Bonda Soup is a really fun, yummy mix between a snack and a meal. The soup is light and refreshing. The bonda provides for hearty and tasty bites in between. Yet, another gem from the Karnataka cuisine. I am sure your family is gonna love it!!
My upgraded version has baked bondas instead of the traditional fried ones.
Step by Step Process
For the baked bonda – Soak the urad dal, drain it and grind with very little water. This part is very similar to the traditional process. The only step I add is the whipping of the batter. That helps with aerating the batter and baking it beautifully.
Next stop – Flavorings!! 2 points to remember…
1. Don’t forget to whip the batter before adding the other ingredients. During one of my trial runs, I added everything and then tried to whip (me -save me some steps, I am so smarttt). But the batter did not turn out as fluffy because of all the interruptions from the spices in between (Not so smart, after all, eh!!:)). So whip, then add spices.
2. When I was a beginner cook, I would take one look at the long spice list and just run away from those recipes. The curry leaves, the ginger, the coconut pieces, etc – Gahh!!…if this is overwhelming you….Just use salt and pepper, or just salt and green chillies. If you don’t have time, keep it simple, no worries.
But if you have the time, taking time to chop and prep all the ingredients will add nuances to the taste, that a lot of the experienced cooks just seem to get rather intuitively. The additional complexity and texture will take the bondas to the next level.
I use a donut hole pan to bake the bondas. It is very similar to the kuzhi-paniyaram pan shape, except that the pan is oven-proof.
Eat Garma garam (hot, hot)…yummy yummy bondas!!
I used the leftover bonda batter in the regular donut pan to make baked vadas. That was a hit with the kids as well, who always take a liking for that shape.
For the Soup
You could do any kind of soup for this. I have tried a moong dal version, which is great. But I decided to go with masoor for a light feel. The moong when cooked for long gets a little slimy and I wanted a watered down soup rather than a thick one.
I added a variety of veggies, small amounts of each. I especially like the taste of celery and carrots in the soup. Regarding spices, I purposefully only stuck to light flavoring with coriander and cumin powder. That along with the butter, green chillies, ginger, coriander leaves and lemon gives the soup a well-rounded subtle flavor.
Baked bondas suspended in a light, nourishing soup
- 1 cup Urad dal
- 1 small Onion (chopped)
- 2 Green chillies (finely chopped)
- 1 sprig Curry leaves (chopped)
- 2 tsp Chopped coconut pieces
- 1/4 tsp Coarsely Ground pepper
- Salt (to taste)
- 1/2 cup Masoor dal
- 1 Onion (chopped)
- 1 Tomato (chopped)
- 2 stalks Celery (chopped)
- 1/2 Zucchini (chopped)
- 1 Carrot (chopped)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 1/2 tsp Jeera
- 1 in Ginger (finely chopped)
- 1 Green chilli (finely chopped)
- Curry leaves (chopped)
- 1/2 tsp Coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp Cumin powder
- Salt (to taste)
- Lemon Juice
- 1/4 cup Chopped corainder leaves
Soak Urad dal in water for a minimum of 2 hours or more. Drain and grind with very little water.
Pour ground mixture into stand mixer and whip well for a couple of minutes.
Add the rest of the bonda ingredients and whip for a few seconds.
Spray or brush oil thoroughly in a non-stick donut pan. Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of batter and pour into each donut hole pan.
Place donut pan in a 450F preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove, loosen bondas out of tray when hot and then let it cool.
Add chopped veggies, masoor dal, turmeric powder and 2 cups water and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
Add butter to a small pan and add tadka items and let it sizzle for 30 seconds or more.
Add tadka to the cooked dal. Add extra 1 or 2 cups of water for a soupy consistency and let it come to a boil. Turn it off.
Add lemon juice and coriander leaves to soup. Stir and serve.
For extra browning on the top, set oven to broil mode and broil the bondas for 1 minutes.
The bondas soaked in the soup have a nice dumpling feel to it. A protein-filled treat for the family!!
In the traditional recipe, you have to fry them in oil. If you were eating them plain, then yes, the crispness of the oil is going to matter. But, if you were going to serve them dunked in sambar, rasam or soup, then why add the extra oil? Why not bake them instead?
So, what are you waiting for?? Pop your oven to 450F and get baking. Share your thoughts and comments down below. As always, I look forward to hearing from you.
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