Kordoi- two ways (Assamese cuisine)

by Sunita on May 17, 2012

It seems such a long time since I’ve updated the blog. Well, ’seems’ is probably not the correcct word to use, and I am promptly changing it to ‘has really been’! But thanks for being patient and still showering the blog with love during my absence. I finally seem to have got my mojo back (touchwood) and will try to post more regularly ( fingers and toes crossed)!

Hope all of you are doing well and are leading happy lives. We are well and the days, weeks, months are just whizzing by. The kitchen is busy as usual; well of course, with growing kids, who are constantly hungry, it has to be.

The weather, with the constant raining for weeks now, is trying it’s best to keep the temperatures down and making us doubt as to whether it is spring or still winter. But, the bright flowers in the garden, the blossoms on our new apple tree and the fresh new leaves on our cherry tree tell another story, and are trying their best to reaffirm that spring is there somewhere.

We did have few lucky days of bright sunshine over the weekend with snow white, fluffy clouds hanging over our heads,

and with our house guests, quickly drove to the nearest seaside ( a twenty minutes drive) to soak in the sunrays. The temperatures were not soaring that high, but it was very pleasant. Since then,  it has been a touch and go of sorts, with the sun and the rain with dark overhanging clouds…

threatening to shower us with more rain at any moment.

A few weeks ago, we went to an event to celebrate the food from Assam. All the dishes on offer were cooked lovingly by our local khar khowas . I cooked a couple of items too. It was a great evening, with plenty of food and some great company. That evening also made me realise how many more wonderful dishes I have yet to celebrate on this blog. Assam is a land of plenty as far as food is concerned, and the dishes are usually made with freshly ground spices and the presence of lots of leafy greens and fresh riverine fish, which makes every meal special. Most of the vegetables are farmed locally and are not flown from thousands of miles away, which is great for the environment as well.

The weekend before the last, we also attended the London Bihu celebrations, and again, there were lots of khar khowas to mingle among.

Spring and Assamese themed cupcakes ( with flowers, butterflies, jaapi and dhols)  for the London Bihu celebrations, made by yours truely!

All this talk, along with the regular conversations with ma and at times my aita(grandma), did their best to increase the longings for the kind of food that I grew up with. The celebrations,the festivals, the various dishes that graced our table during those times…and the list goes on. It was on one such talk with my aita that the the conversation centred around ‘Kordoi’, a sugar coated sweet snack made with flour, and at that moment, I knew that I had to make some with immediate effect. I still remember how I helped ma cut the neverending discs of dough, rolling, pinching and fluffing to shape the perfect kordois.

Kordois are generally made during Bihu, especially Magh Bihu and form part of the various snacks that are on offer during this time. It is to be noted that the star fruit is also called ‘kordoi’ in Assamese. Probably the shape of the fruit must have influenced this particular snack?

So, out came the flour and the rolling pin and the sugar and off I went kordoi-ing to my heart’s content. In fact, I got so carried away, that I even made a savoury version ( can’t resisit playing with recipes), and Dinesh was on cloud nine too ;-)

Here’s how I made them-

What’s needed (usual sweet kordois)-

2 C plain flour ( I used whole wheat flour-atta)

2 tblsp sunflower/vegetable oil

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of nigella seeds(kal jeera)- optional

3/4 C of hand hot water( I used normal water)

oil for deep frying

for the sugar coating-

1/2 C water

2 C caster sugar ( or 1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar)

What’s needed for the savoury kordois-

2C wholewheat flour

1/4 C finely chopped spinach

1 tblsp finely chopped onion

1 tblsp finely chopped coriander

a pinch of nigella seeds ( kal jeera)

1/4 C grated carrot

2tblsp sunflower/ vegetable oil

3/4 C of water

oil for deep frying

How to ( Sweet Kordois)-

  • Rub together the flour, salt and 2 tblsp oil with your fingertips.
  • Add the water gradually and knead to form a firm, but elastic dough.
  • Cover the dough and leave for a few minutes.
  • Divide the dough into twenty equal sized portions, shape into balls and flatten them.
  • Roll one into aproximately 4 and a 1/2 inches in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut straight lines , making sure not to cut all the way through.
  • From one end start to make a rol, pinching the ends to bind. Push the two ends of the shaped kordoi gently to plump the middle. Place in a single layer on a dish covererd with plastic wrap.

  • Deep fry the kordoi till crisp and place them on kitchen towels to drain the excess oil and let them cool for a few minutes.
  • Meanwhile, make the sugar syrup by placing the sugar and water together in a thick bottomed pan over heat. Bring to  a boil. The mixture will start to foam. The syrup is ready when a tiny bit placed between your thumb and forefinger ( be careful not to get burnt) feels quite sticky, but is not of a thread consistency.
  • Reduce the heat to low, and gently drop the fried kordois into the syrup, one a time. Turn them over very gently, preferably with a straight spatula, to coat them in the syrup.
  • Remove from heat. You can also remove them from the syrup and let them cool completely. But if you like them extra sweet like me, keep them to cool in the pan, turning over now and then for a thicker coating of sugar. The kordois will harden on cooling.
  • When completely cold, the kordois can be stored in glass jars to keep them fresh for a few days ( of course, ours were gone in a jiffy).

The savoury kordois-

  • Rub together all the ingredents except the water.
  • Add the water  gradually and make a firm dough.
  • Divide into smaller portions than the sweeter ones. Roll and shape like the sweet version.
  • Deep fry in batches and serve hot with some ketchup/chutney. I served with some hot pepper sauce.

** Shaping the kordois made with wholewheat flour might be slightly trickier, so grease the rolling pin and board to help.

And yes, I had to tell aita that I did make some kordois that day, but I’m sure she knew before I could say anything, the greedily munching noise over the phone was enough to give me away.

Did I hear anyone mention ‘calories’?

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Happy Cook / Finla May 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

Good to see you back and to hear that you will be blogging more often. I have never had this kordios, really new to me.


2 Sunita May 17, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Thanks Finla. Try it, it’s one of my favourites :-)


3 Anureetha May 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm


Its good to have you back Sunita :) Really missed your blog updates.Glad to know you guys are having a good time.And the cupcakes are awesome !!

Keep blogging!



4 Sunita May 17, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Thanks Anureetha.


5 Soma May 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm

I had no idea you guys made these too!! We make the sweet ones but the savory is just kalonji, salt and may be a little chili powder. nothing else. and call them Elo Jhelo or Elo Thelo :) I used to sit with the jars of the sweet ones.

The cupcakes are so pretty and seems like you guys had a real good time. (I saw the photos! ).

Now I want the elo thelos. I really need to push myself to make me some. good to know it with another name.


6 Sunita May 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Thanks Soma, and yes, the sweet ones are a favourite of mine too :-)


7 sharanya May 17, 2012 at 1:36 pm

What a beautiful post!!! But then you always post fun things.we make something similar but its cut to small diamond pieces.delicious always,I loved ur cupcakes ,the dhol decoration.


8 Sunita May 17, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Thanks Sharanya


9 Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal May 17, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Yum, that looks super delicious. !!!


10 Sunita May 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm



11 BongMom May 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

So glad to see you back. I showed S your Bihu cup cakes on FB and she wanted me to make something like that. Of course I can’t and she is now a fan of yours :)

We call these Ele Jhelo. My Mom makes the savory version while Ma-in-law makes the sweet ones just like Koordoi


12 Sunita May 17, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Aww, hugs to S, am honoured to have her as a fan :D
I made these after such a long time, and they disappeared in a jiffy. i am very partial to the sweet ones :-)
Hope your’project’ is moving ahead nicely ;-)


13 Helene May 17, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thanks for sharing and beautiful pictures :)


14 Sunita May 17, 2012 at 9:25 pm

You’re welcome Helene, hope you are doing well :-)


15 Madhumathi May 18, 2012 at 7:18 am

Missed your posts..glad u r back. Kordoi is new to me..and the way you put a ’spicy’ spin on it ..is brilliant!


16 Pragyan May 25, 2012 at 2:06 am

Wow, Suni – Welcome back! Please continue blogging about the wonderful food from your kitchen – always love your posts. Blessings to your kids Agastya and Rengoni – such unique names I can never forget! Kordoi is also made in Odiya homes..odd that I can’t remember the name and it’s been ages since I had any! :( Take care and keep blogging! :)


17 Poornima May 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Wonderful to see a post from you, welcome back! This is such an interesting dish, I love the shape. The savory version sounds wonderful!


18 Raaga May 30, 2012 at 3:15 am

Being on FB with you keeps me up to date…so up to date that I realized I have not visited your blog! Yummy snacks.


19 Vanaja June 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

Hey Sunita,

Good to see you back in action. These are called Artikaya (raw banana) sweets in Hyderabad. We usually prepare these during festivals and special occasions like weddings/baby showers where you have to make a bunch of dishes. Also the savory version is made with salt n ajwain.

Enjoyed reading the post.


20 Foodie June 10, 2012 at 11:06 pm

It is also called “Panasa thonalu” in Telugu since it resembles the flesh of the Jack Fruit. I always make this (the sweet version) when short on time but have to wow my guests with something traditional reminding of home :) . I am glad to know it is made in other parts of India too and never knew a savory version exists….we learn something new everyday.


21 Abhijit Sharma August 16, 2012 at 6:43 am

The Assamese themed cupcakes are brilliant!! Wonder if they are copyright protected! ;-)
Great work there, Sunita! My Malayalee colleague came up with kordois and being from Assam, I was perplexed! That’s when I got referred to your blog.


22 Riniki October 6, 2012 at 5:04 am

Hey Sunita, was browsing for something Assamese and here I am.:) lovely blog. You’ve taken so much of your culture with you and shared it so beautifully. I love your recipes and food presentation. And amazing family portraits!! :) ))


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