Tuesday, 24 January 2012




     1)    Banana flower pod (bondi in Konkani, koombe in Malayalam), without the hard core – 300 gm.

     2)    Raw rice – 200 gm.
     3)    Tor dal (split pigeon pea lentils) – 200 gm.
     4)    Hot red chili powder – 1 tablespoon
     5)    Asafoetida powder – ¼ teaspoon
     6)    Powdered salt – 1½ teaspoons
     7)    Freshly grated coconut – ½ cup
     8)    Coconut oil or any other cooking oil – to deep fry

To Make:

          Soak the rice and the tor dal in water for an hour. Bite on a small piece of the flower pod to confirm that it is a sweet edible type. Some varieties are quite bitter. For more details, see my bondiyé upkari recipe.

          Chop the banana flower cone to super fine bits, taking care not to use any of the hard core (spear-like extension of the stem which ends at the center of the flower pod). Wear gloves if you will for the juice of the flower pod can stain your fingers dark for a day. Wash and drain the rice and the dal.

          Put them in a food processor and grind to a somewhat grainy to smooth paste (the traditional bondiyé bhojjo is quite grainy. However, my husband and kids love to eat softer bhojjos and so I usually grind it to smooth paste). Transfer the paste to a mixing bowl and add the chili powder, the asafoetida powder, the salt and the chopped pieces. Mix nicely with your hand. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required.

          Set a wok on high heat. Pour in the cooking oil. As soon as the oil is hot and about to smoke, make small lime sized balls of the mixture, flatten them between your palms to patties and release gently into the hot oil, taking care not to crowd the wok. Stir frequently to fry all the sides equally. Do not allow the oil to get too hot or to smoke. Adjust the heat and fry the patties till the outside feels crispy when you stir with the ladle. Lift out and drain off the excess oil. Continue till all the bondiyé bhojjos are fried beautifully.

          Serve warm with porridge, rice gruel, rice, cherupayar kanji or just as a crispy snack.


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