Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Nucchinunde - Steamed Lentil Dumplings

Nucchinunde is a traditional Karnataka snack, dumplings of lentils and coconut and steamed and served with coconut chutney. These are quite healthy as they are steamed and filled with proteins from the lentils.

They can be made with toor dal, chana dal or a combination of these. Sometimes moong dal can also be mixed. A bit of coconut is added too, to enhance the taste. Greens like mint, coriander and curry leaves add a nice flavor. Spinach can also be added to add more nutrition.

These can be made in a steamer or in an Idli stand. If you don’t have one, you can even make a temporary fix by boiling water in a big vessel and keeping these in another small container/plate (raised in height by keeping another bowl or so below) and covering with a plate. This time, since I didn’t have proper equipment, I used my bundt pan to steam these dumplings!!

These taste awesome fresh out of the steamer, but can also be reheated and eaten. A dollop of ghee adds to the taste, along with a coconut chutney as accompaniment. They taste good cold too. Can be had as a snack or for breakfast too.

Nucchinunde - Steamed Lentil Dumplings

Preparation time        : 15 min + soaking time of 3-4 hrs
Cooking time               : 15 min
Serves              :  4

Chana dal - ½ cup
Toor dal - ½ cup
Split Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Green chilies   - 2-3
Coconut           - ½ cup, grated
Salt                  - ¼ tsp or as per taste
Curry leaves    - 2 sprigs
Coriander        - 2 Tbsp, finely chopped
Mint/Dill/Spinach - ½ cup, finely chopped; Optional; I used mint
Oil - just a few drops for greasing the pan

  • Soak the lentils for 3-4 hours or overnight
  • Drain completely and wash it a couple of times thoroughly. Soaked dals have a strong smell and washing is very important
  • Grind the dals with all other ingredients into a very coarse mixture, in pulse mode. Do not add any water; And do not make it into a fine paste
  • Mix in chopped greens if using
  • The mixture will be wet enough to hold shape when made into dumplings
  • Take TT-ball sized portions of the dough and press it a bit and make into dumplings; usually they are made in cylindrical shapes
  • Arrange the dumplings in the greased container of a steamer and steam it for 10-15 minutes till it is just about dry and cooked.
  • Serve piping hot or warm with a spoonful of ghee and some coconut chutney… Bliss!! 
  • Can use only one kind of dal or a combination of any of the three in any proportion; each has a slightly different taste and texture
  • I again stress on not grinding to a fine paste; it makes the dumplings hard
Sending these to Akila's event here.


  1. I would have never ever even thought to have made these delicacies..for some reason thought that they were very complicated..made only by the hard working generation of my after reading thinks its going to be tomorrow's breakfast :P

    1. You bet.. it's one easy breezy thing! Do try it and let me know how it turned out... Its easier than making idlies with the idly batter ready :P

  2. wow! This is perfect for dieters! wish i had known this when i was on the diet ! it looks fab and I'm sure it will taste yum too... can't wait to try this easy snack

  3. You have made it in a way that is sounds too easy ..well done...healthy bites

  4. Nice and interesting. Sounds healthy and tasty.

  5. Wat a healthy,nutritious and guilt free dumplings.

  6. I love nuchchina unde. Not tried with mint though. Your chutney looks yum too!

  7. I never add mint or spinach just cilantro. My mom made it with toor dal, I mix chana dal and toor dal together.


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