Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mando (Mande/ Chavde/ Mandige)

As a child in India, our second semester exams followed Ganesh Chaturthi vacations. We got school holidays for a week to celebrate the festival. I hated this, simply because this was the only time of the year I could play with my community friends and burst an array of unlimited crackers. We badly wanted to help Mom in the kitchen (trick to dig in some sweets) and she in turned pushed us back to our books. Unlike other households where a girl child had extra pressure to learn culinary skills in kitchen, my Mom would always pester us to study and get good grades and excel in exams and co-curricular studies.

Mom dedicated 3-4 days before Ganesh Chaturthi festivities exclusively for sweets and snacks preparation. The good thing is all ladies from neighbourhood helped out each other and together we all would have finished a hundred's of Chakli, kilo's of Chivda, hundred's of Karanaji/ Nevri, 2-3 large platters of Besan Laddo's and more. Some of the sweets were prepared at home just because they needed a deft hand and craft which requires good practice. One such sweet which is dear to my heart is Chavde/ Mande/ Mandige. By the time, she would finish making the sweets, some of them would have already disappeared from the platter. Incidentally, this was one of the sweets served during my wedding along with Gava Pitta Undo/ Wheat Flour Laddo. This seeking inspiration from the traditional marriages from olden days where every person attending the wedding would leave with a bag of sweets - Undo/ Mando and the rest of the heavenly and tasty ghee laden sweets.

Incidentally, they are known as Chavde in Marathi, Mando/Mande in GSB Konkani and Mandige in Kannada. The crispy disc needs a a very deft hand while cooking because if the disc gets over fried, you will get a crispy disc which cannot be maneuvered, if you fry less then the disc is not pliable at all. Timing is crucial and once done, I dare you to eat just one! They are uber delicious and super tasty. This time around when I visited India, my Pachi got me a pack of Mando which she made at home. I liked that they were tiny as compared to the conventional size of regular Mando and were super delicious. This festive season I wanted to make these at home and recreate the childhood memories of super fun festive season.

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all those who celebrate!

~ Ghaas Mando ~
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Yield: 15 Sweets

Flour Disc - Mando -
All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Milk (optional) - 1/2 cup approx.
Ghee or any vegetable shortening - 2-3 tbsp
Vegetable oil - for frying

Sugar Mixture -
Powdered sugar - 3/4 cup
Flattened Rice or Pohe (Thick Pohe) - 5 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

First knead a smooth pliable dough with flour, ghee and salt. You could also use milk for kneading the dough which results in a well flavoured texture. Spread the dough with little oil all over and set aside. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth to prevent drying of dough.
Roast 5 tbsp of Pohe on a low flame on its own, just lightly roast and allow to cool. Grind it to a coarse powder along with Sugar and Cardamom seeds. Mix the sugar mixture well and set aside.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan and let the oil reach a high smoking point. Begin rolling out Puri sized discs of the kneaded flour. Do not dredge them in flour as they are already coated with oil. The discs have to be 3-4" in diameter. Fry them in batches of 5-6 at a time. Keep in mind, the discs should not be crisp like a Papad, so once its pliable enough, transfer to a plate, dab kitchen towel to absorb extra oil. Sprinkle sugar mixture and fold over 2 times (the same way you would fold over Neer Dosa). Spread them on a platter and not over top of each other. The heat causes sugar to turn viscous owing to which they may stick to each other which is something you should avoid. Allow to cool, they turn crispy and gain firmness. Munch over before they disappear!

Verdict: I was apprehensive initially when I decided to make these for 'neivedyam'. With little confidence I followed my Mom's instructions and kept in mind the texture which was etched in my mind when I had eaten these last. The discs were melt-in-mouth delicious and were so tiny that we almost forgot how much we ate! :)

Note - Do not fry the discs to a golden brown; once they wilt in oil and are puffed up, transfer and begin the sugaring process. Make sure you sugar atleast 3 times to ensure all the layers and folds of the discs get the sugar-cardamom flavour. Do not compromise on adding the shortening, because that's what offers holds the dough together and adds crispness and texture to the sweet.


  1. I love mando..This has been on my to do list for long..We made it at home long time back.. you have refreshed my memories..Love them

    1. @ Uj -

      Thank you! I love them and sad that its one of the sweets I cannot find in Indian stores in US. Its easy to make but you got to be quick and patient to fry them one by one.


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