Confirmedly Authentic: Nucchinunde

It is amazing how certain foods are so strongly tied to memories; memories that are decades old, braced to childhood, to growing up, to the warmth and comfort of relishing mom’s cooked food and sometimes, also to sorely missing all of those! You get the picture.  This, Nucchinunde (nucch-in-unde), to me falls in that memory-stirring category of foods.

When the queen of blogosphere, dear Asha of Foodies Hope announced RCI for this month as Karnataka, ideas were flying in my head, one dish at a time from that category. When my Mother-In-Law made these heavenly delicious dumplings over the weekend, I really didn’t have to think beyond. This is the kind of food that you are not likely to find at restaurants. Some of these genera of dishes are even lost from one generation to the other. Here is my lowly attempt to get you the true taste of Kannada homes!

Nucchinunde is best enjoyed drizzled with ghee and dipped in “majjige-huli” aka “mor kozhambu”. You could eat these by themselves or as a side dish with a typical South Indian meal. Me? I eat them for breakfast! J

And I hope you enjoy the little Kannada tutorial along with these, authentic bonne bouche from Karnataka!

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups Tuvar dal/Yellow Lentils (Thogari Bele)
  • ½ cup Fresh/frozen coconut (Thengina Turi)
  • ¼ cup chopped Cilantro (Kothamri Soppu)
  • 6 -8 Dry Red Chilies (or to taste) (Vana Menasinakai)
  • ¼ tsp Asafetida (Hingu)
  • 1 inch piece of fresh Ginger (Shunti)
  • 1 cup finely chopped Onion (optional) (Eerulli)
  • ½ cup fresh/frozen Green Peas (optional) (Hasi Batani)
  • Salt to taste (Uppu)
  • Steamer (Idly mold + pressure cooker preferable) 


  • Wash tuvar dal in 2 or 3 changes of water and soak for about 4 hours
  • Drain the soaked dal and grind about 75% of it to a coarse consistency, without adding water (or use as minimal as possible)
  • Grind the remaining 25% dal with coconut, ginger and red chilies
  • Transfer to a working bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix well to combine
  • Make dumplings of this batter by moulding the batter in your fist to shape – as in the picture
  • Place the dumplings in the idly mold if using (2 dumplings per slot). If using steamer, place the dumplings in the vessel in a single row
  • Steam cook for about 20 minutes until done
  • Eat them hot, drizzled with ghee


Update: My MIL read the post and had a few updates to the recipe. She suggests using a couple of green chilies along with dry red clilies. Secondly, you could use about 1/4 cup of chana dal (split chickpeas) along with tuvar dal. Lastly, she indicated that ginger is opional, so leave it if out if you so wish. For a completely different flavor, you could use fresh fenugreek leaves sautéed in some oil until it is wilted, in place of onions and green peas.




20 thoughts on “Confirmedly Authentic: Nucchinunde

  1. no fermenting? are you serious? ding ding ding idlis are out. nucchinunde are in.

    b, yup, no fermenting! And IMO, these taste far better than idlis 😉

  2. Awesome Roopa!! Perfect entry for RCI KA. This is one of my most favorite dishes. And agree, for a breakfast protein boost this is the best. Esp, with ash gourd/pumpkin majjige huli. In some homes it is dipped in coconut chutney too. Ffor a variation, you could replace cilantro with dill leaves. These ‘undes’ aka balls steamed in banana leaves are even more heavenly. On the day of NagPanchami festival, in some homes, its traditional to place the same batter in rice flour wrappers (like the wrappers used for steamed modak, but shaped oblong) and steam cook. This is called ‘kara kadubu’ or savory kadubu. Thanks for this Roopa.

    M, thanks for reminding me of khara kadubu! I have to make those sometime

  3. A good recipe, Roopa. We actuall make this in tambram cuisine too, call it ‘paruppu kozhukattai’. my amma makes it for vijayaka chathurthi. your MIL is right… green chillies give a great taste to them:)

  4. Hi Roopa… a tasty post:) We make this too in tambram cooking and call it ‘paruppu kozhukattai’. It’s a regular feature on vinayaka chathurthi and mom adds the grated coconut to the ground dal mixture. But veges are an interesting addition in your recipe. Also thanks for the tip to use some of the lentils to grind the chillies… else the whole portion gets ground too much in an attempt to get the chillies done:)

  5. Hi Roopa.. me again! sorry for the double comment… wordpress deleted my first comment i thought it will not appear and i had to type again. but voila both are there…

  6. Excellent Roopa! we make something like this called Kadubu too.Your’s sounds and looks wonderful. I will try it with Majjige huli. Thank you so much,I will be proud include this yummy!:))

  7. Wow, Roopa I have to make this, so new and so refreshing to me and everything is so handy, there is not need for a trip to the groceries..

    thanks for such great recipe

  8. Nice post roopa! I have heard people talk of nuchinunde and thought it must be some sweet dish! As latha says we make this as paruppu kozhukatai or use as dumplings in both more kuzhambu and puli kuzhambu! The dumplings are crumbled and used in paruppu usali too!
    Loved all the kannada names! Though I hear them every day loved reading in the blogs!

  9. I thought I was the only one to come up with Nuchchina Unde 🙂 Yours look really yum, Roopa! Nice picture too. I need to take some classes on photography coz I’m really bad at it 🙂

  10. hey girlie..what can I say about your blog..its amazing! Nuchchina Unde is a great pick…another recipe for me to try though I wish we lived closer so that I could just drop by and hog to my hearts content 🙂 Keep more of these amazing recipes coming..remember I am still waiting for that bisbelebath recipe of yours!!!

  11. if you add half a tsp of jeera and one tsp of coarsely ground black pepper corns to the mixture it enhances the taste. avoid eerulli and peas. That is how I make. Try it. 🙂

  12. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Nowadays bloggers publish just about gossips and net and this is really irritating. A good site with interesting content, this is what I need. Thank you for keeping this website, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

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