Ash gourd fritters (KuvaLe vadi/odi or Budugumbalkayi sandige)

This is one of the most popular sun dried items among Konkanis (after papad). All these days, I had thought it is specific to Konkani(and Kannada) cuisine, but then I saw Mythili’s ash gourd fritters. After that I saw these fritters in many different places and it looks like everyone has their own version of these fritters.

When we were growing up, aayi used to make this every year. I used to help her spread these sometimes. It always looked like a time consuming and difficult task to me. Since we have a big front-yard, we used to make these in a bulk. Once prepared, these remain good for around a year.

These vadis/odis are either deep fried and eaten or they can be used in many different dishes. At my home, these are mostly used in different dishes. I will post these dishes soon. My husband is a great fan of these dishes, so I always have a big batch with me. But unfortunately when we came to US last year, I forgot to get it and I can’t say how much I missed it. So aayi sent a big batch with my brother last month and again when they came, they got one more batch. Then I got the idea of making it here, so now, I have all the stock that can last for one year (may be).

1 cup urad dal
1 cup grated ash gourd(kuvaLe)
2 tea spn chili powder
1/2 tea spn asafoetida powder

Soak urad dal in water overnight.
Grate the ash gourd and put it in colander to remove any water from it (reserve this water, it is used later for grinding).
Grind the dal with reserved water to a very smooth paste(preferably, don’t use any other water). Now add asafoetida, chili powder and grind again. The mixture should not be too watery.
Take out the paste and add the ash gourd pieces(if these have too much water in them, the paste becomes watery. So make sure to squeeze off any water from them).
Mix salt. After salt is added, spread them immediately under the sun. If these are kept for long, the mix becomes watery.

In a cup of water, add about 1/2 tea spn oil.
Spread a plastic paper under sun. Now spread a handful of oiled water on the paper(this helps in taking out vadis easily).

Now spread the vadis as shown below. Make sure to leave enough space between two, they spread a bit after sometime.


After drying it for 2-3 days, vadis come off the paper easily. If not, remove them and dry again till they become very crispy. Cool them to room temperature and store in air tight container.

30 thoughts on “Ash gourd fritters (KuvaLe vadi/odi or Budugumbalkayi sandige)”

  1. You are posting authentic items, Shilpa. I did not know how to make this odi. Thanks for a detailed picture by picture demo. I will surely try this.

  2. Hi Shilpa..
    Wow.. u have simplified this recipe so much..and the pictures are great help in addition to the recipe! I love to have odis with rice or plain! What next- Maybe Kandya Odi???;) tku ..i wd b back with feedback.
    Just a kuvale grated to obtain its water for grinding?

  3. I have never tried or heard of Kuvaale Vadi.It must be really tasty. But I am also big fan of different types of Vadis specially Garlic and Onion Vadis. I always bring them from Bombay where you can have custom ordered. Old days my Mom used to make it every summer, then we used to get them from South Kanara from some relatives. But nowadays freely available in Mangalore stores. Vadi making is an Art and skill, as all vadis are not good, as some bad vadis when fried can be chewy and can stick into your teeth. Vadis, even its core, should be crunchy after frying. Last batch I brought about six months ago from Mumbai was chewy, and was terrible while eating with Parboiled Rice soup(Ukde Tandla Pejjah!)

  4. sorry b4 completing my query i sounds silly..but is it the grated kuavle only that u have squeezed to mix in batter? tks in advance.

    Shilpa: Yes Purnima, grate the kuvale and then squeeze it to take out the water. Use that water while grinding, that way you need not add any extra water and you can control the consistency of batter.

  5. Hi there,

    this is a beautiful entry. I ve never heard of anything like this. I love chips, so I d love to try this one but I have two questions:

    The summer here in Sweden has been a disaster do far, so is it possible to dry them indoors e.g. on the living room floor ? (won t they ferment or get moldy?)

    Can I use zucchini instead of gourd?

    Thanx 🙂

    Shilpa: Zlamushka, I don’t think they can be made indoors. They need very bright sun to dry up. They will get spoiled if there is no sun. I think it is better to wait till next summer. Sorry about that.
    I am not sure how the zucchini would fit in. Never tried it.

  6. My Mysore ajji makes these Kumbalkai Sandiges too! I love them.They are so so spicy with green chillies,I used to eat them like snacks half the day!:)
    I haven’t made these in a long time.I bought too many Sandiges this year.I will make some next summer.Thanks for this too Shilpa.

  7. Can we use Bottle Gourd instead of Ash Gourd? We dont get Ash gourd in the place I live 🙁

    Shilpa: Deepa, traditionally these are not made with bottle gourd, so not sure how it will taste.

  8. hey Shilpa, good idea , you are making all these preservable stuff when your aayi is here… I should do the same thing too… otherwise I will be missing all the yummy food after my parents leave 🙁

  9. Hi Shilpa..
    Tks 4 inputs!I have already made these…halved the ingredients..put to dry..after two days i shall get to know the outcome…thankyou!

    Best Regards,

  10. Shilpa
    If your colleague is not a Bengali he must have told you about the Dal made with Black Urad. There is a very famous North Indian Dal made with whole black urad with skins.

    Shilpa:Sandeepa, you are right, he is Rajasthani. So it is possible that he used black urad daal. Anyway, I will try your version, it looks very good to me.

  11. they look cute and delicious shilpa
    i grandma makes instant fritters
    something similar to this
    with green chilli urad and ash gourd
    need to find myself an ashgourd for that
    tried ur methi rice yday…googled methi rice
    luv it….i kinda eye balled toor dal and it kinda dominated….thx for recipe 🙂

  12. Hi Shilpa,
    This is my first visit to ur blog .Was ver surprised as I have wanted to try out vadi(vadakam in tamil).I have ben searching for a very long time .Thanks .
    U have a gr8 blog here .I’ll make sure i become a regular .

  13. Seriously, its time for you to come up with a cook book. I mean, these recipes are simply awesome!!!!Have you ever given it a thought? I have been using it as a study guide of cooking for almost 2 years now. Back in India I didn’t even use to make a cup of coffee!Thats the power of well documented literature on recipes. Keep up the good work.

    Shilpa: Thanks a lot for your kind words Mohan. I felt, some free resource on the internet like this food blog would help many people access to the recipes easily, so I am mainly concentrating on the blog as of now. May be in future when I have bit more time(and energy), I will publish a book with some selected recipes. As of now, the comments like yours, are the greatest awards i could ask for. Thanks a lot.

  14. Hey Shilpa, This looks interesting. Another Konkani word that is very similar to Odiya word. In Odiya, we call this “badi” (ba of “ba”ll, sounds like kadi). We commonly eat it just like that or churned to powder or mixed with mashed potato..mouth-watering!

  15. now this is a different recipe – would love to try anything with ash gourd. i dont think there are any alternatives for drying vadis – dont have the luxury of spreading them under the sun 🙁

  16. After searching for a long time I found this recipe thats remembered me about my “” parnani”” (mom of my nani) ,who had learned it from her mother who had immigrated from India UP to South America. I knew the dumplings, but I didn”t know the way of preparation.
    I am of the 4th generation of immigrants so I am glad to know the way of foodpreparation. Thanks a lot.
    greetings from Holland.
    Namaste Vidhya

  17. Nandita Basroor

    Hi Shilpa,

    From a amchigelli to a amcigelli.

    A great website.

    I request you to give me a receipe for Kuvalya vadya ambat.

    Thanks & regards


  18. Hello,
    The aayi’s receipe website is very helpful for young generation CSB’S. Thanks a lot.

    I would like to have the Receipe for the Spicy Dried Watermelon (Kalinggad) Rind (Green skin).

  19. Hi shilpa, i am an ardent fan of ur site…..whenever i feel like trying smthng new, ur site is the first place to peep:-)….i have tried quite a few of ur recipes…apart from some beginner’s flops, most of them have turned out well….ur detailed steps with picture makes a lot of things easier….keep up the good work….in this part of the world where canned foods nd packed ready to eat meals are on a high, long lost authentic recipes from u are a relief…thank u nd good luck to u

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