Enjoying the Famous Rasam Bonda of Bellary

Karnataka is best known for the variety it provides to the entire South Indian cuisine. Bellary is no exception in contributing to the versatile cuisine of Karnataka. The use of spices is very common in the dishes originating from the whole of Karnataka. Their cuisine ranges from appetizers, snacks and desserts to full course meals. 

The famous Rasam Bonda that originated in Bellary is a delicious snack which can be enjoyed with a steaming cup of coffee or tea. It can also be a great breakfast apart from being an evening snack. It is found in almost all restaurants of the town including roadside food stalls. The most important thing for this dish is the batter with which the Bonda is prepared. Bonda, refers to the Vadas or dumplings that can are enjoyed with the Rasam which is the Dal prepared in typical Kannada style.

Now it’s time to find out how to make these beauties at home.

Preparation time - 30 minutes
Frying or Cooking time - 20 mins
Fermentation time - 1 hour
Soaking time - 1 hour

Ingredients for the Bonda or Vadas

  • Urad Dal (1 cup)
  • Pepper (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Asafoetida (A pinch)
  • Grated Ginger - 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Cumin / Jeera (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Oil (For frying)
  • Curry leaves (A handful)

Ingredients for the Rasam:

  • Toor Dal or Tuar dal (2 handfuls)
  • Ripe Tomato (1)
  • Garlic (2 pods)
  • Rasam powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Tamarind Pulp (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt (To taste)
  • Ghee (1 teaspoon)

Ingredients of Tempering

  • Mustard seeds (1 teaspoon)
  • Curry leaves (Half handful)
  • Coriander leaves (2-3 stems)
The Delicious Rasam Bonda of Bellary

Method for making the Bonda

Soak the Urad Dal for around an hour or may be overnight to make it for breakfast. Drain the water and grind the Dal into a smooth paste without excessive water. Add the other ingredients listed under the Bonda ingredients, except for the salt and mix it well. Then cover this mixture and keep it aside for an hour or longer if you prefer, allowing it to ferment. After at least an hour, add the salt as per your taste. 

Heat Oil, enough for deep frying in a wok, at medium heat and take up spoonful of the mixture with a ladle so that the Bondas are round Heat oil for frying on medium heat. Ensure that the dumplings are not browned and the oil sizzle pushing the droplets to the top of the wok. If you want the Bondas to be in perfect shape, then take up the mixture in your hands and form round balls with it inside your palm and slowly roll them down in the oil.

Take them out with a strainer, placing them on paper napkins so as to soak up the excessive oil and repeat the same with the rest of the batter.

Method for Cooking the Rasam

Soak the Toor dal and boil with 2 cups of water and salt in a pressure cooker until 3 whistles. Take the ripe tomato and blanch is for about 2-3 minutes, cool it down, peel of the skin and make it into a puree with a little bit of salt and sugar.

Then take a large wok, pour in the boiled Toor Dal followed by the tomato puree tamarind pulp, Rasam powder and salt. There is no need to add water as the water from the boiled Toor Dal is sufficient. Boil this mixture. You can replace the tamarind pulp with lemon juice if you like or add some to it as well.
Chop the garlic pods and fry sauté them in a teaspoon of Ghee will it turns golden brown and then add the Cooked Toor Dal and mix it slowly.

Then you need to make the tempering or Tadka as we call it. Add some Ghee to a frying pan, add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds and curry leaves, fry them for a moment until the seeds splatter and then add the Rasam into it to complete it.
Tips for making the Dish
Even though the recipe and method for preparing the Bonda has been provided first, it is advised to make the Rasam before so that the dish can be served immediately after preparation
The Rasam, if left over can be used later but the Bondas are best served immediately from the frying pan.
You can make the Rasam Powder with some simple ingredients like Whole red chillies, coriander seeds, peppercorns and roast them. Cool it down and grind the roasted ingredients. It can be stored for later use as well.

Tips for Serving

The best way to serve it is to dip the Bondas in the Rasam and enjoy it in a bowl with a little bit of Pudina Chutney or Coconut Chutney.

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