Chili Snacks Recipe
Chili Snacks
Flavors of Reunion Island
Total time: more than 2 hours

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Soaking time: 8 hours
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Difficulty: Easy
Chef's Note

These little savory snacks are known on Reunion Islands as "bonbons piment"... though they bear little resemblance to the candy "bonbons" found elsewhere! However, despite the "chili" name, they aren't as hot as you might expect. These little appetizers seem to have been brought to Reunion by the Muslim Indian community and are related to samosas, also introduced to the island by Indian immigrants. There is also a Tamil word, vaday, that refers to this same recipe, which raises some doubt about the exact origin of these crispy fried rings.

These chili snacks can be served alongside samosas as an appetizer or first course, but they're a treat that Reunion residents enjoy eating at any time of day, either at home or outdoors.

- 250 g (9 oz.) white beans
- 2 or 3 green onions
- 1 small piece of ginger root
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seed
- 1/2 tsp. coriander seed
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 large mild green chili
- salt and pepper
- oil for frying
  1. The evening before, place the white beans in cold water to soak overnight.
  2. Purée the beans in a blender very finely. Set aside.
  3. Peel and finely chop the ginger root. Mash these pieces with the cumin and coriander seeds. Add the seeded crushed chili, finely chopped green onions, turmeric and salt.
  4. Blend this mixture thoroughly into the bean paste.
  5. Form the batter into slightly flattened balls, about 4 cm (1 1/2") in diameter by 2 cm (3/4") thick. Using your finger. make a hole in the center to form a little ring.
  6. Drop the rings into hot frying oil, turning occasionally until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
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