727. Undi (Pundi Gatti, Oondi or Rice dumplings)
A visit to Phoenix Mall, Bangalore is like a dazzling visit to Fairyland. Only thing is that nothing is free, you need oodles of money to buy whatever you want. I remember when I was studying in India in the 70s, nothing much was available and relatives and friends would have a long list of things they’d want us to bring for them from Kenya. Tables have turned, everything is available in India right from Rin soap to Audis. For a girl who comes from the supposedly second biggest city in Kenya, the malls are like paradise for me. Visiting Foodland is a foodie’s dream but unfortunately everything from lettuce to wheat pasta is overpriced. Eating healthy is an expensive habit. Wonder why?? Healthy foods should be pocket friendly. Anyway we can argue about food prices world wide endlessly and get nowhere. Lets face it food is expensive.
Daughter and I were at the mall to catch a movie. Have you seen what PVR charges for popcorns??? For a handful of kernels and some cheap oil it’s daylight robbery. And suckers like me still opt for that snack as I can’t imagine watching a movie without popcorn. A mental note to self… need to change that habit. We watched Tumari Suli. I loved the movie not only because of the vivacious Vidya Balan but also because of the subtle messages it conveys for women whether working or not. Everyone has some talent or passion in them, including what most people term as boring housewives or sit at home aunties. Why is it that women face so many challenges in following their passion be it job wise or hobby wise? However, perseverance pays at the end and women are born fighters. We fight for our kids, our homes, our jobs, our rights, our money, our family….its a fight every step of the way.
Before I get carried away, this weeks’s #119th theme for FoodieMonday/Bloghop is Udupi Cuisine chosen by Preethi who blogs at Preethi’s Cuisine. What I remember about Udupi which I visited years ago is the temple Sri Krishna Matha. You get to do the darshan of the Bala Krishna through a small window on the west side. It is believed that a devotee of Lord Krishna, Kanakadasa was not allowed to enter through the east entrance as he belonged to the lower caste. He would pray to Lord Krishna through a small opening in the west wall. Just for the sake of the devoted Kanakadasa, its believed that the statue turned so he could catch a glimpse of Lord Krishna.
Udupi Cuisine is a cuisine of South India more specifically from the state of Karnataka. It forms an important part of the Tuluva- Mangalorean cuisine and takes it name from the famous city Udupi. This cuisine originates from the Astha Mathas of Udupi founded by Madhavacharya. The cuisine makes use of grains, fruits, vegetables and beans, basically being Satvik, where no onions, garlic, meat or fish is used. However over years its being adapted to suit the tastes of the general public. Pumpkins and gourds are still the prinmary ingredients for sambhar, fresh coconut and coconut oil are still used in stews. Did you know that the famous masala dosa has its origins in Udupi? A full course Udupi meal is served on a banana leaf and its served in a sequence. Its during my daughter’s wedding we were fortunate to have a Udupi style lunch and many things I tasted for the first time like kashi halwa, kosambari and the famous Mangalore bajji.
For this theme I decided to make a famous Udupi breakfast called Undi/Pundi Gatti/Oondi. Its basically steamed rice dumplings that are served with a chutney or sambhar or just coconut oil drizzled over it. Its such a simple and yet flavorful breakfast dish. Rice rava or coarsely ground rice flour is available in the market to make this dish but I decided to make it with soaked rice as I read that the dumplings or undi turns out much softer.
Check out the recipe for this filling, healthy and gluten free breakfast treat.
UNDI (PUNDI GATTI, OONDI OR RICE DUMPLINGS)
Makes about 8-9 dumplings
Recipe source: Lakshmi Canteen
1 cup rice
½ cup grated fresh coconut
2 cups water
¾ – 1 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
1 tbsp urad dal (split black lentils)
A few curry leaves
1-2 dried red chilis, chop into pieces
- I soaked the rice overnight but you can soak it for 2-3 hours.
- Drain out the water, wash the rice.
- Add the rice to a food processor along with I cup water.
- Process it till you get a coarse batter, the rice should resemble coarse semolina.
- Add the grated coconut and process just for a few seconds.
- Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- When it is hot, add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and dried red chilis.
- Add the rice batter along with the remaining one cup water and salt.
- Constantly stir the batter till it becomes thick and comes together like a dough. This process takes only 5-7 minutes.
- Let the dough cool a bit.
- In the meantime get your idli stand or any steaming device ready. Add water to the pot.
- Grease the idle stand or plate with some oil.
- Let the water begin to boil.
- In the meantime take some dough the size of a golf ball and roll it. Using your thumb make a small depression in the middle.
- Place it on the greased plate or idle stand.
- Repeat steps 14-15 with the remaining dough. Work fast because when the dough becomes cold, it becomes difficult to roll it into a smooth dumpling.
- Place the idli stand or plate in the boiling water. It should not touch the dumplings.
- Close the pan with a lid and steam the undi for 15 minutes.
- Undi is ready to be served hot with some chutney, sambar or coconut oil.
- Put the coconut, water, coriander, chili, ginger and roasted chana dal in a food processor.
- Process it till you get a coarse paste.
- Put the chutney in a serving bowl.
- Add salt and mix it well.
- Heat oil for tempering in a small pan over low heat.
- When the oil is hot add mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves.
- Pour the tempering over the chutney.
- Don’t leave the rice too coarse otherwise you’ll get hard dumplings
- If you use ready rice rava, then soak it in water for 2-3 hours before using.