Another sweet for Navratri with a wholesome,earthy flavor and an enticing autumn aroma!
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.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
Pour the batter in a pie plate greased with ghee.
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.
Easy Pumpkin Dhondas
- 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-
- Microwave the pumpkin puree on high for 5 minutes to concentrate the flavor. It will yield about 1 ¼ cups of pumpkin puree.
- Add the jaggery, mix and microwave for 2 more minutes.
- Add the nutmeg, coconut, cashew nuts and salt. Mix well.
- Combine the idli rawa and the baking soda and add to the mixture. Mix well.
- Pour the batter in a pie dish greased with ghee.
- Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.
- 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!