Boondi are a crispy chickpea snack that are so simple to put together. I make them any time I make bhajiya. Boondi are often eaten as a snack on their own or added to snack mixtures like chevdo and bhel, to add a little flavor and texture enhancement. Boondi is also the main ingredient of my favorite raita, boondi raita. “Kara Boondi” means salty boondi, which is another name for these boondi because they are savory and there is also a sweet version.
Typically when I make boondi for myself, I don’t worry about the shape. I just dip a fork into my batter and drip it in to the hot oil. It gives me uneven shapes that are crunchy and taste fantastic.
But for this post, I wanted to show how to make them properly, so I used my mom and grandma’s technique.
Slotted Spoon Technique
The technique is fairly simple. You hold a slotted spoon over your hot oil and scoop the batter onto it. The batter then slips through the spoon forming small droplets. These droplets form the perfect little balls of our boondi, firming into shape as soon as they hit the oil.
The one tricky part is to getting the thickness of the batter right. In order for it to slip through the holes of the spoon, it has to be much more watery than my usual pakora batter. I found using 1 1/4 cups of water instead of my usual 3/4 cup to 1 cup of besan worked well.
I experimented with a few different items to form the balls I used my jaro, a slotted spoon, and a fine grater. They all worked just as well.
Besan is a very common flour in India. It is made from chickpeas, also known as chickpea flour or gram flour. You can find it at any Indian grocery store.
Rice flour helps crisp up the boondi. If you don’t have rice flour, you can leave it out. They will still get crispy, but maybe not as much.
These are a very common Gujarati spice. We use them whenever we cook seeds whole, and for anything gassy – papadi, guar. We use them in the flour for savory besan because besan comes from chickpeas.
Turmeric, Chili Powder, Garam masala
These are common savory spices we use over and over. They give the boondi some spice so they are not bland.
Boondi | Kara Boondi
- 1 cup besan chickpea flour
- 3 Tbsp rice flour
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp red chili powder / flakes
- 1 tsp carom seeds
- ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 ¼ cup water
- In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients for the batter: besan, rice flour, turmeric, chili powder, carom seeds, garam masala. Whisk or sift to remove all lumps.
- Add water as needed to create a slightly runny batter. The batter needs to be thin enough to run through the holes of a slotted spoon.
- Heat your frying to to about 375-385°F. The oil needs to be hot enough to immediately start cooking the boondi without soaking in.
- Hold a slotted spoon over your frying oil and scoop some batter into your slotted spoon. Keep the slotted spoon close to the oil to avoid splatter. If the batter does not drip through, stir in some more water and repeat.
- Fry the boondi until it turns golden, about a minute. Gently stir the oil for even cooking. Use a slotted spoon to remove onto a paper towel.
- If batter is too thick, it won’t go through the spoon
- The oil should be hot enough that that it immediately bubbles up around the boondi and it should rise to the top.
- They should not be allowed to get too dark to avoid the burnt flavor, but they are really easy to make and if you are overcooking them this is easy to correct on the next spoonful.
- Carom seeds are optional
- Garam masala is optional, my mom doesn’t add it but I like it
- The rice flour is optional. I have used brown rice flour in place of rice flour and it works as well. If you don’t have rice flour you can still make the boondi, they just won’t be quite as crispy