My mum used to make a version of this when we were young. It was that rebellious period where we didnt like anything home made, leave alone bonda’s, which were the most boring things ever. Instead we wanted things from the bakery, or burgers and hot dogs from the fast food joints. Fast forward 20 years later and I want all these boring dishes I never bothered to notice. Dont get me wrong here, I love my steaks, pizzas and pastas, but I realised I want these simple unassuming memories of home also, unusually a lot more these days.
Blame the 2 week short trip back home, the depressing weather (I am not joking, but I havent seen the sun for more than 10 minutes at a stretch since i got back), the winter chill, or you know just to find out if you could make the dish the same way mummy made. I wanted to call her up to get the exact recipe, but my globe trotting mother was in Thailand with her friends and so had to make do with my memory of the recipe she had once mentioned over the phone.
To be honest, I cant remember if it tasted anything like hers, but I can assure you it tasted darn good. I wouldn’t say the husband gobbling up 4 of them one after the other is proof, but you get the idea right? I would say these are like Scotch eggs, but like a poorer cousin with coconut chutney instead of meat. Its a great appetiser and a different one at that. Using quails eggs make it a tad fancier and also an easy finger food since you can just chuck the whole thing into your mouth.
Serves 7 to 8 as a starter
Eggs- 12, hard boiled (I used quails eggs)
For the chutney
Grated coconut- 1 cup
Coriander leaves- 1 cup
Mint leaves- 12
Tamarind paste- 1 tsp
Green chilli- 1
Salt- to taste
For the batter
Gram flour- 2 tbsp
Plain flour- 2 tbsp
Ajwain seeds- 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds, powdered- a generous pinch
Baking soda- 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Water- enough to make a thick batter
Grind together all the ingredients for the chutney in a food processor/ blender, scraping down the sides at intervals, until you get a smooth-ish paste.
Resist the urge to add water.
Transfer to an air tight container and refrigerate till ready to use.
Mix together all the dry ingredients for the batter in a mixing bowl and add enough water to make a thick batter, almost paste-like.
Make sure its not too loose, or else it wont stick to the egg. That said, if it does end up being too loose, just add some more flour to get the desired consistency. Or if too thick, loosen it with water, 1 tsp at a time.
When ready to cook, heat oil in a deep pan.
Wrap the coconut chutney around the quails egg and make into a smooth ball. Do so with all the eggs, making sure you dont over do the chutney on each egg.
Cover the balls in batter and drop them into the hot oil.
Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen towels.
Serve hot with spicy ketchup.
Notes: I used quails egg and the chutney quantity was perfect for 12 of them. The said quantity should cover 5 to 6 medium size eggs easily. The chutney recipe can easily be doubled.
I made the chutney the previous day. Bring it out to room temperature half an hour before making the bondas.
Also, I found that the chutney had dried a bit the next day, so i stirred in 2 tsp of water so it would stick to the eggs. Please add water bit by bit because once it becomes too watery, there is no way to fix it.
The chutney works great on its own with idli, dosa or even as a sandwich filling.