Unda And Chammanthi (Steamed Rice Dumplings With Spicy Chutney)

Do you cook for yourself? Ok, that’s an open ended question. So let me clarify… most of the time when home cooks cook, they consider the preferences of the family and cook accordingly. Unless you are living by yourself.. In that case you can cook whatever you feel like ;)

Ok, there are certain things that Jose likes to eat which I don't and vice versa. We compromise at times and work around it. But if the family is bigger, from what I’ve seen, the person who compromises the most is the person who cooks! Maybe because of the time constraint and extra effort and cooking up everyone’s fav dish, home cook’s personal fav dish takes a back seat.

In my case, there are certain things which I like very much but I don't make regularly. I like all traditional Kerala Palaharams (snacks) but Jose isn't a fan of such items. Say for example Puttu, I love it where as he refuses to eat it. So I hardly make it. In my case, I feel so lazy to make it for myself, so whenever I feel like eating it, I order it from a nearby Kerala restaurant and eat to my heart’s content ;)

What’s that dish that you like to eat, but no one else in the family wants to? Is there any such dish for you?

I must say, there are some items which aren't available in restaurants. Say, something like this Unda and Chammanthi. This is not available in any restaurant and it’s one of my fav items to eat. So on those days, when I decide to cook for myself, this is one of the things that I make. It’s nothing fancy, in fact it’s just the opposite of fancy.

It’s a very basic and simple dish, but I love it (so indulge me here). Maybe it’s the classic combination of rice powder and coconut, paired with a spicy chutney. It’s a very healthy and filling dish. And for me it’s a comfort food!!

If you like simple-yet-comforting food or if you like the combination of rice powder and coconut, go for it. I do hope you’ll share my love for this humble dish ;)

Here is the recipe…

Unda And Chammanthi
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Unda And Chammanthi (Steamed Rice Dumplings With Spicey Chutney)

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Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 1 -2
Author: Maria Jose Martin


  • 1/2 cup Rice Flour (I used Appam / Idiyappam Podi)
  • 1/2 cup Grated Coconut (packed)
  • 1 tsp Ghee (optional)
  • Salt

For Chutney

  • 3 Dry red chilli
  • 10 Small / Pearl onion (keep it whole (remove the skin))
  • 1 tsp Tamarind
  • 1-2 tsp Coconut oil
  • Salt


  • Add grated coconut, salt and ghee (if using) to the rice flour and mix with your fingers. Gradually, add 1.5 cups of boiling water to the rice flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Make a soft dough. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 10 mins.
  • Make small - medium lime size balls from the dough. Arrange the dumplings on a greased plate.
  • Steam the dumplings (I used an Idli cooker) for 8-10 mins on medium - high flame. Switch off the gas and keep it closed for 2-3 mins.
  • Open the lid and serve the dumplings with spicy chutney.
  • To make chutney:
  • Dry roast the whole small onion till oil starts releasing and brown specks apperas on it. Add dry red chilli and roast for 2 mins.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, crush together roasted small onion, dry red chilli, tamarind and salt till everything comes together. Add coconut oil and mix well.


I got 10 medium size dumplings from the above qty. Instead of making chutney, you can also have it with Idli podi.
If you prefer a sweet side, you can have it with your fav jam or honey.
Tried this recipe? Let others know by...mentioning @mariasmenu or tagging #mariasmenu


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