These delicious dumplings from Karnataka can be paired with spiced yoghurt dip
Our fast-paced lives do not allow us to take care of ourselves and have driven us to be more conscious about healthy eating than ever. And what better way to start one than looking for options within our cultural treasure? Karnataka, for instance, is replete with steam-cooked healthy and savoury dishes like Nuchinunde, a dumpling made of toor and chana dal. The humble-looking snack is a storehouse of all the desired flavours, especially aromatic and pungent herbs like coriander, dill and curry leaves. Nuchinunde tastes unforgettably delightful when paired with yoghurt dip whipped up with roasted and powdered spices, coconut and coriander leaves.
Before knowing anything else, understanding the word Nuchinunde is important. The Kannada word is composed of Nuchi meaning broken bits and Unde meaning small balls, referring to small balls of broken lentil pieces. Although steam-cooked food is an indispensable part of Kannada food tradition, Nuchinunde is different from its counterparts as it's packed in proteins and is an extremely healthy meal. It's a popular breakfast meal which is eaten with coconut chutney or Majjige Huli. Traditionally made with soaked and ground lentils, toor dal and chana dal and dill leaves and spices.
Steam cooking is not just extremely healthy but also by far the most convenient method of cooking. Coming back to the health benefits, steam cooking helps in keeping the nutrients like some of the vitamins and minerals intact, that are lost in traditional cooking. These minerals include phosphorus, calcium and zinc and vitamins comprise vitamin B, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C. Since this cooking method skips oil or uses negligible oil, it prevents us from consuming added fats or saturated fats that are responsible for high cholesterol and blood pressure.
Include Nuchinunde in your list of steam-cooked food. With a great savoury and spicy blend of taste, and health benefits, they have the potential to replace regular deep-fried snacks. Yoghurt dip greatly adds to the overall experience of the snack.
Here’s the recipe for Nuchinunde.
Preparation time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5-6 dumplings
For the dip: