Handulu Bondibai | Lonumedhu

Handulu Bondibai


Handulu Bondibai feels special. That’s probably because we are used to eating it on those special occasions such as Eid, naming of a new born and so on and so forth. It’s also rainy day food because there’s nothing comfier than gobbling down warm Bondibai with some Kulhimas when it’s pouring outside.

Before we get on with the recipe, we should really talk about what goes in it because that was a hot topic here at Lonumedhu when we were making ours. Here’s the thing, some people put raanbaa, cinnamon and cardamom in while others don’t. For example, the Handulu Bondibai recipe in Mohamed Amin’s Karuna Aai Nulaa Kekkun uses just sugar, rice, thick coconut milk and rosewater. But on the other hand, everyone here at Lonumedhu are accustomed to having those mild spicy flavours infused in the Bondibai. We ended up making both versions, one with and one without. And long story short, this recipe uses raanbaa, cinnamon and cardamom simply because we love it that way, and you can simply skip them if you’d prefer them to not be in there.

And just a couple of more things; we prefer to make this with ‘Lhahandoo,’ we were advised to use ‘Maafen’ if we had it, and we were also told that an alternative way of infusing the spices and raanbaa flavour is to cook them in some water and then add that in during the cooking.


Serves: 4-5



  • 1 cup uncooked rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 6 inch piece of raanbaa (cut them into 2 pieces)
  • 3 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 5 cardamom pods (ends snipped off)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup thick coconut milk
  • 5 tsp. rosewater (or to taste)



  1. Wash the rice. Do it until the water runs clear.
  2. Add the rice, water, raanbaa, cinnamon and cardamom to a pot, and cook until the rice softens a bit. Make sure not to cook it all the way because we still have to cook it with sugar and coconut milk. So perhaps the aim should be to make the rice lose it’s raw and hard look. Also, you can keep the heat on medium throughout the cooking for this one.
  3. Add the sugar and while stirring, cook until the mixture thickens and becomes sticky. Before you do this, you can of course remove the raanbaa, cinnamon and cardamom if you want to. We just left them in there. It’s going to take a little bit of time for it to become thick and sticky, but you’ll need to stick around the stove to stir it from time to time, especially a bit towards the end when you’ll have to stir it almost continuously.
  4. Add the coconut milk, combine it well, and let it cook for a couple of more minutes so that the rice can soak up the coconut creaminess. You’ll have to keep stirring here.
  5. Add the rosewater, combine again and switch off the stove. Here’s something to remember; the Bondibai is going to lose moisture when you take it off the heat, so don’t overcook it, let it look glossy and moist.



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