Share, , Google Plus, Pinterest,


Posted in:

Cashew Balls

Makes 20 balls

© by Christian Lalonde

In honor of my late aunty Mary, a treasured recipe for an addictive sweet. These nutty confections, known also as unda, are an anytime pleasure and lovely served with an afternoon chai or a coffee. The crunchiness comes from roasted rice, the flavor from the cashews, and the sweetness from jaggery. (Demerara or your everyday brown sugar is an acceptable substitute.)


  • Parboiled or Matta Rice 1/2 cup, washed well and soaked for an hour
  • Fresh Grated Coconut 1 cup
  • Roasted Unsalted Cashew Nuts 3 cups
  • Grated Jaggery or Dark Brown Sugar 1 cup

Cook It

  1. Drain rice and pat dry with a paper towel, removing as much moisture as possible. Add rice to a heavy-bottomed frying pan and dry-roast over medium heat for 8 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, slightly crisp, and puffed up. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  2. Add coconut to the pan and stir until lightly toasted. Remove from pan and set aside to cool.
  3. Using a food processor, grind rice into a coarse powder, then transfer to a large bowl. Add cashews to the food processor and pulse to a fine powder. Transfer to the rice bowl. Add jaggery (or brown sugar) and coconut to the food processor and process into a fine powder. Add it to the bowl. Using your hands, mix well.
  4. Shape the mixture into firm, lime-sized balls. Serve immediately. (Cashew balls can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. To freeze them, place balls on a baking sheet to freeze individually, then store in an airtight container in freezer for up to a month.)


Excerpted from My Thali: A Simple Indian Kitchen by Joe Thottungal with Anne DesBrisay. Photography by Christian Lalonde. Copyright © 2023 by Thali Restaurant. Excerpted with permission from Figure 1 Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.