It was a bright and sunny day. A happy girl was all set to hit the kitchen with the pounding heart in her own hands. By the time she was the nervous & tensed girl with the recipe of ‘Boondi’ (Indian gram flour fritters) pinned on her kitchen wall. It was the first time ever she was going to try Boondi at home on her own. All set and here she began with her fingers crossed.
After an hour of continuous frying and in between clicking I finally got almost 5 cups of crispy Boondi. I was so tensed that I completely forgot the ‘tasting’ part in between two batches which I do all the time. Finally when I was done I couldn’t resist myself from grabbing handful of Khara Boondi or Jhal Bonde from the palate. I loved the crunchy crispy feeling in my mouth but soon I realized it is still only 'boondi' and not Spicy Khara Boondi. I have to yet prepare the spicy mix to make it complete. I did a real quick job with the 'Spice Mix' and finally my Spicy Khara Boondi or Bengali Jhal Bonde is ready.
I was extremely happy with the final result of Spicy Khara Boondi or Bengali Jhal Bonde though it had tested my patience already during the ‘consistency check’ period. I was setting and dressing up my table for the photo shoot and by the time I started clicking, sunny day has turned into a dark and gloomy day with storm. I had no idea whether to continue or cancel the shoot. Then somehow I managed to change the entire setup to recreate another mood. I pulled out the tripod and set the camera in manual mode and started clicking. And here I have got few of my best ever shots I guess.
Here is the authentic recipe of Spicy Khara Boondi or Bengali Jhal Bonde. I'll Add the detailed Tips and Notes within few days.
Preparation Time: 05 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Resting Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Yield: 2 cups
The measurement of the core ingredients will bit different from Sweet Boondi and Boondi Laddu. For Laddu or Sweet boondi we need soft boondi and for Khara boondi we need the boondis to be crisp and crunchy.
Gram flour (besan): 1 cup
Rice flour: ½ cup
Baking soda: 1 pinch
Turmeric powder: ½ tsp
Red chili powder: 1 tsp
Salt: ½ tsp (or to taste)
Water: 1¼ cup
Oil/ Ghee (clarified butter) to deep fry
For Spice Mix:
Fresh garlic: 5-6 cloves
Curry leaves: 8-10
Cashew nuts: 2 tbsp
Peanuts: 2 tbsp
Oil/ Ghee (clarified butter): 2 tbsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Heavy bottomed saucepan
Heavy bottomed wok
Large mixing bowls
Small mixing bowls
Perforated ladle (boondi maker)
Medium slotted spoon
Take the gram flour, rice flour and soda together in a clean dry mixing bowl.
Sift and sieve the mixture.
Make a small well in the middle of the flour mixture. Pour ½ cup of water in the well and make a very dense paste.
Add rest of the water little by little and make a lump free batter. The batter should be able to cover the back of a spoon. Heat the oil in the wok on medium flame. The temperature of the oil is also very important here. The oil should be medium hot; not smoking hot.
To check consistency of the batter dip a spoon in the batter and add the droplets into the hot oil. If the droplets have tails that means your batter is too thick. Add 1-2 tbsp water to the batter and check again. If the droplets fall flat, you batter needs more gram flour then. Adjust the batter according to your need until you get fluffy round balls.
Mix turmeric powder and red chili powder in the batter.
Try the consistency check again by following same procedure described above. Add 1-2 tsp water is necessary.
The droplets/boondis should be round, puffy and tail free like the picture below.
Now place the Perforated ladle (boondi maker) above the hot oil in wok and pour the batter straight into that boondi maker from the deep ladle. And allow the droplets to flow directly in the hot oil.
Spread the batter in the Perforated ladle (boondi maker) with the help of the deep ladle until the batter is almost scraped off from the boondi maker.
Fry the boondis until they are nicely done.
Turn them in between with a slotted spoon to get even color and cooking. Boondis should be crisp and crunchy.
Remove the fried boondis with the medium slotted spoon and keep them on paper towel to get rid of the excess oil.
In a separate pan heat ghee and add all the ingredients under ‘Spice Mix’ except salt. Roast the nuts until they are golden brown in color. Now add the spice mix to the crispy boondis; also mix salt and toss well.
Your crispy, spicy Spicy Khara Boondi or Bengali Jhal Bonde is ready for munching. Serve them with spicy Ginger Tea or have them as it is.
Allow the boondi to cool and bring it to room temperature. Store the boondi in an air tight container. They will be fresh and crispy up to a month.