Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Indian Potato Fritters (Aloo Bonda)

When I first received my Saveur Magazine, The India Issue (#167), many months ago, I could not put it down. Even today, I always have the magazine near my kitchen, ratty and creased with many corners turned in, standing by just in case I feel like making something great tasting and full of spices and flavors.

One of the first recipes I tried was the Aloo Bonda (potato fritters) which were gone almost as soon as I finished making them. They are accompanied by a tamarind sauce, but Sriracha tastes good with them as well. The hardest part about this recipe was finding the black mustard seeds, which I ordered thru Amazon.com. Luckily enough I live in an area where Indian and Middle Eastern stores are abundant and was able to find the rest of the ingredients. Like the black mustard seeds, if you can't find an ingredient in your area, try using Amazon.com or other online grocery shopping sites.

  • 1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 3 tbsp. canola oil, plus more for frying
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp. black mustard seeds
  • 4 fresh or frozen curry leaves, minced
  • 1 (1½") piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 small green Thai chile or ½ serrano, minced
  • ½ small yellow onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. minced cilantro
  • 1½ tsp. red chile powder, such as cayenne
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda

Boil potatoes in a 6-qt. saucepan of water until tender, 12–14 minutes. Drain and transfer to a bowl; using a potato masher, coarsely mash potatoes.

Add 3 tbsp. oil to pan; heat over medium-high. Cook cumin seeds, ½ tsp. turmeric, and the mustard seeds until fragrant and seeds begin to pop, 1–2 minutes. Add curry leaves, ginger, chile and onion; cook until golden, 4–6 minutes. Let cool slightly and add to bowl with potatoes.

Add cilantro, ½ tsp. chile powder, and salt; using hands, mix until smooth. Divide mixture into thirty-two ½-oz. balls.

Heat 2" oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Whisk remaining turmeric and chile powder, the chickpea and rice flours, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and ½ cup water in a bowl until a smooth batter forms.

Working in batches, dip potato balls in batter; fry, turning as needed, until golden and crisp, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer aloo bonda to paper towels to drain; season with salt.

Serve with coconut-cilantro and tamarind chutneys if you like.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Banana-Sweet Potato and Mexican Crema Bread

I have to admit, the name of this recipe is perhaps the longest I've ever created. But I figured since it has been eons since I posted any new recipes, this may make up for it.

Okay, not really. I tried.

So you're probably asking yourself, where have I been? Long story short....

  1. Got promotion at work, which means
  2. I am busier than ever, which means
  3. It's been months since I tested any new recipes, which means
  4. My camera is desperate for food porn...and
  5. Oh, yeah, we moved again!
Now that Stella and I are finally settled in our new, fancy-shmancy home, I will--no, I must--cook more, experiment more and just start having fun in the kitchen again. I was inspired on Monday, of all days, to make the bread because I had 2 over-ripe bananas, 1 sweet potato that has just been sitting in the basket for over 2 weeks, left-over Mexican crema I used last Sunday for chilaquiles and an overwhelming need to bake! And so, this bread was created. It is really moist and so good with coffee. Stella loves is warmed up slightly and slathered in butter! What kid doesn't, right? 


INGREDIENTS (makes 1 loaf)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 small sweet potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cups chopped walnuts (optional)


Pre-heat oven to 350 F Degrees.

Grease 1 loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs, vanilla extract and Mexican crema or sour cream and mix just until incorporated. Add flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg, and mix again. Then add mashed bananas and mashed sweet potato and nuts. Mix for another 15 seconds or so. The batter will look curdled, so don't be alarmed.

Pour batter into the well greased loaf pan and bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

Let the bread cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes before taking it out.

Stella helping with the batter

Waiting for the "bee-nana" bread to be done.