Saturday, August 2, 2014

Undi ( Steamed cream of rice balls)

Undi is a traditional Konkani breakfast item. When I say Konkani, I mean South Canara Konkani people. I am sure other people living in the Konkan region also make it.Undi is also known as "pundi" in Tulu and "mootli" by Catholic konkanis. "Mootli" means fistful, as fistful of batter is taken and shaped into balls which are then steamed.Traditionally in the Hindu households it is served with jaggery syrup. Others eat with with spicy curries like fish curry& egg curry. I like it with a little butter/ ghee filled in the little hole/ indentation and spicy dry chutney like lasun ( garlic) chutney sprinkled over it! :) yum!

Coincidentally, this is also the first dish that I cooked all by myself as a little girl in my "play kitchen". I must have been 8 or 9 years old at the time. I had miniature pots and pans which also included a miniature idli steamer! If a little kid can cook it, it has to be a easy dish to make!:)

Servings: 2-4


Rice rava( idli rava or cream of rice): 1 cup
Coconut oil:1 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dal: 1/2tsp
Methi seeds( fenugreek seeds): 1/8
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Freshly grated coconut: 1/4 cup
Water: 1 1/2 cups
Salt: to taste
Sugar/ jaggery: 1/2 tsp 


Wash idli rava thoroughly and keep aside.

In a kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter, add the urad dal, methi seeds, curry leaves and sauté for few seconds until the urad dal starts turning golden.

Now add the washed  rice rava, grated coconut, hot water, sugar & salt. 

Cover and cook on low flame until all the water evaporates and the rava mixture starts to easily leave the kadai( about 7-10 minutes). 

You know it is done if when you touch with your finger, nothing sticks to your finger. Turn off the flame.

Let it cool down a little. With damp hands take small portion ( fist full) of the batter and shape it into a ball. Indent the center of the ball with your index finger. Make such balls until all the batter has been used. Keep it aside.

Fill the idli steamer with little water and bring it to boil. Place the steamer plate in it.

Arrange all the balls on the plate and steam for 10 minutes on medium flame. You can also use the pressure cooker/ pan for this but without the whistle.

Photo credit: Shailaja Rao

Photo credit: Shailaja Rao

Serve hot with butter/ghee and chutney of your choice or with jaggery syrup or honey or with some spicy gravy dish like prawn curry or fish curry.


Cooking made easy:

You could make efficient use of your time and save energy( gas) by utilizing your resources to the fullest. When you are cooking rice in the cooker, also place the dal( lentil) or beans that you will be using to make another side-dish for lunch of dinner.

Another good example is the above dish. When you are steaming Undi or Idlis, you could steam/ cook another vegetable that is required for your lunch / dinner in the bottom half of the steamer. Of course, this depends on the size of your steamer/cooker.

Tip for healthy living:

Aerobic exercises are essential for the well being of the cardiovascular system. Aerobic exercises includes activities like walking, jogging, biking, running and swimming. An activity is considered aerobic only if it is done for at least 20-30 minutes. At least 45 minutes of aerobic activity is required before stored body fat  is utilized as a source of energy. At least 30 minutes of daily aerobic activity is recommended for a healthy cardiovascular system. 


Food for thought:

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom. Hannah Arendt

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