Seasoned, Steamed Rice Dumplings (Undi/Oondi)

Seasoned, Steamed Rice Dumplings (Undi/Oondi)

Seasoned, steamed rice dumplings are called undi/oondi in Konkani. They are a popular Mangalore - Udupi breakfast. They are also called pundi gatti in Tulu. 

Undis show up atleast once a fortnight in most Konkani homes. Steamed rice balls with a flavourful seasoning are yum in itself. They taste great when hot undis are served with lots of oil on top and with a spicy coconut chutney or pickle

The only way to experience the bliss of a breakfast is to make it yourself. And the good news is that it is really easy to make these undis for breakfast! Here are some more tips and tricks to make undis easily at home.

Undis are made in so many different ways, I have seen many versions myself. My mom uses boiled rice along with white rice grains to make undi, people grind the rice well into a paste and make undi, others use coconut milk to cook the rice grains, a lot of them also use store bought idli rava/rice rava to make undi and so on.. Share with me the variations, the different ways in which you make undi.

Here’s goes the recipe, how I make undi’s at home to get them the way we like it:


  • 1/2 cup dosa rice (any medium grained rice will do)
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin seeds (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of urad dal/split black lentils
  • 1 dried red chilli 
  • 1 leaflet of curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of grated coconut
  • Salt to taste

Serves: 2

Prep time: 5-10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Steaming time: 15 minutes

Total time needed: 45 minutes

P.S: Working woman? Thinking you do not have time to make this dish in the morning? You can do most of the work the previous night. Make the rice balls, store the unsteamed balls in the steamer at night and steam the undis the next morning. That way all you need to do the next morning is light up your stove and steam it for 15 minutes while you get ready. :)

Preparation Method:

1. Wash rice grains well and drain all the water completely.

2. Powder them for just a pulse in a mixer. We just want the whole rice grains to breakdown into 4 pieces. Do not make a fine powder.

3. Heat up a wok/non stick pan, add in oil, mustard seeds. 

4. Once the mustard seeds start popping add in cumin seeds. Once they both stop spluttering add in urad dal. 

5. Then add dried red chilli broken into tiny pieces, curry leaves and let them sizzle for few seconds.

6. Then add in water, salt and let the salt dissolve in the water. 

7. Check and adjust salt. The water should be a little on the salty side as the rice grains will take up the excess salt. Let the water come to a boil.

8. Then add in grated coconut, powdered rice grains and mix well. 

9. Set the flame to medium and let the rice grains cook in the water.

10. Stir once in a while to mix the ingredients and to prevent the rice grains from sticking to the bottom of the wok.

11. Cook the rice grains until all the water evaporates and you get a dry mixture. 

When you touch the mixture with your fingers, it shouldn't stick. If it does, cook for another few minutes till all the water is used up by the rice grains.

Make sure the rice grains cook alteast half way through. If you let them cook on a high flame all the water will evaporate fast and the rice grains may not cook through. So, cook them on a small to medium flame. This process is called aloche in Konkani.

12. Make sure the rice mixture isn’t runny, at the same time make sure it’s not too dry. We need a dry mixture but with a little moisture in it so that the rice grains cook through during the next step - steaming.

13. Remove it from heat and keep it closed for 10 minutes. During this time rice grains continue to cook in the residual heat.

Do not let the mixture cool down, that’ll harden the rice mixture. The rice balls that you then make out of them aren’t a pleasure to eat unless you make them into a nice mixture sprinkling some water little by little to smoothen out the clumps formed on cooling.

14. After 10 minutes, make tiny tennis sized balls of the rice mixture and steam them for 15 minutes on medium heat.

In the centre of the rice dumpling, a small depression is usually made using your finger tip. It's a traditional belief to not make them totally round. It's believed perfectly round dumplings are served only to the dead. 

15. Serve steamed rice dumplings/undis steaming hot and enjoy.

Undis are best had while they are hot. Keep the remaining ones closed in an air tight container or they harden and get dry with time.

Serving suggestions:

1. Serve hot undis with lots of coconut oil on top and with a spicy coconut chutney. Coconut, asafoetida chutney tastes best with undis.

2. Undis taste great with a spicy pickle too. 

3. Undis go well with any kurma. Serve them hot with a vegetable korma.

4. I eat hot undis with just lots of coconut oil on top. Yummm!

5. Undis are served with ravo or godda paank - a syrup make out of jaggery (recipe below).

Side Note: 

1. You can also use store bought rice rava or idli rava to make these undis. Fastens the process of making undi, however the taste varies. Follow the same method as above. The only difference is you can wash and add the store bought rava directly to the seasoning + boiling water in step 9. Do not confuse rice rava with sooji/semolina. The rice rava/idli rava is made of rice and not wheat.

2. The amount of water you add to cook the rice grains is crucial. It should be three times the rice grain quantity or else the rice grains may not cook through & the texture you get of undi may not be right.

4. You can make undis with sona masuri, dosa rice or any other medium grained rice. But they turn out best with dosa rice.

5. To fasten the cooking of rice grains and to get well cooked undi you can also follow this step. After step 1, keep the washed rice grains closed with a lid on, so that it takes up all the left over moisture content and puffs up. Once the rice grains have taken up all the moisture content and puffed up, the container will be dry. Then powder the rice grains. 

6. For making the ravo or godda paank just boil a huge piece of jaggery with 1/2 cup of water. Boil and simmer for about 10 minutes (stir in between) till the water reduces and the solution becomes thick and syrupy.

7. Traditionally my mom used to wash rice grains, air dry them on a paper cloth & then grind them using a traditional stone grinder.

Find more Konkani cuisine breakfast recipes here.

Tags: Undi, oondi, pundi gatti, Udupi cuisine, Mangalore food, rice dumplings, healthy breakfast, Konkani food, Konkani recipe, Konkani cuisine.