Thursday, January 31, 2008

Rasam Bonda

This post is going to Click Liquid a photography event hosted by blogger buddies Bee and Jai on their blog Jugalbandi, one of my favorite blogs.

While in Mumbai I wondered what was so great about rasam, however that has changed now. I have been in Blr for last 2.5 years and know what a good rasam is all about. When there is chill in the air the rasam helps you lift your spirits and warms the heart. I started off making my rasam by using the MTR powder but no more. Infact the best rasam is without the powders I have observed in many friend's homes.

Then somewhere on the blogs I read about rasam vada. It sounded interesting. The author had mentioned that we get rasam vada in the darshinis here but have never found it on the menus. I feel shy to ask for something that's not on the menu so I decided to try it at home.

We have just started our diet of salads and soups for dinner again which means we wake up starving in the morning. On Saturday I woke up a little early and decided to make rasam bonda. This breakfast does a wonderful thing to you the rasam warms your blood while the udid dal bondas satiate your protein requirements. The balance of all tastes is perfect a bit sour, sweet, hot and spicy with the crunchy bondas soaking in the rasam. Dad stopped to comment only after his second bowl, "Its very tasty." For people who don't prefer fried food for breakfast won't even notice that the bondas are fried.

We prefer the bite sized bondas to the large vada as we enjoy the extra crunch and the smaller size does not make it soggy all the way in. The small sized bondas are easy to pick with a spoon instead of struggling to break the large vada into pieces when dipped in the liquid. Unless you may want to see it flying off into someone's face with a splash of rasam every where.


For Bonda
1/2 cup udid dal
1 table spoon rice flour
salt to taste
Oil to fry

Wash and soak half cup udid dal in water for at least 2 hrs. I soaked it overnight as I made this for breakfast.

Drain the water, grind in a mixie to a smooth paste. Mix in the salt and rice flour so that the bondas are able to hold together. Heat oil and drop the lumps of the paste into the oil with a spoon. Make bite sized bondas. Fry till golden and crisp. Remove on a paper napkin. Keep aside.

For the Rasam

1/2 cup toor dal
1/4 turmeric
1/4 red chili powder
1 large tomato
1 handful chopped cilantro
1-2 green chilies
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
2-3 glasses of water for thinning
2 teaspoon oil/ ghee
1 lemon sized ball of tamarind
2 tablespoon jaggery

Wash the dal. In a pressure cooker add the dal with 1 cup water. To it add 1 teaspoon oil, turmeric, chili powder, asafoetida and pressure cook for 20 mins or 3 whistles.
Cool the cooker and meanwhile chop the tomato, green chili, cilantro. In a small bowl add half cup water and washed tamarind and boil. Cool and extract the tamarind pulp. Save.

Now to season the rasam in a saucepan add 1 teaspoon of oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Add the tomato, green chilies, cilantro and cover. Let it simmer for 5 mins. Meanwhile churn the cooked dal to get a nice paste with a beater or Ravi. Then add the cooked spiced toor dal. Top it up with 2-3 glasses of water depending on how thin you want the rasam to be. It should look like clear soup. Add the tamarind pulp and jaggery and boil for 10 mins.

To serve add 4 to 5 bondas in a soup bowl and top up with rasam. Enjoy sipping the rasam while you bite into the crunchy bondas. Though we made this for breakfast this dish can be a any time snack just when you need something to satiate your hunger pangs.

This dish can be created in 20 mins if you keep the udid dal paste refrigerated ready for use. The rasam can be created from any leftover cooked dal by just thinning it and seasoning as mentioned.

Warning !

While I was making the bondas I had a mini accident, fortunately I was not hurt. When using rice flour with udid dal paste make sure it is mixed well. To ensure that you do not have dry areas in the bondas mix well and let the paste stand for 10 mins if you are not in a hurry. I was impatient and when I started frying the bondas the dry rice flour hardened from outside while the inside was still soft. This caused the bondas to burst in the hot oil. I was fortunate not to gets scalded by the oil. I was upset with what happened and the entire kitchen was a mess but my sweet Dad cleaned it up for me.


  1. The bondas can be soaked in warm water and then in rasam, if preparing either one of 'em in advance. The bonda gets moist and fluffy. It absorbs the rasam well too.

  2. Hi Suganya yeah I do that for dahi vada. We are a family of cruncher so enjoy the bondas crisp though they are soaked in rasam. More so because I'm canines, Leo ;).

  3. have only tasted rasam vada, never rasam bonda :)

  4. relieved to know that you didnt get hurt. that cud have been nasty ! and the bowl looks soooooo tempting :)

  5. That is looking very delicious. I have tried vada-sambar but not vada rasam... these are vadas, right? In North, bonda is a version of batata vada!

  6. Anjali, its called Bonda soup in the darshinis. One of our all time favorites. Its available atleast in 50% of darshinis I have seen in b'lore.

  7. Nags and Anita ....These are just small drops of plain udid dal paste and they are called bonda here, they call batata vada, alu bonda, so I guess thats why in the north too they must be calling it just bonda.

    Shilpa thanks I'll check for bonda soup now :), may be I expected bondas in a tomato soup with that name and missed it on the menu;).

  8. Never heard of this recipe. looks great and a great click entry too. Thank god you did not get hurt. Hot oil is dangerous.

  9. Vimmi that was so sweet of you to show concern. I had moved away looking for a tong so was unhurt. Now you go try this recipe out and let me know.

  10. Anjali, I have always enjoyed hot bonda soup in restaurants in cold weather in India and was in search of its recipe to do it since Winter is starting to show its might here in Wisconsin (US)

    I beated the batter well to tested it by dropping a small portion of it in water. As per the tip from Chef Sanjay Thumma of, this was supposed to float thus proving light & soft consistency and it did!.

    The bonda and Rasam came out well and the credit goes to you!. This is the first time I have visited your blog and will continue to from now on.

    I added some hing, finely chopped fresh coconut pieces, chopped curry leaves and Jeera to the batter and it turned out good!.

    Thanks again for sharing this online!.

  11. Hi Sri, So u visited my blog first I assume? before you searched other sites ;). Anyways I accept your appreciation and thanks for your comment.

    I actually saw your name and thought it was my old neighbor and colleague commenting here.

  12. Anjali, I hope I were your old neighbour so that I would have met you already to get to know some more interesting recipes and you!.

    I refer to "uncle Google" for the search and your entry is listed as the second in the list. The preview looked promising and I believe I did a good thing by entering in to find the recipe that I was looking for.

  13. Sri do keep visiting and I look forward to your comments.

  14. Bonda soup is available in most of the darshinis in Bangalore. I think you must check out Adiga's especially the branch near Majestic. Oh wait, this post is more than 2 years old so I guess you must have had your bonda soup fill by now!


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