Prep Time
2hr 30min
Cook Time
Total Time
3hr 10min

Bonda Soup! This Karnataka specialty includes tender lentil fritters (Bonda) immersed in a flavorful lentil soup. Best enjoyed warm, these spiced rounds provide a comforting choice, especially during the monsoon.

I was eager to try this recipe at home and was fortunate enough to receive the recipe from a friend in Karnataka. It's a simple and easy recipe with no onions or garlic, which makes it great for a snack or appetizer anytime.

Whether for breakfast or a relaxed evening, this dish effortlessly brings a touch of tradition to your table.

Give it a try–it's simple, delicious, and perfect for any occasion!


6 Servings
(1 serving = 2 pieces)

For Dal Soup

  • 3/4cup
    Mung Dal (yellow)
  • 3cup
  • 1tsp
  • 1tsp
  • 1tbsp

For Bonda

  • 1cup
    Urad Dal (soaked & drained)
  • 1tsp
    Ginger (finely chopped)
  • 1
    Green chilli (finely chopped)
  • 1tsp
    Cumin Seeds
  • 1tsp
    Black Peppercorns (coarsely ground)
  • 2tbsp
    Coconut (chopped/grated)
  • 1sprig
    Curry Leaves (chopped)
  • 1/8tsp
    Asafoetida (hing)
  • 1/4tsp
    Baking Soda
  • 1/2tsp
  • Groundnut Oil for frying

For Tempering

  • 3tbsp
  • 1tsp
    Black Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2
    Cumin Seeds
  • 1/8tsp
    Asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1tbsp
    Ginger (finely chopped)
  • 5
    Green Chillies (chopped/slit)
  • 2tbsp
    Grated Coconut
  • Few Curry leaves
  • 3
    tomatoes (diced)
  • 1tsp
  • 2tbsp
    Lemon Juice
  • 3cup
    Water (or as required)


For Dal Soup

  1. Dry roast mung dal in a pan for 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat, then transfer it to a pressure cooker.

  2. Add water, turmeric, salt and oil. Pressure cook for 2-3 whistles and allow the steam to release naturally. Mash the dal slightly with a ladle and set aside.

For Bonda

  1. Rinse and soak urad dal for 2-3 hours, then drain the water and grind to create a thick smooth batter, adding a dash of water only if necessary. The batter consistency should be of drop and not pouring consistency.

  2. Transfer the batter to a bowl, add ginger, green chilli, cumin seeds, black peppercorns, coconut, curry leaves, asafoetida, baking soda and salt. Mix thoroughly in one direction until aerated. The batter should be fluffy and smooth.

  3. Heat groundnut oil in a frying pan over medium heat. (To test oil readiness, drop a bit of batter in it. If it rises quickly, it’s ready).

  4. Wet your hands, take a small portion of the batter using your fingers or a small round ladle and drop it gently into the hot oil.

  5. Fry the bondas in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Fry them until they turn golden and crisp. Keep stirring occasionally for even frying.

  6. Once cooked, remove the bondas from the oil using a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Set them aside.

For Tempering

  1. Heat 3 tbsp of oil over low-medium heat in a wok.

  2. Add black mustard seeds and cumin seeds, letting them splutter.

  3. Add asafoetida, ginger, green chillies and grated coconut, curry leaves to the wok. Stir briefly.

  4. Add diced tomatoes, stir, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  5. Add the boiled dal and sugar, stirring well. Pour water, adjust seasoning, add lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil until the soup reaches the desired consistency. (The dal soup should have a slightly thinner consistency, preferably on the watery side rather than being too thick).

  6. Garnish with coriander leaves.

To Serve

  1. Place two Bondas in a bowl and pour 1-2 ladlefuls of dal soup over them.

  2. For fluffy and crispy Bondas, add them 5 minutes before serving. If you prefer a softer texture, add hot Bondas to the soup and let them soak. Enjoy!

Tips & Tricks

  1. Fry bondas on medium heat for a golden, crispy finish.

  2. Boost moong dal flavour by roasting it briefly before pressure cooking.

  3. Adjust soup thickness by controlling the amount of water.

  4. Adjust spice and salt in the dal to suit your taste.

  5. You can replace groundnut oil with any vegetable oil of your choice.

  6. Serving depends on the portion serving size of the bondas.

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Recipe by

Leena Kohli


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