Nuchinunde | Steamed Lentil Dumpling from Karnataka


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Nuchinunde is steamed lentil dumplings made in Karnataka for breakfast. These are easy to make and protein packed. You can make these for evening snacks as well.

These nucchina unde are easy to make if you remember to soak the dals for at least 3 hours. It only takes about 15 mins for the balls to be steamed. You can serve these with any spicy side dish.

I was so happy when I came across these balls and further read about it in many other sites. Looks like Kannadigas have a huge list of different dishes starting with all the tough alphabets. All for our own AtoZ lists.

One of the main ingredients that give these balls a distinct taste seems to be the dill leaves. I have seen the dills in supermarkets and never in regular vegetable shops. I had to skip in the current situation and would surely try these when I lay my hands on it.

We are on yet another complete lockdown 5.0 as they name it. The shops are open until 2 pm. However, we are avoiding to make frequent visits. I made these for breakfast and the batter was enough to make about 12. I steamed 8 numbers and kept the remaining batter for making vadas. This batter is exactly our masala vada batter.

In fact, after enjoying a few balls as such, I fried the balls sliced into small pieces. Well, there are not many takers for steamed food at home and I can hardly eat eight myself.


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How to make Nuchinunde


Karnataka Style Dal Steamed Pakora

Step By Step Pictures for making Dal Dumplings

How to make Nuchinunde 1 How to make Nuchinunde 2

Nucchina Unde

Ingredients Used to make these Nucchina Unde

Toor Dal and Chana Dal are the main ingredients used in making these steamed dumplings. I have read recipes that use equal quantity, some use more of toor dal than chana dal.
I have used an equal amount of dals and made the balls.
Another herb used along with coriander leaves and curry leaves is the dill leaves. I had to skip those leaves.

Serving Suggestions

These steamed balls are served with ghee, spicy chutney. You can serve with sambar as well.


If you are bored of eating the steamed versions, you can slice it into smaller pieces and fry them either as deep fry or shallow fry.
Basically, this batter is the regular masala vada batter, so even vadas taste great.

Steamed Toor Dal Dumplings

Nuchinunde | Steamed Lentil Dumpling

Nuchinunde is steamed lentil dumplings made in Karnataka for breakfast. These are easy to make and protein packed. You can make these for evening snacks as well.
Course Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine Karnataka
Keyword Easy Breakfast Dishes, Savory Lentil Cake
By Cook Method Steamed
Occasion Meals for Two
By Diet Gluten Free, Protein Rich, Vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 balls
Author Srivalli


  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • 1/2 cup Chana Dal
  • Water for Soaking
  • 1/2 cup Coconut grated
  • 2 tbsp Coriander finely chopped
  • Few Curry Leaves Chopped
  • 1 inch Ginger finely chopped
  • 2 no Green Chilli finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds / Jeera
  • A Pinch Asafoetida / Hing
  • Salt to taste


  • Wash and soak the dals with enough water for at least 3 hours.
  • Drain the water and take it along with chopped green chilies, ginger and grind to a coarse paste without adding water.
  • If required just sprinkle few drops of water.
  • Once the paste is ground, transfer to a bowl and add the chopped coriander leaves, curry leaves and grated coconut, salt, and hing.
  • Mix everything well and make a ball, rolling in your palm, making a slightly oblong balls.
  • Grease the idli plates with little oil, place the balls and steam the balls for 15 mins.
  • Make sure if the idli pan with just enough water.
  • Once done, allow the balls to cool down for 5 mins.
  • Serve hot with Chutney
  • I made Sambar and Coconut Chutney


Traditionally finely chopped Dill Leaves are added. Since we don't get dill leaves in our area, I had to skip it.
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  1. Same pinch. I too made nuchinunde for my ‘N’ dish. 🙂 I always assumed dill is available through out India and I had to skip it too because of short and quick shopping. Though nuchinunde are not traditionally fried like muthia, the frying concept at least helps the steamed version haters to try some. 🙂

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