Nuchina unde/ lentil dumplings

These are a delicacy from my home state of Karnataka. Nuchu in Kannada means broken. It could be either rice or lentils. Unde are balls. Nuchina unde is an extremely healthy dish as it is full of protein, no oil and is steam cooked . Fragrant with the greens and spices that are used and served with a preparation called Hasi majjige if served for breakfast or as an evening snack. It is invariably accompanied by a Majjige Huli when served for lunch. My heartfelt thanks to my friend dear Chaya Narahari Rao for her traditional recipe.


1/2 cup Toor dal/ split pigeon peas

1/2 cup Chana dal/ Bengal gram dal/ split chickpeas

1/2 cup Moong dal/ split Green gram

1 large onion finely chopped

5 tbsps grated coconut

9 green chillies

A small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped

2 inch piece of ginger

3 sprigs mint leaves finely chopped

2 sprigs curry leaves finely chopped

15 pepper corns

1 tsp Cumin seeds



Wash and soak all the Dals for four hours. Drain thoroughly. Powder the pepper corns and cumin seeds. Drop in the green chillies, ginger and coconut and grind it to a coarse paste. Now add all the Dals a little at a time and grind to a semolina like consistency. Tip the mixture into a bowl. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves,onion, mint and curry leaves. Add salt and mix thoroughly. Oil your hands and make oblong shaped balls of the dough. Steam them for fifteen to twenty minutes in a steamer or in the idli vessel. A knife inserted at the end of twenty minutes should come clean. Serve hot with Hasi Majjige or Majjige Huli. Recipe links to both are shared below.

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