Mugu Kavaabu | Lonumedhu

Mugu Kavaabu


We already have a kavaabu recipe here on Lonumedhu. And now here’s the kavaabu variety that’s made with yellow lentils.

For anyone new to kavaabu, it’s a popular local tea time snack that’s made by deep frying oblong pieces of spicy tuna batter.

Makes: 22  


  • ½ cup yellow lentils
  • 2 cups water (for boiling the lentils)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/3 scotch bonnet pepper (or to taste)
  • 7 curry leaves
  • ½ lime
  • 1 tsp. grated garlic
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper powder
  • ½ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tuna can
  • ½ tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 tbsp. coarse rice flour
  • 3 tbsp. water
  • 2 cups oil (for frying)


  1. Add the lentils and water to a pot and boil until the lentils are cooked through and soft. They should be done in about 15 to 20 minutes. When boiled, drain and mash them, and set it aside.
  2. While the lentils are cooking, slice the onion, scotch bonnet pepper (githeyo mirus) and curry leaves thinly.
  3. In a bowl and using your fingers, squash, squeeze and mix together the onion, scotch bonnet pepper, lime juice and curry leaves until the onion becomes soft and releases its juices.
  4. Then add the ginger, garlic, black pepper, turmeric powder, grated coconut, tuna and salt and mix it well, still with your fingers. Do a taste test and adjust things to your liking. Also, do keep in mind that when we add the flour and ground rice in the next step, the taste is going to get slightly muted.
  5. Finally add the mashed lentils, flour, coarse rice flour and water, and mix and squeeze it well with your fingers.
  6. Pick up a portion of the mixture using your fingers and roll it into the oblong kavaabu shape; you’ll have to squeeze it a bit to make it tight. Do this until you run out of the mixture. If you are wondering about the size, we made ours using teaspoon portions of the mix.
  7. Heat the oil in a pot. It’s better to fry the kavaabu in batches, so when the oil is well heated place the first batch in the oil. Fry the kavaabu until they take on a deep reddish brown colour and then remove them to a plate lined with kitchen towels. Remember to keep the temperature of the oil in the low to medium range throughout the frying as otherwise you might end up with really hard exteriors and uncooked insides.
Recipe Categories: 


Eating Out

Curry Recipes

Hedhikaa Recipes

Dessert Recipes

Chicken Recipes

Rice Recipes

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