Nuchinunde Recipe, A Steamed Lentil Snack From Karnataka
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There are perhaps very few people in the world who don’t like a good savoury snack to have for breakfast or with evening tea. If you love a good snack for either or both meals and are looking for one that is delicious as well as healthy, then going for one that is made with lentils is a good bet. Lentils are naturally nutty in flavour and they are also nutrient-dense. Lentils are great sources of plant proteins, fibre and minerals, and are quite filling too. Lentils can also be easily packed with plenty of spices and flavour additions to make a great snack. 

There are plenty of lentil snack recipes found across regions of India, whether it be Dal Kachori from Rajasthan or Medu Vada from South India. However, most of these lentil snacks are deep fried, which everyone knows isn’t a great thing for your health. One lentil snack from Karnataka can and does overcome all of these issues. Nuchinunde, a steamed lentil snack, is not only delicious but also absolutely healthy as a dish. 

Originating in the Bengaluru-Mysuru region of Karnataka, Nuchinunde is a traditional breakfast dish made of lentils and spices. Nuchu literally translates to broken lentils and grains, and Unde means balls or dumplings. Naturally, Nuchinunde derives its name from these two Kannada words. Nuchinunde is traditionally prepared with a mixture of two lentils, toor dal and chana dal, making it even more protein-packed and healthy. 

Video credit: YouTube/Hebbar's Kitchen

Traditionally, Nuchinunde is served with a raita from Karnataka called Hasi Majjige, but many people also enjoy it with coconut chutney, ghee and podi. Wondering how to cook this delicious and healthy snack? Try this easy Nuchinunde recipe at home today. 


½ cup chana dal 

½ cup arhar/toor dal 

½ cup coconut, grated 

3 tbsp coriander leaves 

2 tbsp dill leaves 

2 sprigs curry leaves 

½ tsp ginger paste 

3 green chillies, finely chopped 

½ tsp cumin seeds 

¼ tsp asafoetida 

Salt, to taste 

Water, as required 

Oil, for greasing 


1. Wash and thoroughly rinse the chana dal and arhar dal. 

2. Add plenty of water and soak the lentils for at least 3-4 hours. 

3. Drain off the water after soaking, then transfer the lentils into a grinding jar. 

4. Grind the lentils into a coarse paste without adding any excess water. 

5. Transfer the coarse paste into a large bowl. 

6. Add the ginger paste, green chillies, cumin, asafoetida and salt. 

7. Mix well and add the grated coconut, dill leaves, coriander leaves and curry leaves. 

8. Mix again to combine well. 

9. Grease your hand with some oil, then take a scoop of the lentils mix.  

10. Roll it around in your hands to form a cylindrical shape. 

11. Prepare all the lentil cylinders in this way. 

12. Meanwhile, heat water in a steamer. 

13. Place the lentil cylinders in a greased steaming plate and place it in the steamer. 

14. Steam the lentil cylinders for 15 minutes or until completely cooked. 

15. Remove from the steamer and let them cool down. 

16. Serve the Nuchinunde with still warm with ghee, podi and chutney.