Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Nucchinunde and Majjige huLi ( steamed lentil dumplings)

Nagarapanchami is a festival dedicated to God Ananta ( the snake god). It is celebrated on the fifth day of the Shravana month people worship snakes , usually now -a- days a serpent made of silver is worshipped at home. Then, all the ladies will wait for their brothers to visit them. Once brothers are home the sisters wash their brother's back with milk..(bennu toleyuvudu) a little mud is rubbed on the wet back with the idea that the sisters pray to Nagaraja to keep their brothers cool in temper and with abundance and with peace of mind like the cold milk,and the mud from the mound asking Nagaraja to protect their brothers from all harm and providing complete protection.
After this little ritual, the sisters give brothers a gift of cash or kind, usually clothes.This is followed by a sumptuous lunch. The festive meal of this particular day does not have any fried dish. So most of the dishes are steamed...( so healthy ).

The festive spread generally has two salads (kosambari), to vegetable dry curry ( palya), a sweet dish (payasa) and many others to fill the leaf and tummy.

NUCCINUNDE /NUCCHINA UNDE : Steamed Lentil Dumplings:

my sister in law made Nucchinunde (tuvar dal steamed dumplings) which I had not had in a while. She gave me the right proportions and today I did make them successfully. Here's the recipe for you..Ingredients
1 cup of Tuvar dal/Yellow Lentils (Togri Bele)

1/2 cup of Chana dal/Bengal gram

½ cup Freshly grated coconut

two tbsp of chopped Coriander leaves (Cilantro)

4 Dry Red Chilies (or to taste)

2 green chillies

a pinch of Asafoetida (Hing/Ingu)

1/4 cup finely chopped dill leaves (optional Sabbasige soppu)

Salt to taste

Wash tuvar dal and chana dal 3 to 5 times and soak for 5 to 6 hours.Add the dry red chillies to the water and let it soak.Drain the soaked dal and grind 3/4ths of it coarsely without adding water . Grind the rest of the dal into a paste with coconut, red chillies,green chillies ( ginger can be added for a different taste). In a bowl add the paste and other ingredients . Mix well. Make egg shaped balls with your fingers and steam for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Eat them sizzling hot with ghee, coconut chutney and Majjige huli ( a delicacy with butter milk).

Majjige huLi:This is a delicacy made out of simple butter milk.Literally meaning a gravy with butter milk this is a treat with hot steamed rice and of course with Nucchinude it makes a super hit combination.Made out of almost all vegetables of the gourd family , usually cucumber, ash gourd, snake gourd,chow chow this dish is as tasty with Okra, Eggplant , peas and fresh greens.simple to make this is an excellent dish for a rainy day.

1 cup of chopped vegetables

2 cups of butter milk

2 spoons of Ghee or oil

1 spoon mustard seeds

curry leaves a sprig...

two dry red chillies
Ground paste of :

2 tbsp of fresly grated coconut,

2 tsp of soaked chanda dal or 2 tsp of Besan ( Kadle hittu)

2 green chillies

spoon cumin seeds

1/4 spoon of mustard seeds

a pinch of Asafoetida( hing)

1/4 spoon of turmeric powder (haldi)

few strands of coriander leaves

Salt to taste.


In a wide pan boil the cut vegetables with turmeric powder, salt and water till they are firm but cooked. Add the ground paste to the cooked vegetables and boil with some more minutes adding little water. Add the butter milk, mix well and let it get to one more boil.In a small pan heat oil, add mustard seeds when they splutter add curry leaves and dry red chilies..
serve with the above Nucchinunde or hot steamed rice.