted edible cookie dough shaped into round balls or in other words, fusion almond chocolate chip laddu. So today, lets try some savory bonda. Bonda is a deep fried, round sweet or savory ball, coated with batter. Some bondas do not have a filling and Mysore bonda is one of them.
What is Mysore Bonda?
Mysore bonda is a popular snack from Mysore region in India. It is made with urad dal, seasoned with green chilies, black peppers and ginger. It is similar to medhu vada or urad dal vada but in a different avatar, plus or minus a few ingredients.
The main difference between Mysore bonda and medhu vada is the shape; former is a round ball and latter is in a doughnut shape. The other major difference is, bonda is onion free with coconut pieces unlike medhu vada. Coconut pieces give a nice crunch to Mysore bonda and addition of rice flour gives it the crispiness.
Mysore Bonda vs Mangalore bajji or Goli Baje
There is a lot of confusion online as to what is a Mysore bonda. I came across many recipes for Mysore bonda that call for maida or all purpose flour, which is similar to goli baje or Mangalore bajji, another popular snack from Karnataka. I was so confused that I almost called a Kannadiga friend for clarification. Then I remembered Sarvana Bhavan Mysore bonda, which is made with lentils and tastes a lot like medhu vada. Henceforth, went ahead with urad dal version of Mysore bonda.
Mysore Bonda and Biscuit Ambade
Biscuit ambade is another snack from Mangalore region and is similar to Mysore bonda but for addition of rava (semolina) instead of rice flour. Semolina gives biscuit ambade an extra crunch just like rice flour makes gives the outer coating of the bonda the crispiness. Both Mysore bonda and biscuit ambade are serve with coconut chutney.
- 1 cup Urad Dal
- ½ cup Water for grinding the dal and use more if required
- 6 - 8 small Green Chilies, adjust to taste
- 1 ½ tsp Salt or to taste
- 1 ½ - 2 tsp chopped Ginger or or 1” Ginger chopped
- 10 Curry Leaves chopped
- ⅓ - ½ cup chopped Cilantro loosely packed
- ¼ - ⅓ cup thinly sliced Coconut I used frozen sliced coconut and slice it to ¼”pieces
- ½ tsp Cumin Seeds crushed (optional)
- ½ tsp Black Peppercorns crushed
- 2 - 3 tsp Rice Flour, can use upto 2 tbsp of flour for a very crunchy bonda. Check notes below
- Oil for deep frying
- Wash urad dal and soak for at least 3-4 hours. 1 ½ - 2 hours might also work but I always soak at least 3-4 hours.
Discard water and wash dal again. Put in a strainer or a colander to drain water.
Grind urad dal, green chilies and salt to a almost smooth paste/batter, using about ½ cup water. The batter should be thick, just like medhu vada batter.
- Transfer the batter to a wide bowl, add rest of the ingredients except oil. Mix to combine all the ingredients evenly and also to aerate the batter.
Drop a pinch of batter in water to test the consistency of the batter.
If batter floats, the batter is of the right consistency and if it sinks to the bottom of the bowl, the batter is too thick. Add some water.
- Heat oil in a wok or a wide pan for deep frying the bonda.
- When oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium.
Wet hands and take about gooseberry sized batter and shape into a round ball. Gradually drop into oil.
Depending on the size of the wok, fry 5 - 6 bonda per batch.
- Fry bonda, turning them around until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from oil and let drain on paper towels.
Repeat the above steps to fry rest of the bonda. I did it in 4 batches.
- Serve hot with coconut chutney.
- To get spongy bonda, the batter should not be very thick nor very thin. It should be of medu vada consistency. A thick batter will result in a hard bond. Add some water to thin the batter.
- Careful when adding water, as a thin batter will make it difficult to shape the bonda. In such scenario, add some rice flour to thicken the batter.
- Batter Test - Drop a tiny ball of batter in a bowl of water. If the batter floats to the top, then it is the right consistency.
- If the batter sinks to the bottom, the batter is too thick and add a tbsp of water, mix and repeat the test.
- Rice Flour - For a very crispy outer bonda use 2 tbsp of rice flour but make sure batter is not very thick. Else will result in a hard bonda.