Fanasache Saandan / Dhondas (फणसाचे सांदण / धोंडस) – Steamed Jackfruit Cake
This is a specialty from Konkan region in Maharashtra and from Goa. In North Konkan, it’s called Saandan; in South Konkan and Goa it’s called Dhondas (धोंडस). There are 2 types of Jackfruits. One is with dry bulbs (कापा फणस) and other with juicy bulbs (बरका / रसाळ फणस). We use the second type – the juicy one – for this recipe.
Extracting pulp of Jackfruit is a tedious process. You can’t use a blender or grinder for it as Jackfruit fibre (strings) get entangled in the blades of blender / grinder. Traditional method for extracting pulp uses a sieve/ strainer. Place Jackfruit bulbs in a sieve / strainer; place the sieve on a bowl. Push and squeeze the bulbs to extract the pulp. This way pulp gets collected in the bowl and the fibre remains on the sieve.
Jackfruit Pulp is mixed with coarse rice flour along with fresh coconut and jaggery and batter is steamed or Baked. It is served with sweet coconut milk or home made ghee (clarified butter). It’s very healthy and tasty sweet dish. In Konkan, this is served as a part of meal like Puran Poli and not as a sweet dish. Whereas the baked Dhondas is served as a snack in Goa. Once you have Jackfruit pulp ready, it’s an easy recipe.
Coarse Rice Flour / Idli Rawa 2 cup
Jackfruit Pulp 2 cup
Fresh scraped coconut 1 cup
Crushed Jaggery ¾ to 1 cup (adjust as per taste)
Salt ¼ teaspoon
Cardamom Powder ¼ teaspoon
Pure Ghee (Clarified Butter) 1 teaspoon + for greasing
Pure Ghee (Clarified Butter) or Coconut milk mixed with Jaggery, salt and cardamom powder
1. In a pan, heat 1 teaspoon of ghee. Add Idli Rawa and roast it on low flame till it starts changing colour. Do not roast further.
2. Extract Jackfruit Pulp.
3. Grind together fresh scraped coconut and crushed Jaggery just enough to mix it together. Do not make a fine paste.
4. Mix together Idli Rawa, Jackfruit Pulp, coconut + jaggery mixture, salt, cardamom powder. Make a thick batter with dropping consistency.
5. Keep the mixture covered for 2 hours. Batter will now be thick. Mostly you don’t need to add any water. In case required, add little water to make it of dropping consistency again.
6. Boil water in a steamer. Grease a steaming plate with ghee. Pour the mixture in the greased plate to form about a cm thick layer; tap the plate to make a uniform layer. Steam for 15-20 minutes. Check if the batter is cooked properly by using a knife/ toothpick.
7. Leave the plate to come to room temperature. Cut into pieces of desired size.
8. Serve along with sweet coconut milk and / or pure ghee. It taste yummy.
9. For Baked Saandan / Dhondas, transfer the plate prepared in step 6 to a pre-heated oven on 200 degrees. Bake the mixture on 200 degrees for 20 minutes or till it gets light brown on the top.
You can make Saandan using Cucumber or Mango also.