Saturday, March 26, 2011

Shakkaravellikayangu Bonda [Spiced Yam & Corn Dumplings]

Ingredients for the filling:
1 pound of baked sweet potatoes or yams, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 ear of corn
1 T vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans or cashews

* * * * * *

Ingredients for the batter:
1 3/4 cups chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 1/4 cup hot water
1 T vegetable oil
vegetable oil for deep-frying

Preparing the filling:
Peel the baked sweet potatoes and place in a mixing bowl. For a heavier, more rustic bonda, mash baked sweet potatoes with a fork or potato masher, or for a lighter, fluffier bonda, whip with an electric mixer or KitchenAide. Combine with the cinnamon, salt and lemon juice and and set aside.

Cut the kernels off the ear of roasted corn (see instructions for roasting corn below) and add the kernels to the mashed yams, stir into the sweet potato mixture.

In a small frying pan over medium-high heat and warm the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds and cover the pan. W hen the seeds stop sputtering (about 30 seconds), uncover and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is brown and caramelized, about 6 minutes.

Pour the contents of the pan over the yam mixture. Add the nuts and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the mixture to firm up.

Divide the mixture into 16-20 portions. Lightly oil your hands and roll each portion into a ball. If making the balls ahead of time, arrange them on a baking tray in a single layer, cover, and refrigerate until frying. Chilled balls hold their shape better and are easier to fry.

* * * * * *

Preparing the corn:
With tongs, hold a husked ear of corn directly over a gas flame on the stove top turning as needed to color evenly. Roast until evenly covered with several brown spots, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, as the corn can burn and char easily - Light charring is good.

* * * * * *

Preparing the batter:
Combine the chickpea flour, baking powder, pepper, salt, hot water and oil in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth.

* * * * * *

Frying the bondas:
In a deep fryer or large frying pan, pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches and heat to 375 degrees F.

Dip a few of the bondas into the batter, allowing the excess to drip off, and put them into the hot oil. Do not crowd the pan.

Fry, turning frequently with tongs, until the bondas are browned, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm in a low oven while you fry the remaining bondas.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 16-20 pieces


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