Muthia: Snack In Gujarat And Breakfast In Chhattisgarh
Image Credit: Shutterstock, Muthia

Certain classic breakfast items enjoy a widespread fanfare, spanning across states and boundaries in the country. Take Chilla, for instance. It’s eaten in Punjab as Poora, while in Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Gujarat, it’s popular as Chilla. Similarly, Muthia finds its place not just in Gujarat but in Chhattisgarh too. The steamed dish is usually eaten as a snack in Gujarat but consumed as a breakfast item in the latter.

Muthia is a type of vegan dumpling that is usually steamed and sometimes fried. The Gujarati Muthia is served alongside tea for evening snacks and is made of chickpea flour and flavoured with methi, chilli powder, and turmeric. The crispy and moist snack is golden-brown in colour when fried. While the dish is originally believed to be from Gujarat, the popularity of muthia in Chhattisgarh continues to grow. The name Muthia is derived from the way the dish is prepared. The batter is gripped in the palms of the hand to give it a certain elongated shape. Muthi refers to a fist in Hindi and hence, muthia is named after the gripping action.

In Chhattisgarh, the steamed version of muthia is preferred. This is so because it is believed that steaming these dumplings helps to retain the authentic flavours of all that goes into making it. The composition of muthia also differs in this region. Since rice is a staple grain in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, a rice batter along with some amounts of gram flour is prepared and flavoured with coriander seeds, chopped spinach and crushed ginger.

A little bigger than bite-sized items, Muthias are commonly eaten for breakfast in Chhattisgarh unlike Gujarat’s snack platter. Not only is it popular in the central parts of the state, but also a great meal option in rural areas. Often eaten during winter months as it keeps one’s body warm and fills one’s appetite for long, Muthia comes in a variety of flavours these days.

Although the traditional way of making these breakfast bites is with rice batter, flavourings can be added in the form of cabbage, radish and bottle gourd. To amp up the nutritional value of muthia, bajra and jowar flour is also used to make the batter. The muthia batter is then gripped in the hand and carefully steamed. These can be served with condiments like mint and coriander chutney as well as a desi tomato mixture. 

While eating these savoury dumplings alone is a breakfast dish, one can also make it a complete lunch meal by topping the pulao with some muthia. These give a chunky flavour to the rice dish as well as enhance the nutritional and taste value of it. Usually made with healthy ingredients, muthia requires less oil in its making and therefore, can be considered a healthy breakfast dish from Chhattisgarh.