Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (2024)

Tavsali is an eggless steamed cucumber cake from Goa. Tavsali is made with a handful of ingredients in a steamer. It has the delicate taste of cucumbers and is mildly sweet from the jaggery. Tavsali is refined sugar free. Tavsali suits a Jain diet and can be adapted to a vegan or plant based diet by just replacing the ghee with oil.

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Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (1)

Tavsali always takes me back to my childhood. When I think of Tavsali, a scene is formed in my mind and I would give anything to go back to it. It is afternoon in my mom's kitchen, stormy dark grey clouds outside and my mom has just removed this fragrant cake from the steamer while the whole house is having their Sunday afternoon siesta.

My mom loved to cook for us when we were little. She'd learn new recipes from friends, colleagues, and neighbors and try it out on Sunday afternoon when we all slept after a good heavy lunch. And this Tavsali is one of those things that she made for us. I don't think it was a dish she grew up with, but learned it later in life and made it several times for us. It was also something she liked, it had all the flavors of her home, Mangalore, for her in it. cucumber, coconut, and jaggery.

When it started raining this last month, I'd been craving for this. I don't know why but that scene I wrote before was evoked and I just had to have it. So although I got very lukewarm responses to "I'm going to finally make Tavsali", I went ahead and made a small batch. It didn't take much for the lukewarm to turn to favorable response though. One little half piece from the edge of the cake was all it took, frankly speaking. Even the people I thought would not enjoy it, like my brother in law, seemed to take on a liking for it.

All my recent recipes have been a video, but I was unable to shoot one for this. Reason? It was raining cats and dogs and cows and horses when I started cooking this and the stormy winds caused a blackout and I really had the poorest lighting possible. Luckily, I did take a few pics on my phone, so I added those in the step by step photos.

Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (2)

What is Tavsali?

Tavsali is an eggless steamed cake that is made with coarse rava or semolina/cream of wheat, grated cucumbers, fresh coconut, jaggery, cardamom, and some cashew nuts. It is a very delicate dessert. The mild flavors of cucumber actually shine. The cardamom just adds to the aroma without being overpowering. Tavsali is also not one of those desserts that is cloyingly sweet. It is just mildly sweet. But you can definitely increase the sweetness as required. It is also a very moist cake because of the cucumbers which soften when cooked.

More details...

To make Tavsali, we use the thicker rava not the chiroti rava. Rava used to make upma or uppit or Bansi rava can be used. You can also use Dalia or broken wheat partially. While one can use the yellow cucumber, I used the regular green cucumber to make this.

Firstly, the rava is roasted in a little bit of ghee until it is slightly browned or you get a toasty aroma from it. For a plant based alternative, replace the ghee with coconut oil or any flavorless oil. Allow it to cool, while you grate the cucumbers and coconut. Mix together the rava, grated coconut and the grated cucumber along with the water. Add in powdered or grated jaggery, crushed cardamom seeds, a pinch of salt and broken cashew nuts. Mix until the jaggery is dissolved.

Prepare your steamer, you can use an idli steamer or a pressure cooker without the whistle or just place a kadhai or large vessel with water in it and allow it to come to a boil. Place a stand in your steamer or any vessel just to give the cake tin some height. Grease your cake tin or any vessel in which you are going to make the cake with ghee or coconut oil and pour in the cake mix.

The cake mix is not very thin like regular cakes, it is on the thicker side. But if your cucumbers were on the drier side and you did not get enough juice from them, add a little milk or coconut milk to loosen the batter.

Steam for 30-40 minutes on medium heat. A wet knife inserted into the cake should come out clean.
Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before demoulding the cake. Wait at least 20-30 minutes before cutting it.

Tavsali can serve as a dessert or as a mildly sweet breakfast too. It lasts well for at least one week in the fridge.

Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (3)

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Tavsali Recipe | Goan steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake

Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (4)Tavsali is a traditional Goan steamed cucumber cake made with rava or semolina, grated cucumber, coconut and jaggery. It is a mildly sweet dessert with an option to make it vegan.

Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: Goan
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Total time: 60 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-5

Author: Anupama


1 cup Coarse Rava (Semolina)
2 Cucumbers
0.5 cup grated Coconut
1 cup powdered Jaggery
0.25 cup broken Cashewnuts
1 tsp Cardamom powder
2 tsp Ghee or Coconut Oil
1-2 Tbsp Milk (Optional)


1. Heat 1 tsp of ghee or coconut oil in a pan and add the rava. Roast on low-medium heat until lightly browned. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
2. Peel and grate the cucumbers and add to the rava, once cooled.
3. Add the grated coconut, cashewnuts and cardamom powder.
4. Add jaggery powder to taste. I used the full 1 cup, you can add more or less as per your taste.
5. You can either shape the cookie dough as a log before chilling or as a ball of dough.
6. Keep water in a steamer to heat or in a pressure cooker. If using a cooker, don't close the lid.
7. Grease a tin with ghee or coconut oil and add the cake batter to it.
8. Place the tin in the cooker or steamer and close the lid. If using a cooker, do not put the whistle.
9. Steam on medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes clean.
10. Allow to cool slightly and then demould. Cool completely before cutting.
11. Store in the fridge if not eating the same day.

Step by step photo instructions:

Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (5)

Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (6)

Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (7)

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Tavsali Recipe | Goan Steamed Cucumber Cake Recipe | Eggless Cucumber Cake Recipe (2024)


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