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African Kenyan style Lilo Chevdo

Lilo Chevdo is popular among East African Indians. My husband was born and grew up in Africa. My Mother-in-Law and other ladies around me tell us sometimes how they prepared many food from the scratch.

Jewel looking kind Lili chevdo is moist, sweet and tangy chevdo many family’s favorite around Diwali.

Now, to me personally, it is lot of work so I use some short cuts. In fact m, I like my shortcut recipe as it can stay at room temperature for up to couple of months. Chevdo made with fresh potato needs refrigeration.

My shortcut recipe is made out of fried potato sticks shoestring readymade available at Walmart and many other supermarkets. I buy ready fried lentils like chana, moong dal, green peas from Indian grocery including red and yellow sev. Rest of the ingredients I can always find in my kitchen like peanuts, cashews, sesame seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds and so on. I then prepare Masala at home. So my version is basically dry chevdo with close taste of lilo chevdo.

But if you wish to make it from scratch, below is the recipe.


Homemade or store bought yellow and red tikhi sev. Follow my recipe to make yellow sev and for red tikhi sev, add red chili powder to the dough.

2 pounds Russett potatoes (about 4 large potatoes) grated

1 cup Chana Daal (soaked overnight)

½ cup whole peanuts

½ cup cashew halves

2 tablespoons raw veriyari (fennel seeds)

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

1 tablespoon khus khus (white poppy seeds)

1-2 tablespoon oil

½ cup limdi leaves (curry leaves)

Pinch of turmeric

½ cup serrano chilies, sliced in thin rings

¼ cup sugar

¼ lemon juice

1 – 1½ tablespoon salt, per taste


Soak the chana daal in water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Once soaked, rinse the daal and wash with fresh water. Drain and towel dry completely.

Peel the potatoes, grate and soak in water. When ready to fry, drain the water and spin to get all the water moisture out. The grated potatoes should be completely dry.

Wash the curry leaves. Add a few drops of vegetable oil. Microwave for 1 minute, then continue at 30 second intervals till the leaves are crisp.

Take the sliced serrano chilies in a bowl. Add a teaspoon of oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of turmeric. Mix well. Cook in microwave for 2 minutes, then at 30 second intervals till the chilies are dehydrated and almost crisp.

Now you are ready to start the frying!

Heat a wok on high head with oil about two inches deep.

Start frying the potatoes first. Fry to the stage when the potatoes are crisp and still white in color. DO NOT fry to golden brown color. Remove and set in a bowl lined with paper towel to absorb access oil. Repeat till all the grated potatoes are fried.

Next take the chana daal and drop gently in the oil. The daal with start floating in the oil when done. Start skimming out the daal as soon as it floats up. DO NOT fry the daal to golden brown stage.

Now fry the peanuts till they are golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel.

Move the wok off the heat and let the oil cool slightly (1-2 minutes). Drop the cashews and fry the till they are golden brown. Drain on paper towel.

Take a small frying pay on medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Add the Veriyari, sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Roast until the sesame seeds start to splatter.

Add the seeds to the fried potatoes and daal. Add the fried nuts, curry leaves and chilies.

Lastly, take a small sauce pan on medium to high heat. Add the sugar and lemon juice. Stir well and cook till it reaches a roll boil. Pour the syrup over the potato mixture. Add 1 tablespoon salt and mix well. Taste for salt and adjust if necessary.

Chevdo is ready to be served!


Store in the fridge if you do not consume it in less than a week.

Once refrigerated, bring the chevdo to room temperature before serving.

[Serves 8-10]


I am Bhavna a mother of two. My life is full of activities and I love sharing my passion for food, fitness, fashion, gardening, traveling and more on my YouTube channel, Facebook page, Instagram and many other platforms. I was born and raised in India but reside in the USA at present.

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