Fritters or Bhajiyas are quite common, whichever part of India you might visit and Mysore Bonda is the South Indian fritter you must try
Mysore Bonda, commonly known as Mysore Bajji, is a popular snack in the Southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Telengana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Made with soaked urad dal, chopped coconut and all-purpose flour with fresh herbs and spices mixed together into a thick batter that is deep fried to make soft, crispy and fluffy fritters.
There are regional variations to a Mysore Bonda as some people use different ingredients in the batter to further enhance the texture and mouthfeel of the bhajiya. In Tamil Nadu, people use rice flour instead of all-purpose flour for extra crispiness on the outside and a pillowy inside. Mysore Bonda is turned into other dishes like Bonda soup where the bonda is dipped in sambhar and eaten like a soup dumpling. There’s potato bonda where spiced mashed potato filling is made into balls, dipped in lentil flour batter and deep fried into golden crispy balls.
Mysore Bonda can be served with a grated coconut chutney made with Southern spices but the bhajiya can be had on it’s own as well. It is a light, round, deep-fried snack, that can be the perfect accoutrement to the evening tea. The addition of fresh herbs and aromatic spices takes this bhajiya up a few notches as it is extremely flavourful and not too greasy on the palate that it fills you up. So if you're ever in the mood for bhajiyas, try this Mysore dal bhajji with the recipe provided below.
For soaking the lentils
For The Bonda Batter
Making Bonda Batter
1. Soak the urad dal (husked black gram) in water for 5 to 6 hours, or overnight. You can use whole or split urad dal without their husks.
2. Drain off all the water and transfer the soaked urad dal to a blender.
3. Add 4 to 5 tablespoons water and grind to a smooth, fluffy and thick batter. Scrape the sides down with a spatula while blending to get every piece of lentil ground. Add water in parts while grinding. The goal is to make a thick, flowing batter.
4. Transfer the batter to a large mixing bowl. Add the rice flour. If you feel the consistency of the batter is thinner than expected, add a few more tablespoons of rice flour.
5. Add the chopped coconut, fresh cracked black pepper, freshly grated ginger, chopped green chillies, chopped curry leaves, asafoetida, and salt to the batter.
6. Whisk the batter with a spoon before adding it to the oil. The whisking aerates the batter making the bonda soft and fluffy in texture.
Frying Mysore Bonda
1. Heat oil for deep frying in a kadai or a deep pan. Keep the heat to medium.
2. Use a tablespoon to drop the batter by the measured spoonful into the hot oil.
3. Fry on one side until golden. Then use a spoon to turn, and continue frying.
4. Continue to gently turn and fry the mysore bonda until all sides are golden and crisp.
5. Use a slotted spoon or a spyder to remove the bonda from the pan. Set them on paper towels or wire racks to remove excess oil.
Serve immediately while hot with coconut chutney or any chutney of your choice. These also go perfectly well with tomato ketchup.