Kurdai-Gavhacha Cheek-Gavhachya Saalacha Upma for RCI June: Maharashtrian Cuisine!

June 11, 2007 at 2:21 pm 41 comments

 Translating that title in English is rather difficult so read on…

No Maharshtrian feast is complete without accompaniments such as Papad and Kurdai.

In fact summer is the time the business of making Papads, Kurdais etc..flourishes in many households here.

Kurdai is a delicious snack akin to papads, but made from Wheat. These are usually made during the summer time,sun dried and stored in every household, just like papads and fried whenever required.You need lots of patience and time to make these pearly white, noodle like Kurdais.


             Sun-dried Kurdai                                               Deep Fried Kurdai

We usually get these made from someone (usually housewives who run household business making Papads, Masalas and Pickles)- lack of time and laziness being the main reasons. 🙂

To make Kurdai, Wheat is soaked in water for three days and then finely ground. The milky white extract (it is called as Gavhacha Cheek- Gahu means Wheat and cheek means extract) is separated from the wheat skin.

This milky white extract is then cooked with water to make a soft stiff dough called Ukad, which is inturn passed through a press(Thin Sev press) to get the kurdais. These are then dried and stocked. 

The cooked soft dough used to make Kurdai is very tasty by itself- It makes for a delicious, healthy and filling snack. We call it Gavhacha Cheek. I am very fond of this Cheek and even if I don’t make Kurdais at home, I make this Cheek as an evening snack once in a while.The left over Wheat skin (Gavhacha saal; saal means skin) is used for making a scrumptious spicy Upma. 

Recipes like these are becoming almost extinct, just like sparrows. Very few households now make these authentic Maharshtrian dishes.

This is my humble attempt to keep the traditional offbeat recipes alive. 

Nupur I hope you enjoy these authentic yet offbeat recipes for Gavhacha Cheek and Gavhachya salacha Upma for RCI –Maharshtrian Cuisine 

_________________________________________________________                                                            Gavhacha Cheek recipe

Servings :~ 4-5 _____________________________________________________ 


5-6 Cups Whole wheat (the older the better)

½ tsp Cumene powder

¼ tsp Asafoetida powder

Salt to taste      

 1. Soak Wheat in water for 3 days changing the water everyday.

2. After 3 days finely grind the wheat till all the wheat grains are properly crushed and the milky extract separates out.

3. Take some water (about 3-4 cups) in a large vessel and add the crushed wheat to it. Remove the wheat skin with your hands and squeeze tightly so that the milky extract remains in the water and the skin is separated. Repeat this procedure one more time with fresh water –put the skin in another lot of freah water (3-4cups) and squeeze out the extract with your hands.

4. Take a thin fresh clean cotton cloth and filter the extract through it. Use your hand to press the liquid through the cloth.

5. Don’t throw the Wheat skin. Keep it aside.

6. Keep the Milky extract (Cheek) covered overnight.

7. A layer of thin yellowish watery liquid can be seen on the dense White Cheek which is settled at the bottom.Discard the supernatant water and measure the lower dense Cheek using a cup. (You may need a spoon to remove the white cheek since it is quite dense.

8. Boil equal amount of water in a pan and add little salt, cumene powder and Asafoetida.

9. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the Cheek to it with one hand and stir with a wooden spatula with your other hand, taking care that no lumps are formed.

10. Cook till the milky white cheek becomes translucent. Cover and cook for a few minutes more stirring in between.

11. Serve hot.

12. This can also be served by adding a little sugar and milk on top, but I prefer it as it is.


_________________________________________________________                                                            Gavhachya Salacha Upma recipe

Servings: ~ 3-4 _____________________________________________________ 

Use the leftover Wheat skin from the Gavhacha Cheek to make this slightly sour and spicy Upma. 

Heat oil in a pan. Do the tadka (mustard seeds, cumene seeds, curry leaves, green chillies-in that order). Add some chopped onion and fry till translucent. Add the leftover wheat skin and cook covered for few minutes. Stir this Upma nicely and add little fresh grated coconut. Mix well and let some moisture evaporate.

Garnish with coriander leaves and lime juice (optional). The Upma is already slightly sour so addition of lime juice depends on how sour you like it.

Serve hot.

You can also wrap it in a soft Roti and serve as a Frankie.

Entry filed under: asafoetida, cereal grain, coconut, coriander leaves, cumin seed, curry leaves, easy, green chilli, Health and Nutrition, lime, lime juice, Maharashtrian, medium, mustard seed, onion, Quick eats, salt, side dish, wheat, whole wheat.

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41 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Raaga  |  June 11, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    I eat these kurdai fries every once in a while. Loved your recipes 🙂

  • 2. Nupur  |  June 11, 2007 at 4:48 pm

    Oh, my…what an incredible post! I have eaten kurdai all my life without ever having the faintest idea that this is how they are made. I have learned so much from you. Both recipes are wonderful!

  • 3. shitu  |  June 11, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    Yum… I can even eat the cheek everyday.
    I make this for my son, the cheek is very nutritious. Here in US it’s very difficult to get whole wheat so I use broken wheat. It comes out just as good as whole wheat.
    Thanks for posting
    @Hey Shitu,thanks for that tip about broken wheat. It will help lotso’ people who don’t get whole wheat easily!

  • 4. Tee  |  June 11, 2007 at 8:23 pm

    Thanks for this great recipe!! I used to love eating the cheek…never really bothered to find out how it is made.
    You are right, these recipes are getting lost in time and we should preserve them….do post more of such recipes.
    thanks again!

  • 5. Vini K  |  June 11, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    Hi Madhuli,I have never heard of this.Looks very nice to me.I think I will try this.Glad you mentioned that this can be made using broken wheat too.

  • 6. TheCooker  |  June 11, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for the recipes and their descriptions.
    So true, these recipes are rapidly disappearing….sadly the ones who do make papad/kurdai at home every summer are in the minority now.

  • 7. Latha  |  June 11, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    At first look, I thought these were similar to the south indian vadams (made with rice flour and (or) sabudhana), the shape, sun-dried etc.,. But this delicacy is so incredible! And hats off to you for sharing a dying tradition. So next time we drop by Mumbai, I know what to look for first:)
    @ Just let me know 3 days in advance so that I can soak the Wheat!You are welcome anytime 🙂

  • 8. et  |  June 12, 2007 at 6:59 am

    I am stunned. Wah wah! I thought making kurdais is a nearly lost art, but I am so happy to see this. Good work, and excellent documentation too.

  • 9. evolvingtastes  |  June 12, 2007 at 1:20 am

    I am stunned. Wah wah! I thought making kurdais is a nearly lost art, but I am so happy to see this. Good work, and excellent documentation too.

  • 10. sharmi  |  June 12, 2007 at 7:59 am

    very beautiful recipes. looks great!

  • 11. Anjali  |  June 12, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Madhuli as Nupur said all of us take our kurdai for granted. The cheek looks nutritious I have never made it thanks for sharing.
    @ Thanks all of you. When I was posting the recipe I didn’t know it would evoke such a nice response.Glad to know all of you love authentic recipes like these! Thanks.

  • 12. Anjali Koli  |  June 12, 2007 at 3:15 am

    Madhuli as Nupur said all of us take our kurdai for granted. The cheek looks nutritious I have never made it thanks for sharing.
    @ Thanks all of you. When I was posting the recipe I didn’t know it would evoke such a nice response.Glad to know all of you love authentic recipes like these! Thanks.

  • 13. elaichietcetera  |  June 12, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    Madhuli- most interesting post; I have never before heard of this “cheek” preparation…and very healthy upma…my curiosity and great love of making tedious things like this will cause me to try it. I will let you know- great step-by-step instructions BTW.
    Did you crochet the garland of flowers? I thought at first it was a cake, then real flowers…then I looked really close! 🙂
    @ Thanks Pel and I am sure you will come up with some ‘novel version of Cheek’ too!That lovely looking garland as you rightly guess is crocheted but that’s courtesy Nupur of One Hot Stove-that’s her RCI Maharashtrian cuisine logo.

  • 14. Sakshi  |  June 12, 2007 at 6:39 pm

    Ukad! Cheek!
    You are making me wish I was home 😦
    @ <em>see what all I have to do to make you come home</em>!:)

  • 15. anusharaji  |  June 13, 2007 at 12:49 am

    abs stunning post
    u sure have great blog going 🙂
    that cheek reminded me of vadiyala pindi
    @ Thank you anusharaji, never heard of Vadiyala Pindi.would like to know more.

  • 16. childwoman  |  June 14, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    This is a great blog and I simply love it, I have asked my blog buddies to check it out too….!

  • 17. Dhana  |  June 28, 2007 at 5:58 am

    I have never eaten this dish, but sounds yummmm!

  • 18. Anant  |  October 22, 2009 at 1:12 am

    There is one more yummy dish called “Kurdayachi bhaji”. The recepie is very simple. It is as follows:
    1. Soak 5-6 kurdais in water for around 12-15 min.
    2. Rinse the water completely. Kurdais are soft now. crush kurdai ligtly by hand.
    3. Add some red chillie powder and salt to taste to this kudai.
    4. In frying pan, make the hot oil, add mustard seeds and put this kurdai into it. Mix it well. Server hot.

  • 19. swati  |  January 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm

    i like kurdai very much and serching 4 bhaji but got it from anant’s comment. thanks 2 both of u.

  • 20. sunita  |  August 22, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    i love this cheek and made it today to eat it as it is..
    just a quick querry…is it ok for a pregnant women to have this daily and what quantity is safe. is it like too heaty to over eat during pregnancy..pls respond.

    • 21. My foodcourt  |  August 23, 2010 at 6:14 am

      Hi Sunita, Thanks for your kind words.As my mom tells me this belongs to the ‘Ushna” as in hot category..I don’t think that it can be had everyday, specially if you are pregnant . We too just make this once in a while. Pls. chk with your doctor regarding the same. Thanks again for visiting, Madhuli

  • 22. Anant  |  October 30, 2010 at 11:33 am

    @Sunita, Kurdai cheek is ushna. having it daily can lead to acidity. Also it is heavy to digest. So once in a week in small quantity will be okay.

  • 23. PP  |  August 1, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Thank you for the recipe. My aaji used to make kurdai every summer. I still bring kurdais from India but really miss the cheek. Will definitel try your recipe

    • 24. My foodcourt  |  August 2, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      Let me know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by.

  • 25. anushka  |  August 27, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Very nice recipe of gavhacha cheek

  • 26. Savita Govilkar  |  November 25, 2012 at 8:44 pm

    This is awsome.. Bringing back childhood memories from Pune Wada where my Ajji stayed. There is peculiar smell when Wheat is soaked for 3 days..

  • 27. Savita Govilkar  |  November 25, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    Now a days you get powdered Cheeck in Pune in shops You just have to bring it home make a paste and boil.. It is not as good as fresh but can be a substitute

  • 28. Sonal  |  January 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

    I make gavhacha cheek at home but somehow my cheek gets the taste of the utensil Im cooking it in 😦 any idea where I’m going wrong?

    • 29. My foodcourt  |  January 25, 2013 at 10:39 am

      sorry to hear that sonal.Not sure of that..I usually use a aluminium heavy bottom vessel for this and you need to stir constantly so that it does not get burnt.

  • 30. Savita Govilkar  |  January 7, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Sonal, You should use glass bowls or utensils.

  • 31. jaya  |  April 14, 2013 at 8:23 am

    many of them make flowers from cheek i want to know steps for how to make flowers from these cheek plz rly as early as possible!!!

    • 32. Savita  |  August 6, 2013 at 2:12 pm

      I think there is a receipee for chikachi fule in book Annapurna by Ms Ogale. Check the same..

  • 33. uday bhor  |  May 31, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Goood marathi food for bodybuilders also…….

  • 34. Shekhar  |  February 16, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    Do you really need to soak gau for 3 days? I mean my wife could do cheek soaking it for one overnight. Does it make any difference. Can you pls confirm what benefits are there soaking it for 3 days. Thank you. Your post is informative.

    • 35. Sarojini  |  April 22, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      Soaking the wheat grains causes fermentation. The more you soak, the more the wheat grains become fluffy and its easy to get the milky extract from each grain. Also, if you keep it water for longer time, the milky extract gets a sour taste.

  • 36. Sarojini  |  April 22, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    Does anyone here knows how to make the kurdai look more white after it is sun-dried. Generally, it becomes little yellowish. Kindly advise.

  • 37. archana  |  November 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    we can make this in only summer , so is there any provision to make it in any season, if yes please tell me the receipe of it

  • 38. Sharayu  |  January 27, 2016 at 3:01 am

    Thank you for posting the recipe….all these days I thought Kurdai was made out of rice due to its white color :P. I will try this recipe sometime.


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June 2007




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