Thursday, January 14, 2021

Handooma (Kulhi), Puffed rice salad

Growing up, my aunt usually sends me large cans of this puffed rice, lightly sweetened with some form of sugar and I used to love eating them. Sometimes she would make them into balls using sugar to glue it together. The first time I had it savory was in my husband's island,Lh. Naifaru, where his aunt made it as a snack. 
When traveling in islands very often you will come across trays of rice left in the sun. This is the process of making handooma or puffed rice. It is  leftover cooked rice, washed in a little water to separate the grains and then spread out on a metal tray and left in the hot sun. The sun causes the grains to shrink and sometimes it looks like its just uncooked rice. 

Then its fried in hot oil, where the grains puff up. 

In this recipe, a mixture of onions, limes, and salt is prepared, along with some chilli, usually scotch bonnet pepper. Add some finely sliced smoked tuna or canned tuna and then mix in the puffed rice and then some freshly grated coconut. Some like to add rihaakuru. 

This needs to be eaten as soon as possible so the puffed rice doesn't get soggy. 

Yield: 4
Author: Nammi

Handoomaa ( puffed rice with tuna mix)


  • Cooked rice
  • water
  • a large tray preferably metal
Handooma salad
  • 1 1/2 cups puffed rice (handooma)
  • 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, sliced
  • 1 small onion , thinly sliced
  • 1/2 can tuna or a handful of  thinly sliced valhomas
  • 1/3 cup grated coconut
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2 tsp rihaakuru (optional)
  • salt


Handooma (puffed rice)
  1. Add the water into the leftover rice and using your fingers to separate the grains. 
  2. Drain and arrange on the tray and place on the sunniest spot in the house, preferably direct sunlight. 
  3. The grains will shrink, repeat the second day and once all the grains are completely dry, store in an airtight container. 
  4. When needed, heat a wok or pan for deep frying, not too much oil  about 1 inch oil.  When hot, add the rice in batches, and it will puff up immediately. 
  5. Drain on kitchen paper and use. 
Handooma salad
  1. Place onions in a bowl, add lime juice and pinch salt. ( add less salt if using rihaakuru). 
  2. Squeeze with the fingers to release the juices and soften the onions, add the chillies and mix again. Then mix in the tuna. Taste ( some people like to add a little  shredded kopeefai ( kale like leaf). 
  3. Then gently mix in the coconut and puffed rice. 
  4. Taste adjust seasoning and enjoy. 
Did you make this recipe?
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Created using The Recipes Generator


  1. How interesting! When I saw puffed rice, I thought it's kinda like popped rice (the one you use to make rice cracker) this is like sundried cooked rice. A very interesting and delicious salad!

    1. it is leftover cooked rice that has been sundried and then fried.

  2. This dish looks like I can't stop eating it, so good! I use a lot of puffed rice, will try out this recipe, addition of meat and coconuts seems interesting, thanks for sharing it, Nammi!


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