Potato Bonda (Spicy Potato Balls)

A savory appetizer from South India. Serve with chutney.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
15 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs
8 servings


  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and quartered

  • 2 tablespoons light sesame oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin seeds

  • 6 fresh curry leaves, chopped, or more to taste

  • ½ cup minced onion

  • 2 green chile peppers, minced

  • 1 ½ teaspoons ginger paste

  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon curry powder

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)

  • 1 tablespoon rice flour

  • 1 teaspoon ground red chile pepper

  • 1 pinch asafoetida powder (hing)

  • ¼ cup water, or as needed

  • vegetable oil for frying


  1. Cook potatoes in a large microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until soft and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Use a fork or pastry blender to lightly smash potatoes.

  2. Heat the sesame oil in a skillet over medium-high heat; add cumin seeds and cook until fragrant, stirring occasionally, about 1 minute. Add curry leaves and stir until fragrant; mix in onion, green chile peppers, and ginger paste. Cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat; stir in turmeric and curry powder.

  3. Pour onion mixture over smashed potatoes; mix thoroughly to combine.

  4. Mix chickpea flour, rice flour, red chile pepper, and asafoetida in a shallow bowl. Pour in just enough water to form a thick, pancake-like batter. Let it rest until batter has slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.

  5. Heat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer or large saucepan to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  6. Roll the potato mixture into balls the size of golf balls. Dip each potato ball in the batter to coat. Fry 3 to 4 at a time in the hot oil until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

Cook's Note:

Prepare and measure all ingredients in advance and keep ready at hand. Besan, rice flour, ground red chili, and hing may be mixed together.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. Amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

186 Calories
10g Fat
21g Carbs
5g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 186
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 13%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Sodium 13mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 40mg 198%
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 420mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.