‘Boondhi’ is derived from the root word ‘boondh’ which means drops or droplets. It involves the process of dropping the chickpea flour batter from a perforated ladle, and the round droplets frying to a crisp in the hot oil. The boondi adapts well to sweet as well as savoury flavours. This recipe here is the savoury version – the dish is flavoured with chilly powder, fried groundnuts, cashew nuts, curry leaves, salt and asafoetida. This is a very easy and non-fussy snack to make, and goes great with a cup of filter coffee.
In fact, even beginners can try this confidently. The reason I say this is because I made this for the first time for the sake of blogging it during Diwali season, and it tasted utterly delicious – for a first attempt! 🙂 I always prefer my boondi with garlic, as it adds a beautiful flavor to the dish, but feel free to omit if you don’t prefer it. This is a great side with the Karnataka dish ‘Bisibelebath(rice with lentils and vegetables)’, and the quintessential Tamil dishes, rasam saadham, sambar saadham and curd rice 🙂 Try it – read on for the recipe!
For the boondhi batter
- Besan / Chickpea flour – 1 cup
- Rice flour – 1/2 cup
- Baking soda – 1/8 tsp
- Red Chilly powder (I used Kashmiri Lal Mirch) – 1/2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Asafoetida – a pinch
- Salt to taste
- Garlic – crushed, with skin on – 2 pods
- Curry leaves – 7 or 8
- Groundnuts – 10 to 15
- Cashewnuts – 7 or 8
You will need 2 perforated steel ladles (called ‘jalli karandi’ in Tamil), one for dropping the batter, and one for draining fried boondhis from the oil.
Making the boondhis
Add all the ingredients under ‘for the boondi batter’ list to a mixing bowl. Add water gradually, to make a batter that is slightly runnier than bajji batter consistency. Sieve the flour if necessary to remove lumps. I used my hands to mix the batter evenly without any lumps.
Heat oil in a kadai. Oil needs to get hot, but should not smoke.
Now dip a the stem of a steel spoon inside the batter and let it drop in the hot oil.
- If the boondhis develop a tail, then the batter is thick. Add water in teaspoons to dilute the batter a little. Test again until you get round boondhis.
- If the boondhis are flat and not round, then your batter is probably too runny. Add besan flour in teaspoons and mix well without lumps until batter is slightly thicker. Test again until you get round boondhis.
Take some batter in a deep ladle. Holding the perforated ladle in your left hand, drop the batter over the perforated ladle using your right hand.
Now slowly spread in circular clockwise motion over the ladle.The batter will drop from the holes in the ladle into the hot oil.
Keep the flame on medium throughout. Cook the boondhis until the ‘shh’ or sizzling sound ceases, and the boondhis turn crispy and golden brown.
Drain into a vessel or on absorbent tissue paper. Repeat the process to finish up all the batter.
In the same hot oil, fry the following:
- Curry leaves – drop in and fry until crisp, takes only a couple of seconds.
- Groundnuts – fry until crisp and golden
- Cashewnuts – fry until golden
- Garlic – crush two pods with skin on, and fry them for a few seconds until raw smell is gone.
Add these to the boondi, along with red chilly powder, a little salt (since the batter has salt as well) and asafoetida.
Mix well with a dry spatula, or with clean dry hands. Allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
Transfer to an airtight container and always use a dry spoon while taking out the boondi. Try making this and let us know your feedback below! 🙂
TIPS & TWEAKS
- Do not fret too much about the shape of the boondi. As long as you fry them golden brown to a crisp, you should be okay. Some of my boondi were round and perfect, some had a tail, and some were random shapes. Thats okay, it still tasted amazing 🙂
- Feel free to omit the garlic if you are not a fan.