OMG the Food: Boondis and Boondi Raita

Good morning everyone,

Today we’re making boondi, which can be either a savoury or sweet snack and is the basis of boondi raita and a number of other snacks.  Boondi are tiny little crisp balls made of gram flour and spices and fried.  They aren’t the healthiest thing in the world so we treat them as treats around here rather than a staple.

Savoury Boondi

These little balls of goodness are lightly spiced and not sweet.  They are used as a snack on their own, or in boondi raita (below) and in a number of other recipes.

Ingredients
1 cup besan flour (chickpea flour, available in some Canadian supermarkets and in Indian markets)
2 tbls rice Flour
1/2 tsp red chili powder (we use a Punjabi hot chili powder)
1/8 tsp baking soda
Salt
Water
Canola or extra virgin oil oil for frying

Method
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the besan flour, rice flour, chili powder, baking soda and a little salt (I use about 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp). Add water gradually until you achieve a batter that is a little thinner than pancake batter. It should neither be thick like a cake batter or thin like a crepe batter. Whisk the batter thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps in it. Don’t worry – you cannot overwork this batter. Cover the batter and let it sit for about 10 minutes or so to allow the baking soda to do its job.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or high sided pan over medium-high heat. The oil is hot enough when a drop of batter dropped into the oil comes immediately to the surface. Hold a perforated spoon over the pot and pour a little batter into the spoon at a time (my bestie helps me with this step by pouring in the batter – it really is easiest with four hands). The batter will fall through the perforations into the oil as small droplets. Repeat this process for half of the batter at a time. Using a clean perforated spoon, stir the boondi and allow them to fry until they are bright yellow. Do not allow them to brown. Using the clean spoon, remove the boondi to a baking pan lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Once cool, I store these in a plastic Ziplock bag in the pantry for up to a week.

Sweet Boondi

Ingredients
1 cup besan flour (chickpea flour, available in some Canadian supermarkets and in Indian markets)
3 cups sugar (we use cane sugar around here, which we can crush into powder in a food processor)
1/8 tsp baking soda
7 – 8 green cardamom pods, peeled and ground
Water
Canola or extra virgin oil oil for frying

Method
In a medium sized bowl, stir together the besan flour, sugar, baking soda, and cardamom. Add water gradually until you achieve a batter that is a little thinner than pancake batter. It should neither be thick like a cake batter or thin like a crepe batter. Whisk the batter thoroughly to ensure there are no lumps in it. Don’t worry – you cannot overwork this batter. Cover the batter and let it sit for about 10 minutes or so to allow the baking soda to do its job.

Heat the oil in a deep fryer or high sided pan over medium-high heat. The oil is hot enough when a drop of batter dropped into the oil comes immediately to the surface. Hold a perforated spoon over the pot and pour a little batter into the spoon at a time (my bestie helps me with this step by pouring in the batter – it really is easiest with four hands). The batter will fall through the perforations into the oil as small droplets. Repeat this process for half of the batter at a time. Using a clean perforated spoon, stir the boondi and allow them to fry until they are bright yellow. Do not allow them to brown. Using the clean spoon, remove the boondi to a baking pan lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.

Once cool, I store these in a plastic Ziplock bag in the pantry for up to a week.

Boondi Raita
We use savoury boondi for this recipe but you can use the sweet variety if you want.

Ingredients
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup savoury boondi (recipe above)
1 cup curd (recipe here)
1/2 tsp chaat masala (available in Indian markets – this is different than garam masala)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp red chili powder (we use a Punjabi hot chili powder)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 tsp mint leaves, finely chopped
Salt, to taste

Method
Warm the water in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Do not allow the water to boil. When warm (about 40C), remove from heat, add the boondi, cover and let them soak for about 10 minutes. Drain the water from the pot and lightly press the boondi between your hands, squeezing out most of the water. Don’t crush them up.

Whisk the curd in a bowl, adding a little water to make it thin. Add the boondi and stir gently. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until thoroughly mixed.

This will last only about a day in the refrigerator so make only as much as you want to serve at one time.

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