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 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.
- 1 Cup Rice
- 3/4 Cup Grated Coconut
- 1 tsp Rai, Mustard Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Methi, Fenugreek Seeds
- 2 tsp Udad Dal, Husked Black Gram
- 8-10 Curry Leaves Chopped Fine
- 1 tbsp Oil Coconut Oil, preferred
- 2.5 Cups Water
- Salt to Taste
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.
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.
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.
- Serve hot with just Coconut Oil, Hinga Chutney, Coconut Chutney, and/or Jaggery Syrup.
I am taking this classic Udupi recipe to the #119th Foodie Monday Blog Hop. I invite you to see what my fellow bloggers have cooked by clicking on the logo.