Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Undi (Steamed rice balls)

Undi happens to be a very popular breakfast item among Konkani people. But I had never made it in all these months that I spent in US. One reason was because I did not have a steamer to steam the balls. Back in India all Konkani houses have a steamer which is called a "Pedavan" which they use to steam idli, undi, pathrado(alu vadi), etc.
Amma(mom) and mummy(mil) both had told me many a times to steam in a kadhai or any big vessel. But since my hubby hates idlis I never took their advice seriously. The other reason for not making undi was that I always had a feeling that is difficult to make and that I won't get it right.
One fine day I decided to make undi for breakfast and steamed it in a cooker without keeping the weight. But after steaming when I opened the lid, some water had gone inside the vessel and I had to resteam it. When I told all this to mummy she again reminded me of the kadhai method. The same evening I steamed the remaining rice balls with her method and finally I got nice, extremely soft undis.


For the batter:
Rice(uncooked) - 1 cup
Coconut - 1/2 cup

Soak rice for 3 hrs in water. I soaked it overnight.
Grind it with coconut and water into a slightly coarse batter. When you touch the batter you should get a grainy feeling. Add salt.

For tempering:
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Dry Red Chillies (Bedgi mirchi) - 2 torn.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a kadhai. Add mustard seeds and when they crackle add the methi seeds, curry leaves and red chillies. Then pour in the batter and keep stirring till it forms a soild mass.
Switch off the flame.
Make small balls (2 inch diameter) from this mixture and make a small depression on top of it. The mixture is quite hot so dip your hand in cold water while making balls.

Steam the balls in a steamer for 20 mins.
[I filled a kadhai with water. Put this on high flame. When it starts to boil place a plate with holes which fits on top of it. The water below should not touch the plate. Place the rice balls on top of the plate and cover the plate. The water evaporates fast so use a bigger kadhai/vessel and fill it with as much water as possible.]

Serve hot with chutney or sambhar.

Note: The rice balls can be made in advance and kept in the refrigerator and steamed just before serving. Mummy makes them with rice rava but since I dont buy the rice rava I followed my amma's version and made them using rice. Like all other preparations I have used dessicated coconut for this too. If using fresh or frozen coconut you may require a little more coconut.

I am sending this to Harvest: The Festival of rice event at Meetsudeshna's blog


  1. That's clever of your MIL!
    I think a Chinese bamboo steamer works like this too. Pressure cooker does make the water logged idlis sometimes for me too, hard water makes the water rush up when heated. I add a tsp of vinegar to bottom of the cooker, it works well!

    Undi and dal looks yummy! :)

  2. Adding a tsp of vinegar is a nice tip. Thanks Asha.

  3. Hey, thanks for reminding me...Seeing these pics reminded me of this dish that I almost forgot..Mom used to make it often when we were this with 'lasne chitni'

  4. This is our favs!! We have it onion gojju or gud rava...yummy...!!!my mouth's watering now

  5. Arch
    Thanks for visiting my blog. Do give it a try.

    Onion gojju is new to me. Never tasted it.

  6. hey... here's a simpler version of making these.

    I'm exploring your blog... nice cake and hummus... belated happy birthday :-)

  7. Those look really good...! I'd love to try it.

    the spice who loved me

  8. I love Undi. This is my favs!! It looks so beautiful, sound delicious. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. Looks gorgeous, very similar to a recipe I make, but I use a few more things in the tarka. You can see photos of my undi on my blog, if you like: