Khichdi is such a comfort food for all Indians and there are so many variations of it across the length and breadth of India. Today I present Balaee, a khichdi made with rice, chana, and buttermilk in the Kangra Valley region of Himachal Pradesh.
I have been wanting to make Undi (also spelled as Oondi to reflect the pronunciation) for a long time now and this week I got the perfect opportunity because of the theme for the #119th Foodie Monday Blog Hop chose Udupi cuisine as the theme.
Many South Indian states, an indeed individual regions, have some variation of steamed rice balls in their cuisine. Andhra has Uppu Undrallu, Coorg has Kadambuttu, while Kerala and Tamil Nadu have Kozhukattai. The Udupi-Mangalore region of Karnataka is famous for Undi, a seasoned steamed savoury rice dumpling, which is a favoured breakfast.
Also called Pundi Gatti in Tulu, Undi is light on the stomach and very easy to make. It took me about 40 minutes to make this batch. As it is fairly neutral in taste you can pair it with anything, even a simple Coconut Chutney.
The best way to enjoy this breakfast is to top a hot Oondi with some coconut oil. Just that. Nothing else. Believe you me, you will be in heaven.
I made three accompaniments: a cool and mustardy Hasi Saaswe | Hasi Sasmi (Manglore Cucumber in Yogurt), a spicy Hinga Chutney (Asafoetida flavoured Coconut Chutney) , and a sweet Jaggery Syrup. So there was a side for every palate. 🙂
How to Make Undi | Oondi | Pundi Gatti
Undi | Oondi | Pundi Gatti
Undi | Oondi is a savoury steamed, seasoned rice dumpling that is a popular breakfast in the Udupi-Mangalore region. It is also called Pundi Gatti in Tulu.
Karnataka, Udupi, Vegan, Vegetarian
1tspRai, Mustard Seeds
1/4tspMethi, Fenugreek Seeds
2tspUdad Dal, Husked Black Gram
8-10Curry LeavesChopped Fine
1tbspOilCoconut Oil, preferred
Salt to Taste
Making the Rice Batter
Wash the rice and soak it in 2 cups water for about 1 hour.
Drain all the water from the rice and grind to a coarse paste. Do not make it very smooth.
Add 2 cups water and mix well.
Add the grated coconut and salt.
Mix well and set aside.
Making the Undi Dough
In a large pan, over medium flame, heat the oil.
Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
Add the udad dal and methi.
Stir-fry till golden brown.
Add the curry leaves and stir-fry for a few seconds.
Turn the heat down to low and add 1/2 cup water.
Add the rice flour batter and mix well.
Over low flame, keep mixing till the dough starts to form a ball.
Take off the heat and transfer to a plate.
Cover and set aside for a few minutes.
Making the Undi
Add water to a steamer/pressure cooker and let it start boiling.
Divide the dough into 16 to 20 equal portions.
Grease your palms and roll each portion into a ball.
Slightly flatten each ball.
Press your index finger into the ball to create an indentation.
When all Undi are ready, steam them for 10 minutes.
Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions to Make Undi | Oondi | Pundi Gatti
Getting the Rice Batter Ready
Wash the rice well under running water till the water runs clear.
Soak the washed rice in 2 cups water for 1 hour. This will help remove the raw taste of the rice and reduce cooking time.
Drain all the water from the rice and immediately grind to a coarse, grainy paste. Grind as soon as you drain water so that the moisture in the rice is not lost. Do not add any water. The batter should feel like rava mixed in water with the rice broken to fine pieces and not ground to a flour. I find that just a few seconds at the lowest speed does the trick.
Transfer the ground rice to a large vessel and add 2 cups water.
Add the grated coconut and salt.
Mix well to create a flowing batter.
Cover and set aside.
Cooking the Undi Dough
In a large pan, over medium flame, heat the oil and add mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds splutter, add the udad dal and methi.
Stir-fry till the dal and methi are golden brown.
Now add the chopped curry leaves and stir-fry for a few seconds.
Turn the heat down to low. This is important to ensure that the dough cooks properly.
To cool down the tempering, add 1/2 cup water. I find that it cools down the pan and prevents the rice batter from sticking.
Immediately add the rice flour batter and mix well.
Over low flame, keep cooking the batter till it becomes a dough and starts to form a ball.
Take off the heat and transfer to a plate. You can keep it in the pan as well, but the dough tends to form a crust at the bottom because of the heat.
Let the dough cool a bit for 5 minutes or so that it is not too hot for you to make undis.
Making the Undi | Oondi | Pundi Gatti
Get the steamer ready by adding water to a steamer/pressure cooker and let it start boiling. It is important that the Undi are steamed immediately. If you start building steam after putting in the Undi they will become hard.
Divide the dough into 16 to 20 equal portions.
Grease your palms with a few oil drops and roll each portion into a ball.
Slightly flatten each ball and press your index finger into the ball to create an indentation. Perfectly round rice balls are served ONLY during funeral or remembrance services.
When all Undi are ready, steam them for 7 to 10 minutes.
When I was exploring the vegetarian options for Awadhi Cuisine, I came across a recipe for AlooChutneywale that I promptly bookmarked because I have some very lovely memories associated with this dish.
Many year ago, when I was to buy my first home, my family used to go scouting for properties over the weekend. Many a time, we used to stop for lunch at this one restaurant in Navi Mumbai called Anuya’s (I don’t think it exists any longer).
It was on the menu of this restaurant that I discovered this fabulous dish called AlooChutneywale and it became quite a staple for me whenever I was at this place. So when I discovered this recipe, I was thrilled to bits. I eventually ended up making Vegetarian Galouti Kebab with Rajma and Soya as my Awadhi dish but this recipe for AlooChutneywale stayed with me.
So here I am with this wonderful spicy, starchy dish that goes well both with rice and roti.
The original recipe calls for deep-frying the baby potatoes but I boiled them and then pan-fried them.
Recipe with Step-by-Step Instructions for Aloo Chutneywale
Getting the Baby Potatoes Ready
Soak the baby potatoes in warm water for 10 minutes and then scrub them clean. Soaking the baby potatoes in warm water just loosens the dirt and makes them easy to clean.
Boil the baby potatoes till just done. I pressure cooked them. The baby potatoes should be cooked through but firm. When you put a skewer through them it should go through smoothly but you should feel some resistance.
Drain all the water from the baby potatoes.
Peel the potatoes and set aside. If you have peeled the potatoes well in advance, you may want to keep them submerged in water till you are ready to use them. This prevents discolouration.
Making the Coriander + Mint Paste
Add the coriander, mint, ginger and green chillies along with some water to a chutney grinder/small wet grinder.
Grind to a smooth paste.
Making the Aloo Chutneywale
In a large shallow pan, over medium flame, heat the oil. Using a shallow pan reduces the amount of oil and helps in shallow frying.
Add the baby potatoes to the oil.
Over medium heat, fry the baby potatoes till they are golden brown on the outside. Fry them slowly so that they become crisp.
Using a slotted ladle, remove the baby potatoes from the oil and drain all the oil from them.
Set the fried baby potatoes aside.
To the pan and oil used to fry the potatoes, add the cumin seeds.
Stir-fry the cumin till it starts to change colour.
Now turn the heat to low. If you heat is high, the coriander paste will turn an unsightly brown.
Add the ground coriander+mint paste.
Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
To the fried paste, add the coriander powder, turmeric, chilli powder, and salt.
Beat the yogurt to get a smooth texture and add it to the fried coriander+mint paste.
Mix well till the yogurt is well blended into the coriander paste.
Cook on low heat till the oil starts to leave the sides.
Now add the fried baby potatoes to the gravy.
Mix well till all the potatoes are well-coated with the gravy.
Turn off the heat.
Cover the Aloo Chutneywale and set aside for 10 minutes.
Khichdi has always been a comfort food for me, especially so in winter. I have a number of Khichdi recipes on the blog and today I am back with another one, Hyderabadi Khichdi; this one is a lightly spiced one made with rice and masoor dal. Serve it with some Til ka Khatta and you will be in heaven!
Every state has its own version of khichdi, and most are a combination of grain and a lentil (most popularly rice and moong/green gram). In Western Indian states like Rajasthan, Bajra or Pearl Millet is used as a substitute for rice.
Coming back to Hyderabadi Khichdi, what intrigued me was the use of masoor dal. As a South Indian, I rarely used masoor dal in my cooking before I started blogging. Ever since, I have been trying out recipes with both whole masoor and masoor dal. 🙂
The Hyderbadi Khichdi uses rice and masoor dal, with some onions and mild spices. The result was a fragrant, mellow Khichdi that was quite unlike others of its ilk. I paired it with a nutty, tangy sesame-peanut-tamarind gravy called Til ka Khatta, which turned out to be the perfect accompaniment.
Winter means Khichdis galore in my home. While I can enjoy a Khichdi by itself (and a generous dollop of ghee), I found that Hyderabadi Khichdi made with rice and masoor dal needs something to add an extra edge to it; and so I made the traditional accompaniment of Til ka Khatta.
This recipe for Til ka Khatta resulted in a super delicious tangy, nutty gravy that was just the perfect side dish for the mellow Hyderabadi Khichdi or the Hyderabadi Qabooli (Chana Dal Khichdi).
Served at room temperature, this dish involves minimal cooking and gets done in less than 10 mins. Let not the simplicity fool you into believing it tastes simple too. The flavour profile of the Hyderabadi Til ka Khatta is rather complex; it is tangy, it is nutty, and just a touch sweet from the onions.