Cucumber Cake Recipe | Dhondas | Tavsali

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Looking for some Indian regional Eggless Cake recipes? Then, you must try this Cucumber Cake sans eggs that I have shared in this post. This is a traditional Goan Dhondas Recipe, which is also known as Tavsali in this region. This cake is steamed instead of baked and has an amazing taste. The fact that it also has cucumber as the star ingredient makes it a unique one.

cucumber cake cut into pieces and served on a white plate.

About Cucumber Cake Recipe

In the lush, tropical kitchens of Goa and Konkan, where the rich aroma of coconut and jaggery fills the air, eggless Dhondas Recipe, also known as Cucumber Cake, stands as a testament to the region’s culinary ingenuity and love for sweet treats.

This unique Goan delicacy begins with the humble cucumber, grated finely to reveal its juicy, refreshing essence. The grated cucumber is mixed with roasted semolina (sooji or rava), creating a batter that’s light yet substantial, with a hint of texture from the grains. Another cake from Goan Cuisine that you may like is this Rava Cake also known as baath cake.

Generally, we use yellow cucumber to make this Cucumber Cake. But the recipe can even be made with regular cucumber or the long dark green cucumbers. Apart from cucumber and semolina, jaggery and coconut is also added.

yellow cucumber for dhondas recipe.

This Dhondas Recipe is very easy to make and only grating the cucumber takes some time. After that, you just need to mix everything. Then, pour in a greased pan and steam for 30 to 40 minutes.

collage of grated cucumber and mixing the batter for dhondas recipe.

For steaming, you can use your electric cooker or pressure cooker or any steamer or the Instant Pot.

While steaming, turmeric leaves or banana leaves can also be used. Since I did not have any of these, I greased the pan with coconut oil. Ghee can also be used instead.

collage of before and after steaming of cucumber cake.

This Goan-style Cucumber Cake is quite a nutritious sweet treat. When my mother shared this recipe with me, she even got the long yellow cucumbers for the same.

If you like cucumbers, do try this refreshing Cucumber Raita that I make with regular cucumbers.

Why This Recipe Works

The natural flavors of the cucumber is complemented by the deep, caramel-like flavor of jaggery, which melts into the batter, imparting a rich sweetness that’s distinctly Goan.

Freshly grated coconut is then folded in, adding a creamy, tropical note that enhances the Dhondas Recipe’s moistness and flavor.

Aromatic spices such as cardamom is sprinkled into the mix of Cucumber Cake, its warm, inviting scent weaving through the batter and adding a layer of complexity to the cake’s flavor profile.

This Dhondas Recipe prominently features the taste of cucumber, which tends to overshadow the other ingredients, including the jaggery and coconut.

It has a mild sweetness that is not too overpowering, though the amount of jaggery can be adjusted to your preference. The texture is light, moist, and soft, characteristic of most steamed cakes.

Serving Suggestions

Served warm or at room temperature, this eggless Cucumber Cake captures the essence of Goa in every bite, inviting you to experience the coastal region’s rich culinary traditions and the innovative ways in which its people have turned everyday ingredients into extraordinary delights.

You can have it plain or add a side of ghee or milk to it. It is a light, wholesome dessert that is favored by kids and adults alike. Refrigeration of this dish is also possible, and it can be warmed in the oven just before serving.

cucumber cake cut into pieces and served on a white plate with text layover.

More Eggless Cakes Recipes To Try!

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cucumber cake recipe

Cucumber Cake Recipe | Dhondas | Tavsali

This Cucumber Cake is a light, nutritious steamed cake made with yellow cucumber, semolina, jaggery and coconut. A delicacy from Goa and the Konkan regions of Maharashtra, this cake is also referred to as Dhondas and Tavsali.
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Cuisine Goan, Indian
Course Desserts, Sweets
Diet Vegan
Difficulty Level Moderate
Servings 6


  • 1.5 cups rava (semolina or sooji)
  • 1.5 cups jaggery powder or chopped jaggery – organic
  • 4 to 5 green cardamoms
  • ¾ cup fresh coconut – grated and fresh
  • 2 cups cucumber – grated, tightly packed – regular or yellow cucumber – approximate 1 large yellow cucumber
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons cashews – chopped, optional
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil – for greasing the pan



  • Roast the rava/sooji/semolina until fragrant in a pan or skillet and set aside.
  • Take the cardamoms in a mortar-pestle and powder them.
  • Discard the peels and keep the cardamom powder aside
  • Rinse and peel the yellow cucumber. Slice the cucumber and remove the seeds.
  • Grate the cucumber and set aside.
  • A lot of the cucumber juice will be collected in the bowl or in the plate. Just add this juice to the batter.

Making batter

  • In a mixing bowl, take the roasted rava or suji.
  • Mix in the grated cucumber along with its juice, grated coconut, chopped cashews and add the powdered jaggery.
  • Add the cardamom powder and cumin powder.
  • Mix the batter very well without any lumps.
  • The batter has a medium consistency and is neither too thick nor thin.
  • Depending on the consistency of the batter you can add a few tablespoons of milk or coconut milk.
  • I did not need to add any milk as the batter had a medium consistency.

Steaming cucumber cake

  • Place a trivet inside a steamer or stovetop pressure cooker.
  • Add about 2 to 2.5 cups water or as needed and let it get hot.
  • Grease the pan with coconut oil. Pour the batter in the pan.
  • Place the pan on the trivet, in the steamer, or pressure cooker.
  • Cover the steamer with its lid. If using pressure cooker, then remove the vent weight (whistle) from the lid and then tightly cover the cooker with its lid.
  • Steam for 30 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  • When the Cucumber Cake become warm or is cooled completely, then slice and serve them.


  • Before prepping cucumber, slice it and check the taste. If its bitter, discard it.
  • You can use regular cucumber. If the cucumber has large seeds, then remove these. 
  • The batter has a medium consistency. If it becomes too thick, add some milk or coconut milk. If it becomes runny or thin, add some more roasted rava or suji. 
  • Instead of jaggery, you can use regular sugar or brown sugar or raw sugar. Other options are palm sugar and coconut sugar. Note that the taste will change with the kind of sugar you use. 
  • Add more jaggery if needed and according to your taste preferences.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Cucumber Cake Recipe | Dhondas | Tavsali
Amount Per Serving
Calories 433 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 0.002g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Sodium 57mg2%
Potassium 200mg6%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 52g58%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 33IU1%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.5mg33%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.3mg18%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 6mg30%
Vitamin B6 0.2mg10%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Vitamin E 0.2mg1%
Vitamin K 4µg4%
Calcium 339mg34%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 62µg16%
Iron 16mg89%
Magnesium 41mg10%
Phosphorus 152mg15%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This Cucumber Cake recipe from the archives was originally published on January 2014. It has been updated and republished on May 2024.

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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  1. Can we omit , sooji? What can we replace in place of sooji for flourless. Cake ?

    1. In this traditional recipe sooji is an essential ingredient. But I think you can use rice flour in place of sooji. Try adding a slightly coarse rice flour and it should work.

    1. no rita. it is not mangalore cucumber but a large variety of cucumber having a yellow skin.