Kara boondhis are small round pearl like fried chickpea flour balls. They are great savory treat and can be had as such or can be added to a variety of things like in Raitas, chaats, on top of rice items like Bisi Bele baath etc. They also form an important part of the South Indian Mixture.
At home, my mother and grandmother, never ventured into making mixture. The usual fare at home would be Ribbon Pokkodam/pakoda, thengual, diamond cuts, muthuswaram etc. So I never got a chance to even see how the boondhis were made before my marriage. But MIL makes mixture every year for Diwali. It is a quintessential in her kitchen. And like I said boondhis form an important part of the mixture. So it was only after marriage that I saw the art of making boondhis. Yes it is an art to get the perfect round boondhis.
A thin batter of chickpea flour and rice flour with seasonings is poured through a special perforated ladle called Jaarni into hot oil to make these boondhis. Don’t worry if you don’t have a Jaarni, they can be made easily with the regular perforated ladles or Kannappais. But make sure you have two of them, so it’s easy to scoop the boondhis out from the oil.
I have seen my MIL make boondhis countless number of times, but never made them all alone. This is the first time I am making them all alone and I am really happy with the results. Though initially I had a little trouble with the batter, but with all the tips from Mil, I managed to get beautiful boondhis which were perfectly crisp and yummy.
My kids loved them and started munching directly from the box but I had to put a stop to their munching else nothing would have remained for me click. :)
What you'll need
- Besan/Kadala Maavu – 1 cup
- Rice Flour – 2 tbsp
- Chilly Powder – ½ tsp (adjust according to taste)
- Asafoetida Powder – a generous pinch
- Salt to taste
- Oil to deep fry
- Curry Leaves – few
- Peanuts – a handful
- Salt and chilly powder for tossing
- You need 2 perforated ladles, 1 for pouring the boondis and another for scooping them out from oil
- Heat a Kadai with oil to deep fry.
- In the meanwhile, In a wide bowl, add the kadala maavu, rice flour, chilly powder, asafoetida and salt to taste. Mix well.
- Add water and make the batter, without any lumps, of pouring consistency. The batter should be a little on the runnier side. (See Notes for adjusting the consistency of batter)
- Once the oil is heated up, drop a few drops of batter into the oil, if the boondhi’s are tailed, then the batter is too thick add little more water and check, if the boondis are flat then the batter is very thin/runny, add a little more kadalamaavu, mix and check.
- To make the boondhis, place one of the perforated ladles, a little above the hot oil, pour a ladle of batter on the ladle, let the batter drop by itself, this gives perfectly round boondhis.
- Fry on medium heat, turning them once or twice in between.
- Once the sizziling and bubbling of oil stops, scoop out the boondhis and drain on tissue paper.
- Wipe the perforated ladle clean, so as no batter is sticking to it, then repeat the 5 to 7, with the remaining batter.
- In the same oil, fry the peanuts, scoop them out once they turn red.
- Turn off fame and then add the curry leaves, Be careful as the oil may splutter on adding the curry leaves.
- Once the leaves are crisp remove form oil, drain on tissues.
- Add the drained boondis in a wide bowl, add the fried peanuts and curry leaves.
- Add little more salt and chilly powder and toss well.
Store in airtight containers.
- If you get tailed boondhis, your batter is very thick, add some water and loosen the batter.
- If you get flat boondhis, your batter is very thin, add little kadala maavu and mix well.
- Make sure the oil is hot, this will make sure the boondhis don’t stick to each other.
- Keep the perforated ladle a little high from the oil, this will give perfect round boondhis, but be careful as the oil may splutter, while the boondhis are falling in the oil.
- Always wipe the perforated handle clean before pouring the next round of batter.
- The final seasoning part of adding peanuts and curry leaves is optional, they taste good plain also.