I remember having these at Ganapati, a fabulous yet low key south Indian restaurant in Peckham. Battered and deep fried, these are similar to pakoras but are made with mashed potato rather than whole pieces of vegetable.
These are gluten free and can easily be made vegan. My guilty secret is that I usually make them with pre-made mashed potato. It saves time and effort and also coincides neatly with my husband’s tendency to buy mashed potato which he then forgets to eat. If you are vegan or feeding vegan guests, you can make your own mashed potato using plant-based margarine and milk.
These can be made small (roughly golf ball size) or bigger, closer to the size of a tennis ball. A local Sri Lankan restaurant serves big ones, laced with lots of chili! You can add more chili to this recipe if you like.
For the batter
100g chickpea flour
90ml warm water
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
For the filling
400g mashed potato (or three large potatoes’ worth)
1 teaspoon powdered ginger or a thumb-sized piece of root ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
1 green chili, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Fry the spices and chili for the filing in a tablespoon of hot oil then add the mashed potato and salt. Mix thoroughly and allow to cool while you make the batter.
2. Whisk the chickpea flour, salt spices and water until smooth and roll the mashed potato into golf ball sized balls while your wok of oil heats up. (Maybe you’re one of those fancy chaps with a deep fat fryer. I just have a wok.)
3. Dip into the balls of mashed potato into the batter, coating them evenly and pop them into a wok of hot oil.
4. Fry until they go slightly golden. Line a colander with kitchen roll and put a tray underneath. Remove the cooked bondas with a slotted spoon. Serve with coconut and coriander chutney.
If you make have too much batter, make pakoras with bite sized chunks of cauliflower or slices of potato. You can also make pancakes with any excess batter.