Easy Pumpkin Dhondas

Another sweet for Navratri with a wholesome,earthy flavor and an enticing autumn aroma!

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Easy Pumpkin Dhondas

An Indian fusion recipe that combines two classics-the classic pumpkin flavor of fall and the Konkani dhondas-a very earthy, homey flavor perfect for Navratri, a festival that also celebrates the wonders of Mother Earth.

Dhondas is a very unique, sweet, eggless cake in Malvani cuisine and in the coastal areas along Maharashtra, Goa and Karnataka.  It is typically made with grated cucumber and combines my favorite flavors – jaggery, grated coconut, cashew nuts and nutmeg. Rice that is washed, drained, dried and coarsely ground, is used to make dhondas.

My take on this classic is to combine the earthy flavor of pumpkin with jaggery, coconut and nutmeg. In the interest of saving time, (you know I am always looking for shortcuts:), I used idli rawa, which is parboiled rice, made into cream of rice. It passed the taste test with some folk who only like ‘authentic Malvani cuisine ’. The combination of the pumpkin, jaggery and coconut laced with the nutmeg deepens as it bakes, making this Pumpkin Dhondas a rich and flavorful dessert.

This recipe is very easy to make. I combined pumpkin puree with jaggery and microwaved it for 2 minutes on high. This helps dissolve the jaggery.

#Pumpkin #dhondas#classic #Fall #Navratri# Sweet #eggless #cake with#coconut and#cashewnut. #Easy #Indian #Recipe
Pumpkin puree and jaggery combined and microwaved

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

#Pumpkin #dhondas#classic #Fall #Navratri# Sweet #eggless #cake with#coconut and#cashewnut. #Easy #Indian #Recipe
The ‘batter’

Pour the batter in a pie plate greased with ghee.

#Pumpkin #dhondas#classic #Fall #Navratri# Sweet #eggless #cake with#coconut and#cashewnut. #Easy #Indian #Recipe
Ready to bake

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake the dhondas for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Alternately, you can pour the batter in an aape pan and cook on low on the stove top, covered, for about 5 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

#Pumpkin #dhondas#classic #Fall #Navratri# Sweet #eggless #cake with#coconut and#cashewnut. #Easy #Indian #Recipe
You can also make sweet aape with the same batter

Easy Pumpkin Dhondas

  • Servings: 12-16
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 1 (15 oz) can natural, unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup jaggery, grated or sliced thin
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 heaped tablespoons grated fresh coconut, or frozen fresh grated coconut, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons roasted cashew nuts
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup (6 oz) idli rawa
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Ghee to grease the baking tray/pie dish and to serve (optional)

To make the Pumpkin Dhondas-

  1. Microwave the pumpkin puree on high for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavor. It will yield about 1 ¼ cups of pumpkin puree.
  2. Add the jaggery, mix and microwave for 2 more minutes.
  3. Add the nutmeg, coconut, cashew nuts and salt. Mix well.
  4. Combine the idli rawa and the baking soda and add to the mixture. Mix well.
  5. Pour the batter in a pie dish greased with ghee.
  6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
  7. Cut into square or diamond shapes and serve topped with ghee (optional)

Relish the homey flavors of fall with this sweet, eggless and glutenfree cake!

Love ,



67 thoughts on “Easy Pumpkin Dhondas

Add yours

    1. Thank you so much Chrissa. We loved it a lot and a now realizing that it could be one of my gluten free, egg-less desserts for Thanksgiving too!


  1. I like your recipes, Sandhya, where they are gluten free. This with pumpkin, cashews and sweet coconut sounds so delicious. ♡ Have a special and relaxing weekend. 🙂


  2. It looks so yummy, love all the flavors. So I’ve been reading many recipes lately with pumpkin puree, but not the kind you use for pumpkin pies as they have all the sweetness required for pies. So where do you find plain pumpkin puree? I know I could buy a small pumpkin and cook it for the puree, but looking for a short cut 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Loretta, Welcome back! I have missed you.
      As for the pumpkin puree,I took the shortcut too. I got a can that said all natural, unsweetened. I forget the company. The other option i use sometimes for a savory stew is to get the frozen bag of peeled and cooked squash.


  3. Dhondas are new to me but I really loved it… Just a query can’t we use rice flour (store bought)directly?..another interesting fact you made it in appe pan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! Traditionally the rice is rinsed and air dried in the shade, then ground to a coarse rawa. I used store bought idli rawa instead. Rice flour may make it dense and not fluffy and light, in my opinion. Yes the aape pan version of dhondas came out great too.


      1. Perfect fall recipe Sandhya! Totally love your clever idea to make it in appe pan. This is such a healthy and easy dessert to enjoy anytime.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandhya, this dhondas sounds so delicious and flavorful. Though its a new recipe for me, I am sure it would come out great; simply perfect to try out for the upcoming festive season

    Liked by 1 person

  5. oh wow such a different recipe, i have never heard or tasted it!! Love that beautiful color and lovely combo of flavors !! I like that fact it can be baked, what a relief no need to stand before the stove!! I m bookmarking this to try some day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I too like to change veggies in our traditional recipes and create another as you have done here. Love the use of pumpkin here. The colour of this dhondas has also come out so nice

    Liked by 1 person

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