February 15, 2011

Nuchina Unde / Steamed Savoury Dal Cake

Non-oily and high protein snacks are few and far between in South Indian Cuisine, with bajjis, bondas (fried fritters of veggies in flour covering) taking centre stage for many years. Now, with the fad of health foods, soya and Omega 3 enveloping our universe, homemakers have to re-jig their recipes and come out with flavourful, appealing, steamed snacks to appease the afternoon / evening snacktime.
Although one must admit dhoklas, khandvis and the like have been part of Gujarati cuisine and are now appearing in menus across India thanks to cross cultural alliances and job-hopping households, Samosas, Kachoris and the like have been more popular even in the Southern states. I fondly remember how the famous Samosa  of Vijaya Bakery in Bangalore’s Jayanagar 4th block shopping complex was my favourite companion on my numerous trips there, and the potato-dill filling was out of this world !

Back to today’s snack: Steamed Dal Cake or Nuchinunde ! This is a savoury  & very easy to make, and requires just under 1 tbsp of oil, or no oil at all if you so please. The only preparation required is soaking the dals 2 hours prior to making this snack. Although the original Nuchinunde is rounded, this one looks like more dhokla, and is cut into squares for ease of eating and serving.

Preparation Time: 2 hours (soaking time); Cooking time : 10 minutes; Serves : 3
·         Toor Dal – 1 cup
·         Channa Dal – ½ cup
·         Moong dal – ¼ cup
·         Raw rice  - 2 tbsp (optional)
·         Dry red chillies – 4
·         Turmeric – 1 tsp
·         Salt - to taste
For Tempering:
·         Oil – 1 tbsp
·         Mustard Seeds – ¼ tsp
·         Asafoetida  / hing – 1 tsp
For garnish:

·         Curry leaves & Coriander – chopped
·         Freshly grated coconut
1)      Mix and wash the dals twice. Soak in room temperature water for 2 hours along with red chillies (See pic A).
2)      Grind coarsely the dals with turmeric , reserving a handful of the soaked dal mixture along with the soaked water.

Pic A
3)      To this coarse paste, add salt and reserved dals. Add half of the hing and mix well. The mixture should be thicker than normal idli / dosa batter and should be easily spreadable into the mould. Do not add extra water other than the soaked water.

Pic B

4)      In a flat & greased idli mould, pour the mixture. Do not spread the mixture too thin. Pat into a fat cake in all sides. Steam for 15 minutess without weight. If you don’t have a flat Idli pan, take a deep cake pan or any such other utensil , grease and pour the batter flattening it out.
(see Pic B).    
5)      For the tempering : In a skillet, heat oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and hing. Once the mustard splutter, pour onto the cooled and cut pieces.
6)      Garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut (Pic C)
7)      Serve hot  as it is or with any ketchup / chutney of your choice
a)      In this case, 1 cup = 60 ml.
b)      If you want to increase the nutrition content of this dish, add grated cabbage / lauki (bottle gourd) / cucumber / carrots to the dal mixture .You may also add chopped onions. It’s a great lunchbox idea too.
c)       I have not used green chillies in this dish, but if you want to, substitute one or many of the red chillies with green ones.

Pic C
Update: Sending this to Veggie Platter's Toor Dal Event originally hosted by Kiran

1 comment:

  1. Lovely and healthy. Thank you for sending them over.


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