Pundi Gasi: Steamed Rice Dumplings Dunked In Spicy Coconut Gravy
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Pundi Gasi means rice balls dipped in coconut gravy. Absolutely delicious and satiating breakfast. This must-try recipe traces its roots to coastal Karnataka and is a popular breakfast in Mangalore, Udupi and the Malnad region. In Mangalore, it is called marvai pundi gasi which it is known as undi gashi in the Konkan region. It is known by yet another name of Pundi gatti. 

Here it has been made with red rice, you can make it with rava or even idly rice but then your rice dumplings will have a different texture. Grated coconut renders more flavours and softness to the rice balls but you can skip it if you will. 

It can be served with chutney and onion coconut curry can be replaced by sambar. In another version, the rice balls are made sweet by adding jaggery and eaten with ghee. 

Ingredients for rice balls 

  • Matta rice (red rice) - 1 cup
  • Raw rice - 1 cup
  • Coconut - 1 cup
  • Salt - 1.5 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • White lentils - 1/2 tsp
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Ingredients for Gasi/Onion curry
  • Onion sliced - 2 cups
  • Tamarind - small lemon sized
  • Jaggery - 1 tbsp
  • Salt-  1 tbsp
  • Cooked lentils (toor dal) - 1/2 cup
  • To grind
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • White lentils (urad dal) - 2 tsp
  • Chickpea lentils - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 3 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Red chillies - 3 nos.
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Coconut - 1/2 cup

Method for rice balls (makes 20 rice balls) 

  • Take 1 cup matta rice and 1 cup white rice. Mix them and wash. Rinse well. 
  • Add 3 cups of water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Transfer the soaked rice to a mixer. Add 1 cup of water and grind to a thick paste. The batter should be slightly coarse. 
  • In a Kadai, add 1 tsp oil, ½ tsp mustard seeds and white lentils. Saute till it starts to crackle.
  • Add 2 cups of water and ½ tsp salt. 
  • Bring it to a boil and add the batter. Keep the flame low.
  • Keep stirring and let it thicken. Batter will soon turn into a dough. 
  • It should be thick enough to be shaped into balls. 
  • Switch off the flame. Scoop some dough and shape it into small balls. 
  • Place all the balls in a steamer and steam cook for 10 minutes. 
  • Ensure that the balls are not sticky. 
  • Pundi is ready

Method for gasi/onion curry

  • Take 2 cups of sliced onions and add one cup of water to it. 
  • Take small-sized tamarind. Squeeze and add tamarind juice. 
  • Add 1 tbsp jaggery. Let it cook for one minute on medium flame. 
  • In a pan, add tsp oil. Add two tsp white lentils, 1 tsp chickpea lentils, 3 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/4th tsp fenugreek seeds, few curry leaves and 3 red chillies. 
  • Roast them on medium flame.
  • Let lentils turn brown. Transfer to mixer. 
  • Add 1/2 cup grated coconut and 1/2 cup water and grind finely. 
  • Now add this masala to the onions which are being cooked on a medium flame. Mix well.
  • Add tbsp salt and ½ cup of cooked toor dal. Pour ½ cup of water. Mix well. 
  • Bring it to a boil and follow it with tempering. 
  • Put rice balls into the onion gravy and your Pundi Gasi is ready.

This dish is a little time-consuming, but once you eat it you won’t regret your effort.