Thekkare Adde/Baked cucumber cake

Baked Cucumber Cake/ Thekkare Adde

Baked Cucumber Cake/ Thekkare Adde is a traditional pudding with a cake like crusted top made with cucumbers, rice, coconut and jaggery.It is an authentic dish of Mangalore, a coastal city in South India. An eggless, gluten, soy and dairy free healthy dish, mildly flavored with cardamom and garnished with cashew nuts, this dish carries the essence of the land.

Baked Cucumber Cake/Thekkare Adde

How is Baked Cucumber cake/Thekkare Adde different than a regular cake?

Thekkare Adde/ Baked cucumber cake is dense, tender and is subtly flavored with cardamom.This traditional cake, does not use any leaveners like baking soda or baking powder which is the reason why it is dense.It is a low fat and healthy cake.

What are the ingredients required to make Baked Cucumber cake/Thekkare Adde?

Thekkare Adde/Baked Cucumber cake is made with 5 basic ingredients, the last two are for flavor and garnishing the dish.They are

The taste of cucumber is dominant, overpowering the taste of all other ingredients used in this sumptuous cake.The seeds are removed and the skin peeled before using the cucumber in the recipe.

Rice, is a local crop grown in the land and hence is used as a staple in almost all dishes. Traditionally , it was cooked in larger portion for larger families, hence it was economical to make sweets/desserts/snacks out of rice. Rice, can be either brown parboiled rice, or a mix of boiled rice and raw rice. soak the rice for 2-3 hours and grind/blend it into a coarse paste.

Coconut, being so widely grown in this land is used in almost all dishes made in Mangalore. Coconut renders s a subtle sweetness and the moist softness to the cake.

Jaggery/Gud, a traditional non-centrifugal cane sugar, is used as a sweetener in this recipe. If Jaggery is not available in your area, one can substitute it with brown sugar, coconut sugar , or even white sugar to which a tablespoon of molasses is added.

Ghee or clarified butter is used in the traditional preparation, it imparts moistness to the cake. One may substitute it with coconut oil for health reasons if you so prefer.

Cardamom, is powdered after removing the skin in a mortar and pestle and added for flavor.

Cashew nut, again very easily available in the land is used to garnish the dish.

Some prefer to add 1/2 tsp of Cumin powder to the mix, to give the dish a touch of spiciness, I did not use any here.

What does Thekkare Adde taste like?

The taste of this Baked Cucumber Cake/ Thekkare Adde is similar to Zucchini bread or any fruity cake.

The Back Story :

Summer is almost here.The fresh markets are loaded with cucumbers

A sudden desire to cook something traditional took off in me, on the sight of these lovely cucumbers.

What better way than the traditional Thekkare Adde/Baked Cucumber cake for the weekend? Deliciously healthy, mildly flavored authentic Mangalorean dish can be had as an evening snack or for morning breakfast. Goes perfectly with a cup of hot coffee!

What are the different ways to prepare Cucumber Cake/Thekkare Adde?

Thekkare Adde/ Cucumber cake can be made in 2 ways, namely:

  • Steamed version
  • Baked version

Note : This recipe is the baked version of Thekkare Adde/Cucumber cake

Steamed version

The steamed version of making Thekkare Adde uses the same ingredients basically, with a little less of jaggery, since it might get too runny in the recipe.The steamed version is more like a pudding, with a wobbly texture and density unlike a stiffer cake that is baked in an oven.

To make the steamed version, one will need an idli or a dumpling steamer.It is important to fill the steamer with sufficient water since it will take almost an hour to cook/steam this dish. If available cover the pan inside the steamer with greased plantain leaves (to add that subtle flavor to the dish after its steamed) and then pour the prepared batter in the pan.

Check with skewer/knife test, if skewer comes out clean ( after nearly an hour) the Steamed Cucumber cake is ready to be savored once cooled.

Steamed version of Cucumber Cake/Thekkare Adde

Traditional way of Steaming Thekkare Adde

In ancient days, while the men folk went to work in the farms, the women stayed home and cooked delicious food to feed the young ones and the men when they returned home in the evening after a hard day’s work out in the sun.(Cucumbers act a cooling agent when incorporated in food and hence are a favorite summer food ).

Soaking of rice, grating coconuts to extract milk, gathering cucumbers/thekkare from the kitchen garden Were all done as part of preparation for the making of this dish.Soaked rice, along with cucumbers, and jaggery were then ground in a grinding stone and the elaborate process of steaming the cake begun.

The batter thus prepared was poured into a pan lined with plantain leaves or turmeric leaves (to enhance the flavor).This pan was generously smeared with homemade ghee and kept on a wood burning stove in a steamer.

Since this dish also served as morning breakfast, at times, the pan containing the batter was placed over a dying fire and live coals were placed on the lid that covered the pan. This ensured that the heat of the stove was enough to slowly cook the batter from below the pan and the live coals on top provided the heat from the top (Read “slow cooking” in olden days!)

When the men returned from work, this hearty dish with its gentle aroma welcomed them home.It was perfect as a healthy breakfast for kids in the morning.So a win win both ways!

Luckily for us, we live in an age where we have kitchen gadgets to help with grinding and gas lit or electric stove tops to steam cook this traditional dish if we enjoy the “steamed version”.

Baked version

The recipe that follows is my baked version of making Thekkare Adde, tastes as good as the real one, minus the smoked flavor of the wood burning stove. Here goes…..

Thekkare Adde/Baked Cucumber Cake Recipe

Baked Cucumber Cake/ Thekkare Adde

Baked Cucumber Cake/ Thekkare Adde

Recipe by Maya Shetty
Course: CAKES & BAKES, CARDAMOM, COCONUT, CUCUMBERS, FOOD, INGREDIENTS, TRADITIONAL CAKES
0 from 0 votes
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

5

hours 
Calories

60

kcal
Total time

5

hours 

30

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup 1 Parboiled Rice

  • 1 cup 1 Cucumber grated

  • 1 cup 1 Coconut grated fresh

  • 1 cup 1 Powdered Jaggery

  • 2 2 -3 Cardamom powdered fine

  • 6 6 -8 Cashew nuts chopped for garnishing on top

  • A pinch or two Salt for taste

Directions

  • Wash & clean rice under cold running water a few times.Then soak the rice in water for 3 hours.
  • Wash the cucumbers, peel the skin and de-seed it. Cut into small cubes and grind it toa fine paste along with grated coconut. One may choose to make a fine paste.Do not add water water while grinding, the water from the cucumber should be enough.If need be add a tbsp or two of water, no more. Set aside.
  • Next grind/blend the soaked & drained rice into a grainy texture, along with the jaggery & salt. Do not add any water.
  • Now mix the grainy rice mix along with the cucumber coconut paste, add a little ghee to the mix. Prepare a cake pan by greasing its sides with ghee.Next place a parchment paper on top of the greased pan and grease it with ghee again. before pouring the batter into it.
  • Place the pan in a preheated oven and set it at 350 degree F and allow to bake , after garnishing on top with browned cashew
  • it should be baked in a hour , but keep a close watch so the top browns evenly. Check with a skewer or knife to see if it is baked all the way.The skewer/knife has to come out clean.
  • Set the cake pan on a wire rack to cook for 10 -15 minutes, then invert the pan to allow the adde/cake to cool completely.
  • Peel the parchment paper, cut & serve

Notes

  • I used a pie pan here, you could use a regular cake pan or a bundt pan or any other baking pan of your choice
  • This cake in the native is also called Nessel Adde/Gendadha Adde, which translates to smoked or baked cake made the traditional way

Nutrition Facts

6 servings per container


  • Amount Per ServingCalories60
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 5g 8%
    • Saturated Fat 4g 20%
  • Sodium 3mg 1%
  • Potassium 95mg 3%
  • Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
    • Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
    • Sugars 1g
  • Protein 1g 2%

  • Vitamin A 1%
  • Vitamin C 1%
  • Calcium 1%
  • Iron 6%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Serve cooled

When the cake has cooled down cut into desired size and serve with a cup of coffee or tea

Baked Cucumber Cake/Thekkare Adde

List of my recipes using Cucumber

The Bottom Line

Hope you enjoyed this traditional recipe of Cucumber cake/Thekkare Adde from my native land of Mangalore , and will give this “blast from the past recipe” a try.

Traditional Mangalorean Cucumber Cake/ Thekkare Adde

Baked cucumber cake/Thekkare Adde is an easy recipe to make with just few ingredients.It is delicious and is loaded with health. A perfect and light breakfast or a healthy snack for the evening. Do give it a try!

Would love to hear your feedback, in the comments section below.

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Shannon
2 years ago

Wow. I’ve never heard of this! Would I be able to substitute cardamom oil of it is food grade?

Christina Furnival
2 years ago

I hadn’t heard of this before. It sounds yummy! Thanks!

Eva Keller
2 years ago

5 stars
This looks good! I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like it and I love the pan that separates the slices. I need to get one of those.

Kendra
2 years ago

Thank you for sharing about the tradition of this cake and the ingredients. I love trying new foods, and this sounds so interesting!

Debbie
2 years ago

I bet this tastes really fresh!

Erica
Erica
2 years ago

I love that you give the history with the recipe. I learn so much about the type of cuisine as I have never heard of some of your dishes. I love trying new things! Thank you for sharing. I can feel your heart in your posts.

Jessica
2 years ago

Thank you for sharing some of the background and further information about this recipe and its ingredients. So interesting! It sounds like this would be very light and refreshing. I also LOVE that pan!

Jen
2 years ago

I have never heard of this before and wouldn’t think to use cucumber in a cake, but it does sound delicious! And I’m going to have to find that divided pan!

Sara
Sara
2 years ago

I’ve never heard of cucumber in a cake before. Sounds interesting. My kids love experimenting in the kitchen and I’m sure they’d love to give this a try.

Sandi
Sandi
2 years ago

That looks amazing, especially when the cukes come in from the garden in bushels.

Lisa Manderino
Lisa Manderino
2 years ago

I have never heard of cucumber cake. It looks really good!

Michelle
2 years ago

This looks delicious and unique for sure! I’ve been trying new recipes during this pandemic to try to spice up our home-based dining experiences!

Holly
2 years ago

This looks like an amazing recipe! I can’t wait to try it!

Tiffany
2 years ago

Love the PAN! These look tasty, too, but really would love to try them with the pan!

Adrienne
2 years ago

I’ve never heard of anything like this. Im interested in trying!

Danielle
2 years ago

This sounds really good! Thanks for sharing!

Douglas Jasper
Douglas Jasper
2 years ago

5 stars
I had heard of zucchini cake but never cucumber. Amazing.

Yvette
Yvette
2 years ago

How can I NOT try this? So interesting… and Jaggery??? I love learning about this stuff! Thank you!

Pinkz
6 years ago

The recipe is an interesting and one of a kind Maya, as I never came across a cucumber cake before this ;). Hope you had a wonderul time at trekking Maya

Chethana GOPAL
Chethana GOPAL
6 years ago

Maya such an authentic l recipe…going to try it some day soon…will try out the steamed version …healthy dish…thank you for the recipe.