Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Jihva for Coconut : Undi


This is one more dish that required some getting used to from me. First of all, I had never eaten anything like this before. Secondly, it is eaten with jaggery syrup and fresh butter. "Sorry, with what???", was my first reaction when I saw that combination. The last but not the least, considering that it's an everyday breakfast dish and not a festive sweet, the amount of coconut that goes into it is shocking.

In the beginning of my marriage, I generally used to find the amount of coconut being used in Konkani kitchens really objectionable. I mean, how can you treat coconut(!) just like any other ingredient? How can you finish one entire coconut in a day's cooking????? I must say that it does not disturb me any longer. One reason is habit. Another one is that the consumption of coconut around me has also gone down in the last few years. Because the doctors are shouting 'Cholesterol' clear and loud. :)

Also, I have learnt to respect other cuisines much more. All said and done, some of the dishes in the Konkani cuisine are just unique. For example, Undi. You don't come across dishes like this every day. Neither the combination of accompaniments. Earlier, it was a strict no-no in my kitchen. However, nowadays, I make it once in a while. So that I continue the tradition. So that my daughter gets to know her father's cuisine as well as her mother's. So that me carrying the surname 'Kamath' has more meaning to it.

And cholesterol can wait. I am not going to the gym for nothing, am I? :)


Left to right: Grated fresh coconut and raw rice

Recipe for Undi (pronounced Oun-deeh)

Makes 20 pingpong-sized balls (Serves 2-3)


2 cups raw rice (not parboiled)
1 cup grated fresh coconut
1 tsp salt (or to taste)

2 tbsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp Urad dal (You could use a sprig of curry leaves instead.)

For the jaggery syrup (Ravo in Konkani):
1 cup jaggery
approx. ½ cup water (Sorry, I do not have exact quantity of water for this one. I will update the post when I make it next time.)
Powder from 4-5 cardamom seeds


1. Soak rice in water for two hours. You could soak it for longer, although it's not really necessary. Actually, in case you are in a hurry, and own a good heavy-duty grinder, then soaking the rice only for 30 minutes suffices too.
2. Grind the soaked rice with grated coconut to a coarse batter. The ground granules of rice should be the size of Idli Rawa or coarse semolina granules.
3. Transfer this batter to another vessel. Add one of water to the grinder, shake, and add this water to the batter. (How much more economical can you get? :) Add salt, and give the mixture a thorough stir.
4. In a thick-bottomed pan or a non-stick Kadhai (I used the latter.), heat the oil. Add mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the fenugreek seeds and Urad dal/curry leaves.
5. Once all mustard seeds have popped, and the fenugreek seeds are a shade of golden brown, add the prepared batter. Cook it uncovered on medium-high heat until much water evaporates and the mixture turns into a thick mass, that is too difficult to be stirred with a spatula.


6. Take the pan off heat and let the mixture in it cool.
7. Divide the cooled mixture into 20 portions and shape these into flattish balls. Press one of the flat sides with a finger to make a depression, so that the centre too cooks well.


Undi ready to be steamed in a pressure-cooker

8. Arrange all these balls in a vessel that fits into your pressure cooker. Alternatively, you could arrange the balls on your Idli stand or on the perforated sheet that comes with your Idli steamer (Pedavan in Konkani).
9. Fill your pressure cooker / Idli steamer with enough water and heat it. Once the water starts boiling, place the vessel / stand with Undi in it. Cover and steam the Undi for good 20 minutes. No shortcuts here. Or else, the Undi will stay unpleasantly uncooked.
10. While the Undi are steaming, you could prepare the jaggery syrup by combining the jaggery and water, and cooking on medium heat until the mixture reaches the consistency of honey. Take the syrup off heat and add powdered cardamom seeds to it.

Serve warm Undi with the jaggery syrup and fresh home-made butter (at room temperature) . The way to eat it is by dipping Undi in the butter first and then into the Ravo/jaggery syrup. The morsel that lands into your mouth is sure to make you look forward to the rest of the day. No, really, I have experienced it. :)


Undi served with jaggery syrup. A simple yet exquisite breakfast.


Since this breakfast dish requires a lot of preparation, it is advisable to do most of it the previous evening. Usually, I finish the preparation until Step 7 the previous night and store the unsteamed Undi in the refrigerator in a container with a tight lid. I prepare the jaggery syrup too (Step 10) the earlier night; it stays fresh outside the fridge for several days. The following morning, I just steam the Undi and voila...breakfast is ready.

Hope you Guys try out this dish and like it. Hope Ashwini likes it too. As my entry, although late, to Jihva for Coconut. :)
And before I leave, let me wish All of You a very Happy New Year!

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Asha said...

Happy New Year Vaishali!

I am back from my vacation and ready to roll 2007!:))

Undis looks great,waiting for the recipe.

swapna said...

hai vaishali
happy new year,..
undi is looking for me..waiting for the recipe..

Ashwini said...

waiiiting, waiiiting...
First you are late and second you are teasing us by not posting a recipe :-D
Happy new year dearie!

Manjula said...

wow. great the colors there

Seema said...

Loved your presentation. Good entry for Jihvafor coconut. Happy New Year.

shilpa said...

Ohh now I got an idea how they should look like(especially according to South Kanara people). At many places in North Kanara, we make them perfect rounds like laddoos. So when I posted the same, many of my readers said they should not be round. Though I knew they have some different shape, I din't know how exactly they look like. Now I am happy to see the picture here :D.

Bhargavi said...

Have A Blessed New Year to u n ur family.
Good daY!

Vcuisine said...

Dear Vaishali, Wishing you a very happy new year. Nice blog. Interesting recipes. Will keep visiting.

Vini K said...

Hi Vaishali,

Wish you and your family a very happy and prosperous new year!Never heard of this dish before.but sounds absolutely yummy!will try this one!

Shantanu Ghosh said...

Very interesting dish! Have to try this one out. Have never come across this before. Having moved into Pune seven years ago, I thought I had sampled some of the delicacies in this region! India is one never-ending treasure for food-lovers :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Vaishali,

yummy.. I'm totally impressed that you make all these konkani dishes. I'm a konkani myself and have never made it.. I wait for the annual trip to my parents' place to enjoy these delicacies. I will certainly try it out soon. Happy New Year to you!


Anonymous said...

I forgot to mention that in my parents place, this is eaten both with jaggery syrup and also potato humman.. which is another konkani dish. I like to mix the two and eat it with undi..


swapna said...

hai viashali
thanks for the recipe..

Menu Today said...

Hi Vaishali,
Happy new year. Nice breakfast dish. Thanks for sharing.

Vaishali said...

Hope you had a great vacation, Asha. Am coming by to your blog now. :)

Happy New Year to you too, Swapna.

Sorry, Ashwini, I know I am late. :( Was busy vacationing with my in-laws. Happy New Year to you too! :)

Since Undi are just plain white, I thought I might add some colour through the setting, Manjula. I am happy that you like it. :)

Thanks, Seema. Wish you too a Great New Year.

Oh, so you have blogged about these, Shilpa? I must go check out your post now. And yes, they are prepared this way at my in-laws' place. Will try making them like laddoos some day. :)

Hey, thanks, Bhargavi. Wish you the same. :)

Hi, Viji, thanks for dropping by. I just returned from your blog; never saw it before. :( You are doing a great job there. Love your 'patriotic' sandwiches. :)

Hi, Shantanu, great to see another blogger from Pune. What you say about the 'never-ending treasure' is so true. Btw, this dish is from Mangalore, where my husband's family comes from.

Archana, Undi with Potato Humman? I need to try this one out. Btw, maybe I am more interested in making these dishes because they are 'new' to me, so to say? Maybe...

You are welcome, Swapna. Thanks for dropping by again to check it out.

A very Happy New Year to you too, MT. :)


This is to remind you about your promise that

Basically, I will blog about vegetables and preparations that are typical to winter here. How the series develops in the course of time will have to be seen

Ashwini said...

Vaish honey you have to "MAIL" the entry to me. Do it now, go on...I am waiting ;-)

Maheswari said...

Nice entry for jihva...Nice breakfast item.I like idea of preparing it the previous night, makes busy morning lot easier.

Baab's Page said...

Hi there...This was and still is one of my favorites...but instead of saying Jaggery shaould say 'Godda Ravo' or 'Godda Paank' :)

I am delighted to visit your site Vaishali!


P.S: Next time I will tell you why I am called Baab...

Coffee said...

That looks fab!!!!! and so does the green plate !!!!! :)

I am gonne try this soon!!!!!! But the jaggery sypur sounds a bit ahem ahem!!!!!! But I will still try it !!!!!


Do you cook Ghadabhaji during winter ?

Anjali said...

Unique one Vaishali.

Nandita said...

ALmost like our good ol' Upma Kozhakattai - except that we serve it with a nutty spicy coconut chutney (more coconut)! And I make it with idli-rava.

Krithika said...

Happy new year Vaishali. Lovely entry. I am really amazed to see how cuisines are so similar. We too make this and call it "uppu adai". Instead of raw rice we use rice flour.

asha kamath said...

hi vaishali,

have been following yr blog and have read all yr posts. love yr passion for cooking and posting and that too regularly.

undi is one of my fav dishes. and we also have it with coconut oil and pickle (noncha kholu) - the konkani variety with tender mangoes or vegetables. butter and godda paanku are regular accompaniments to undi at my place too.

i follow an easier method of making undi. undi is usually made for sunday morn breakfasts. so it is partially processed the previous night.

2 cups (roughly 500 gm) idli rawa (ready made)
1/2 a coconut - grated. (the proportion i follow is - one coconut for a kg of rice/idli rawa.
1 tsp mustard seeds
1tsp udad dal
1/4 tsp methi seeds
salt to taste

procedure :

i wash the idli rawa and keep aside. then grind the coconut into a fine paste.

after this is done, in a kadhai add a tbsp of coconut oil (any vegetable oil will do). add the mustard, as it splutters add the udad dal too. the gas remains on sim mode. as the udad dal turns pinkish i add the methi seeds. the kitchen is fragant with the cocnut oil, udad dal and methi seeds declaring their presence. at this point i add the washed idli rawa and stir the mix once. the coconut paste follows. one can be liberal with the quantity of water being used to grind the coconut. add the salt as per taste and some more water till the mix acquires the consistency of an indili batter. keep stirring and soon the idli rawa is cooked and moves in the kadhai as a soft mass and is heavy on the hands as you stir it around switch off the gas.

in a idli steamer (pedavan) , pour the requisite amt of water. wet a thin white muslin cloth or a thin cotton (white) towel and squeeze well. spread over the perforated dish in teh idli cooker. shape the undis with a depression and arrange in layers separated by the muslin. cover the cooker. have a good nights sleep. in the morning, steam the undis for a good 15to 20 minutes. prepare the godda paanku, ready the dollops of butter - Loni- . or the pickle and coconut oil. or even honey. AND GORGE. yummmmmmmmmm

Anonymous said...

Hi Vaishali,

I was speaking to my mom, and she said to make undi softer you can add some poha soaked in water when you grind the ingredients. I tried it that way and it was so soft.. and yummy. I am lazy to make the "goda pank" so I used honey instead :)..


Venkluris of said...

Hi Vaishali,
FYI, Undi is a dish similar to a type of Kozhakattai (tamil word) my mother makes with Par boiled rice and coconut. We like to eat it with Molagai podi. My mother steams thems in an idli stand sometimes. Sometimes she boils them in water (like dumplings). After cooking all the Kozhahattai, she puts jaggery into the water used for cooking it so it becomes a payasam. Very very yummy.


Sophie said...

We would like to feature this recipe on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)

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