Dhondas Recipe: A Cucumber Cake From The Konkan Region
Image Credit: rasoise

Kakdiche dhondas or dhondas, as it is more commonly known, is a Konkani dish of a steamed cucumber cake that is typically enjoyed as a snack or for breakfast. The Konkan region is also known for other healthy preparations which are steamed (read: pangi, patholi), and the dhondas is one of the many varieties of preparations associated with this cooking technique and regional culinary practice. The dhondas can also be made with jackfruit and is usually a batter mixed with semolina, jaggery and freshly grated coconut, among other things.

A similar preparation to the dhondas can also be referenced in Mangalorean cuisine – where it is known as mandas – as well as found having a prominent place in Sri Lankan cuisine. Some recipes for the dhondas also add fresh turmeric leaves to the mix, for extra aroma and flavour. What makes this recipe for dhondas slightly different than most others is that the cakes are seared brown, once they are steamed so that they develop a crispy exterior and a nubbly, soft interior. While it tastes perfectly delicious on its own with this interplay of crunchy-soft textures, serving it with a scoop of tender coconut or vanilla ice cream makes it taste equally delicious.


Image Credits: @CPriyadarshini/Twitter


  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 cup rice rava
  • 1 cup semolina
  • 1 cup jaggery powder
  • ½ cup coconut
  • ¼ cup fried cashews + raisins
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 2 tablespoons ghee


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  • Grate the cucumber into fine shreds and set aside while you dry roast the rice rava and semolina separately, until their raw smell disappears. Let it cool for a bit before ready to use again.
  • Boil the water and add the jaggery powder, cucumber, and pinch of salt. Stir everything well and bring to a boil.
  • Once that happens, continue stirring as you tip in the toasted rice rava and semolina and mix to avoid any lumps. Take the mixture off of the heat once it turns into a batter-like consistency and place a lid over the pan so the heat is trapped within.
  • Meanwhile, grease a baking tray with some oil and line it with banana leaves. Check the mixture to see if the semolina has absorbed all the water before adding the cardamom powder and combining.
  • Add the fried dry fruits and transfer it to the waiting baking tray. Steam for 30 minutes after covering the top surface with a banana leaf as well. Insert a knife in the centre to check for doneness and let it cool for a bit before you unmould it.
  • Cut into cubes or any other desired shape and brown in a pan with ghee on all sides, until crispy. Serve warm as it is or with some ice cream on the side.