With the start of the festive season of Ganesh Chaturthi I’d like to post a simple sweet,naivedyam recipe.
Mature cucumbers are available during monsoons and around the same time the festive season sets in. Turmeric leaves are also available around the same time. The cucumber cake is steamed with turmeric leaves and it gives an over the top flavour and aroma to the dhondas.Kakdi cha Dhondas is a regular in Konkan/ Goan cuisine and actually easy to prepare. It is also one of my favourite naivedyam recipes. There are many variations to the recipes, I’m posting my version to Kakdi cha Dhondas below.

RECIPE :

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated cucumber(after water content has been squeezed out)
  • 1 cup idli rawa
  • 1 cup hot water inclusive of the squeezed out cucumber water
  • Approximately 1/2 cup grated jaggery OR depending upon the sweetness of jaggery
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 to 3 cloves or 1/8 tsp clove powder
  • 1/4th tsp cardamom powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 turmeric leaves or as required, rinsed and wiped clean with a cloth
  • Ghee as required to shallow fry the dhondas cubes OR to be used while serving steamed dhondas

MET HOD :

  • Rinse the cucumber well, peel the skin, cut it into half horizontally and grate it along the sides without including the seedy part.A few seeds here and there is fine.Dispose the seedy part. Squeeze out the water from the cucumber and keep it aside to use it later.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a nonstick/ ceramic pan,add cloves or clove powder, saute till you get its aroma, if you are using whole cloves remove it, then add rawa and roast the idli rawa on low flame for about 4 minutes.Add hot water inclusive of the squeezed out water. The idli rawa will fluff up, stir well, add grated cucumber, salt and mix well with a flat spatula. Add grated jaggery, the mix will liquify and the cucumber will also get cooked.Stir well, taking care that there are no lumps. Once the jaggery mixes well with the idli rawa mix it will thicken. Now add cardamom powder and mix well. Switch off the flame and with a flat spatula mix well taking care that there are no lumps.The idli rawa, cucumber, jaggery should be gelled into an even mix. There should be no lumps, so mix well.
  • In a container or flat plate, place turmeric leaves, grease them with a little ghee, add the half cooked mix gently and pat it gently with your palm greased with ghee. Cover it with turmeric leaves greased with ghee and steam cook it for 15 minutes OR till a knife or toothpick when inserted comes out clean.
  • Once done, let it cool, then remove the turmeric leaves, turn over the container/ plate on a larger flat plate, the cucumber cake will get transferred to the flat plate easily. Remove the turmeric leaves, cut the cake into cubes, warm the dhondas bit on a tawa/ skillet and and serve it topped with melted ghee. 
  • I personally love this cake when roasted in ghee. The only precaution you have to take while shallow frying in ghee is the dhondas has to be dry if not the ghee will spluter while frying as steamed dhondas has moisture content. So it is an easier option to roast the dhondas in ghee the next day as it dries up when kept it in the referigerator. Now this is very similar to the way we roast leftover idlis from the previous day in ghee. Shallow fry the dhondas in ghee till golden brown on both sides and serve hot. Both variations taste great.

NOTE :

  • The quantity of jaggery to be added depends on individual sweetness required and also on the sweetness of jaggery.
  • I transferred the mix into two 6″x 6″ tins. 
  • Adding clove powder is optional but it gives a nice flavour to the dhondas.