Mandas Traditional Mangalore Cucumber Cake


The traditional Mangalorean cucumber cake, both steamed and baked versions.  A favorite cake of the south especially mangaloreans relished by young and old. Also called Tavsali or Tausali from the Konkani name for the local cucumber ‘Tousche’. Other names are Thekkare Adde, Thekkare Ghatti.  Using only raw (white) rice make the cucumber cake quite dense and firm but this texture is preferred by many.  I prefer mixing both raw and boiled rice so that the texture is a bit softer. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiled rice (1 cup basmati + 1 cup boiled)
  • 1 coconut
  • 2 cups jaggery
  • 1 large cucumber
  • 6 cardamoms, powdered
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup cashewnuts/almonds (optional)

 Method

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Grind to a paste alongwith the coconut, grated cucumber, jaggery and salt.
  3. Add the cardamom powder and let it stand for about an hour.
  4. Add the chopped nuts, if desired.
  5. Bake or steam till done.
  6. To test if the mandas is ready, insert a toothpick or a knife in the center and it should come out clean.
  7.  It really depends on the size of container, thicker the mandas more the time.  Having said that, you can initially steam it for 30 minutes straight, after which you may test with toothpick or a knife and if it comes out clean it’s done.  If not steam further and check at 10 to 15 minute intervals.  The centre should be set and not jiggle.  It firms up further upon cooling. 
  8. Baking takes a fairly longer time about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Baking also renders the mandas a bit hard, hence I prefer steaming.

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