Sunday, October 2, 2011

Naashigandu Kandhi ( A kind of thick sweet drink )

Kandhi is a thick sweet drink, which is made adding rice/screw pine/cassava/sweet potatoes/tapioca/ green banana, etc, to a mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, pandan leaf infused boiling water, sugar, coconut milk, jasmine water and corn flour or corn starch. Kandhi is mostly made in special occasions like Eid days and Ramadan. But my mum cooks on rainy days or whenever her sweet tooth craves. This is the first time I heard of Naashigandu kandi, which a soft dough made from glutinous powdered rice flour is used.

I was sitting at ADK hospital enjoying the greenery seen from the window some seven days back because my mum got admitted there. My mum told me she was craving for a mug of Naashigandu kandi. My mum is a great cook and she has so many comforting food varieties. In the coming days I will be posting in my blog all these comfort food of hers. She told me my late aunt use to cook the best Naashigandu kandhi she has ever tasted.

 ( This is a pic I took from my phone while I was sitting at ADK hospital room 401)

So just to make my mum happy I thought I will give a try to cook Naashigandu kandhi for her the next day. But I was too busy at home and at hospital that I did not get time, yesterday afternoon she was discharged and today when I went to her apartment she was gathering ingredients to cook this Naashigandu kandhi. I knew she wants to have Naashigandu kadi very much so I did not stop her, I helped her in cooking Naashigandu kandhi, while the water was cooking I ran to my apartment and grabbed my camera to take pictures. Naashigandu kandhi is one of the best kandhi I have also tasted and want to have more and more, but I had a small cup just to taste because I am trying to loose some weight.

91/2 cups water
15 whole cardamom pods
3inch 2pc cinnamon
2inch 8pc pandan leaf
41/2cup coconut milk
3 cups sugar
11/2cups rice flour
2tbs corn flour
1/2cup jasmine water (Jasmine flower infused water)

Why is this kandhi called "Naashigandu Kandhi"? As naashi in Maldivian language is coconut shell. So I asked my mum. She told in the olden days to put the rice flour dough in pieces like small rods into the aromatic infused water a coconut shell was used by making small holes around it. This is how the name comes. For some recipes names comes not only from the ingredients used but also from what is used to make it.

In a big pan boil 9cups of water, cardamom, cinnamon, pandan leaves.

While the water is cooking in a bowl add rice flour and half cup of water to make a soft dough, more water may be needed. Leave it aside. When the spices releases the aromas take cardamom, cinnamon and pandan leaves out from water. Bring spice infused water to a boil. Using a big spoon having small holes or using a spaghetti strainer above the cooking aromatic water press half of the rice dough on the strainer so that about 1inch small rods like pieces of rice dough will fall into the aromatic water.

 (My mum is pressing the dough on the holed spoon)

Continue this until all the dough is finished. This is a two person job. Be careful the hot steam will hurt. Boil until the rice flour pieces are cooked (it will get hard).

Add sugar cook until all the sugar dissolves. Add coconut milk and mix, bring the stove to lowest. Mix corn flour with jasmine water until no lumps. Add corn flour mixture slowly stirring constantly.

When the kandhi gets thick take off from stove serve hot or cold....................................enjoy.


  1. I used to hate this as a kid, but it sure looks yummy now, when you make it :)