Cassava Bonda is one of my family's favorite fried snacks, and having recently obtained an armful of free cassava that was going to be destroyed by persistent flooding, I decided it was a perfect time to share my recipe with you all.
Boil, Stir-Fry, Batter, & Fry Again 👨🔬
The ingredients and cooking technique are very simple, but the secret to this recipe is all the steps involved, and making sure not to skip any of them.
🌶️ Cassava Bonda Ingredients 🥔
- boiled cassava - 3 to 4 (small to medium-sized)
- mustard seeds - ½ tsp
- 6 to 8 curry leaves
- turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
- green chilies - 4 small
- salt - ½ tsp
Note - this recipe is even more delicious with a tablespoon of minced ginger, but there are currently a lot of food scarcities in our part of town, so no ginger was to be found before lockdown.
- besan - ½ cup
- rice flour - 1 tbsp
- hing - ⅛ tsp
- baking soda - ¼ tsp
- paprika - ¼ tsp
- salt - ½ tsp
- oil for frying
LET THE BONDA BEGIN! 🔥
Chop the cassava into bite-sized pieces and mince the green chilies, set aside.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok or kadhai, then fry the mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric powder, green chilies.
As soon as the mustard seeds splatter, add the chopped cassava and salt. Stir-fry the cassava and spices on medium-high heat until they are browned and soft. Add some small amounts of water while frying the cassava if you want them a little softer. Set aside to cool.
In a sufficiently sized bowl, add the besan, rice flour, hing, baking soda, paprika, and salt. Start by adding ¼ cup of water, stir to incorporate, and then keep adding small amounts of water and stirring until you get something a little thicker than pancake batter. Set aside.
Grab a palmful of the cassava and partially smash it with your hands while forming them into balls for frying. The size is up to you, but I prefer to make them roughly the size of ping-ping balls.
Begin by preheating some oil for deep-frying. This part is a little tricky, but I prefer to use a two-spoon method to coat the cassava balls with batter. It's a battle against time and gravity, so the technique is to get a full coating of batter as quickly as possible while tossing the ball back and forth between the two spoons.
Each time the ball goes to the other spoon, use the bottom of that spoon to scrape off excess batter from the other spoon. Usually I repeat this process 3-4 times before quickly and gently dropping the battered balls into the hot frying oil.
Continue frying in small batches without overcrowding the pan, and remember to turn the balls occasionally to prevent burning, especially if the your bondas are being shallow fried. When a ball is golden-brown, remove it from the oil and let it drain off excess oil on a paper towel.
🤭 ENOUGH HYPE, LET'S MUNCH 🍴
The crunchy exterior combined with the hot and steamy interior is a perfect combination. Some primal instinct makes you want to bite exactly half and inspect the interior for steam and curiosity's sake.
Of course it's also wise to serve these with some kind of chutney or dipping sauce. Piccalilly sauce is quite common here in Suriname, so went with the lazy store-bought option on this day instead of making a fresh sauce from scratch.
Potatoes are a more typical Indian ingredient to make this style of bonda, but cassava is a perfect famine substitute, especially during this pandemic when every cent counts.
Don't keep hungry youths waiting too long or you may lose life over some fried snacks. Always allow them to count how many bondas there are and divide the number of humans by the number of bondas to calculate the human/bonda ratio despite the obvious caloric daily needed intake differences in each human being.
Should there be 15 bondas and 4 humans, surplus remainder bondas may be awarded to the choicest human begins among the herd. May you eat many more bondas and prosper, and may the fried force be with you.
Don't forget to check out Hive's newest and most fun cooking challenge. This week's featured ingredients on the savory side are besan (bean flour), green plantains/bananas, and mushroms. On the sweeter side are carrots, vanilla, and soursop.