Aloo Bonda (Indian Mashed Potato Fritters)

Aloo Bonda (Indian Mashed Potato Fritters)
This Mumbai street-food snack was inspired by a recipe from cookbook author and teacher Raghavan Iyer. Mashed potatoes are seasoned with cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, and chile; balls of the aromatic mash are then coated in a turmeric-accented chickpea-flour batter and deep-fried until crisp and golden. See the recipe for Aloo Bonda (Indian Mashed Potato Fritters) »Ingalls Photography

This Mumbai street-food snack was inspired by a recipe from cookbook author and teacher Raghavan Iyer. Mashed potatoes are seasoned with cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, and chile; balls of the aromatic mash are then coated in a turmeric-accented chickpea-flour batter and deep-fried until crisp and golden. This recipe first appeared in the tablet edition of our August/September 2014 special India issue with Indrani Sen's story The School of Small Bites.

Aloo Bonda (Indian Mashed Potato Fritters)
This Mumbai street-food snack was inspired by a recipe from cookbook author and teacher Raghavan Iyer. Mashed potatoes are seasoned with cumin, mustard seeds, curry leaves, ginger, and chile; balls of the aromatic mash are then coated in a turmeric-accented chickpea-flour batter and deep-fried until crisp and golden.
Yield: makes 32 Fritters

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 4 fresh or frozen curry leaves, minced
  • 1 (1½") piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 small green Thai chile or ½ serrano, minced
  • ½ small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1 tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • ¼ cups rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • Tamarind and coconut-cilantro chutneys, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Boil potatoes in a 6-qt. saucepan of water until tender, 12–14 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl; using a potato masher, coarsely mash potatoes. Add 3 tbsp. oil to pan; heat over medium-high. Cook cumin seeds, ½ tsp. turmeric, and the mustard seeds until fragrant and seeds begin to pop, 1–2 minutes. Add curry leaves, ginger, chile and onion; cook until golden, 4–6 minutes. Let cool slightly and add to bowl with potatoes. Add cilantro, ½ tsp. chile powder, and salt; using hands, mix until smooth. Divide mixture into thirty-two ½-oz. balls.
  2. Heat 2" oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Whisk remaining turmeric and chile powder, the chickpea and rice flours, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and ½ cup water in a bowl until a smooth batter forms. Working in batches, dip potato balls in batter; fry, turning as needed, until golden and crisp, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer aloo bonda to paper towels to drain; season with salt. Serve with coconut-cilantro and tamarind chutneys if you like.