Chavde (Mande) for Ganesh Chaturthi

Chavde (Mande)
I have a real weakness for crispy sweets. And at the top of my list is an exquisite, lacy, sesame-seed-and-cardamom-sprinkled delicacy that’s perhaps not very well-known outside Maharashtrian and Konkani homes: Chavde, or Mande.

In my childhood home, sweet-making was a joint endeavor between my parents and I can still see them as they made Chavde together. Mom rolled out the wafer-thin discs of dough and dunked them in frothing oil, Dad sprinkled them with a scented, sugary mixture, then folded them rapidly before they had a chance to cool down– a job that required asbestos fingers.

As the chavde cooled, they would — like magic– set into a crackling, crispy, delicious but not cloyingly sweet snack.

Chavde are popular eats at Ganesh Chaturthi, India’s celebration of the elephant-headed god’s birthday which falls– today! Chaturthi is always celebrated with plenty of food, a lot of it sweet, including the wonderful Modak. I have written before about my love for this colorful, raucously vibrant festival that sometimes lasts as long as 20 days, so I’ll spare you a repetition.

Instead, I’ll leave you with a recipe that’s not only delicious but also completely vegan and therefore — as I like to say — one no God could resist. Even better, it’s one that you can make in under an hour, honest. The only skill you need is an ability to roll out the dough into a thin disc. And don’t even worry about making it perfectly round because once it’s all folded up, who’ll be the wiser?

Enjoy, and a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all my readers!
Chavde (Mande)
Chavde (Mande)


(Makes 10 pieces)


Ingredients:

For the dough:

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp vegetable shortening (use one free of transfats)

 Water

Place the ingredients in a bowl or in a food processor. Knead into a pliable, soft, elastic dough that’s not too hard but doesn’t stick to your fingers either. If you’re kneading this in a food processor, pour the water in with the blades running until a dough ball forms.

Place the dough in an air-tight container and set aside for at least 15 minutes.

For the stuffing:

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp powdered cardamom

1 tbsp sesame seeds. Toast these in a dry skillet over the lowest heat setting, stirring frequently, until they just start to change color. Turn off the stove and allow the seeds to cool.

2 tbsp shredded coconut

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Here’s an idea, not traditional–¬† add some nuts to this mix. Pistachio or blanched, thinly sliced almonds would be divine.

In a small wok or a skillet large enough to fry the chavde, heat enough oil to deep-fry. You want your oil to be at 350 degrees which is pretty much a perfect temperature for frying and one at which the food won’t absorb much oil.

Divide the dough into 10 pieces.

Roll each piece into a smooth ball and, using just as much flour as you absolutely need, roll into a really thin disc, around 5-6 inches in diameter.

Place the disc into the hot oil and fry either side for about 15 seconds or until the disc is all bubbly and beginning to stiffen ever so slightly. You do need to get a good feel for this– if you take out the disc too fast it won’t be cooked enough. But if you leave it in the oil for too long, it’ll stiffen up before you have a chance to fold it.

Place the disc on a plate covered with a kitchen towel to absorb any oil. I also keep another towel handy to blot away any oil on the top. Working fast, sprinkle about a tablespoon of the sugar mixture over one half of the chavda, then fold over the other half to form a semi-circle. Spring a couple more teaspoons of the sugar mixture over half the semicircle and fold over once more.

Set aside to cool, preferably on a rack. You have to let the chavde cool thoroughly for the crispy, crackly texture.

Eat up!
Chavde (Mande)

(C) All recipes and photographs copyright of Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes.

29 thoughts on “Chavde (Mande) for Ganesh Chaturthi

  1. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anonymous

    September 11, 2010 at 2:59pm

    Very tasty. Meri wife ko “padke muh mein paani aagaya”. She likes sweets very much. I love hot-and-spicy food (smile). – Rajendra

  2. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Preeti

    September 11, 2010 at 4:23pm

    This surely reminds me of the hussle- bussle at home during ganpati-gauri festival. Thank you for posting this recipe. Wishing you a happy Ganesh festival.

  3. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Tibik

    September 11, 2010 at 5:04pm

    Hi Vaishali,
    Thank you for sharing that story and recipe. As they say in kannada ‘Ganesha Chaturthi Shubh ashayagalu”
    Tibik

  4. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anonymous

    September 11, 2010 at 7:38pm

    Happy Ganesh Chaturthi

  5. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Nupur

    September 11, 2010 at 8:11pm

    OMG you are killing me with the pictures and description! Not to mention saying “you can make it under an hour”, I can feel my willpower weakening :D

    These are pretty similar to the chirote I remember from Diwalis past.

  6. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Manasi

    September 11, 2010 at 9:12pm

    What can I use instead of shortening? I MUST make these :)

  7. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    September 11, 2010 at 9:55pm

    Rajendra, I am more of a spice not sweet girl too, but these are irresistible. Do try them.

    Preeti, Thanks!

    Tibik, Thank you– that sounds beautiful. My dad’s from north Karnataka and I speak a little Kannada, and it’s such a lovely sound.

    Satya, Anonymous, Thanks!

    Nupur, yes, these are surprisingly easy and quick to make.

    Manasi, Use oil. I used shortening because most recipes use ghee, and shortening has the same texture. I don’t think substituting with oil will make any significant difference. Good luck!

  8. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Srivalli

    September 12, 2010 at 1:51am

    Thats a great recipe!..I remember my mom making something like this..but not sure if its the same one..:)..Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to you and your Family!

  9. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    jodye @ 'scend food

    September 12, 2010 at 2:26am

    Wow, just the picture of this treat intrigued me, and after reading the ingredient list I’m hooked. I will certainly be making Chavde soon, and I’m sure my boyfriend won’t utter a word of complaint!

  10. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Amey

    September 12, 2010 at 3:36am

    great post! Those look so super delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe, and reminding me about Ganesh Chaturthi! :)

  11. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Supriya Nair

    September 12, 2010 at 6:56am

    Love the recipe and the pics Vaishali…happy ganesh chaturthi…

  12. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    s

    September 12, 2010 at 5:41pm

    i just HAVE to make this,,,its OMG delicious looking!

  13. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Paaka Shaale

    September 12, 2010 at 9:35pm

    Hi Vaishali,
    Happy ganesh chaturti to you. The mande looks awesome. We kannadigas call it mandige

  14. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Rajee

    September 13, 2010 at 12:52am

    Lovely dessert Vaishali. Am drooling looking at the pics :-)

  15. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Ameya

    September 13, 2010 at 5:17pm

    Ive actually never had chavde before, but they sure look tempting!!

  16. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Preeti @ Heart and Mind

    September 14, 2010 at 2:48am

    Vaishali,

    Hope you had a great ganesh chaturthi! I have tried this sweet once but did not know what it was called, now I have to make at home soon as Zenguy has sweet tooth and loves eggplant like you!

    I did not know these were vegan! Great!

  17. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Sanjeeta kk

    September 15, 2010 at 12:39pm

    These cute goodies are new to me! love the recipe, shall try it soon.

  18. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Becki

    September 16, 2010 at 4:41am

    Awesome! Those look amazing, thanks for sharing!

  19. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Miri

    September 16, 2010 at 2:49pm

    How come I have never come across these??? they look awesome! My mom has what we call “Teflon” fingers ;) so the Asbestos comment brought a smile to my face!

  20. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    TejasJJain

    September 28, 2010 at 2:43pm

    Do you have to cook stuffing (sugar+ spices)? I see no step for making chashani but based on photo, seems like you need to make sugar syrup. Please confirm.

  21. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Vaishali

    September 28, 2010 at 3:11pm

    Tejas, there is no sugar syrup in the recipe. And yes, the filling is not cooked.

  22. Permalink  ⋅ Reply

    Anonymous

    October 31, 2013 at 6:08am

    Hi, thanks for the recipe.I ate this sweet only once as a child 40 years ago and the cook made this the same way you have. I loved it but never got to eat it again . So now I am going to try my hand at it.

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