Undrallu Recipe: Traditional South Indian Rice Balls

Undrallu Recipe: Traditional South Indian Rice Balls

Undrallu Recipe Traditional South Indian Rice Balls

Undrallu, also known as kudumulu, is a traditional South Indian delicacy made from rice flour. These delightful rice balls are commonly prepared during festivals and special occasions, particularly in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Undrallu are steam-cooked and have a unique texture and taste that make them a favorite among locals as well as visitors to the region.

To prepare Undrallu, rice flour is mixed with water to form a soft dough. Small balls are then shaped from the dough and steamed until they become soft and cooked. The simplicity of the ingredients and the cooking process allows the flavors of the rice to shine through, making Undrallu a delicious and comforting dish. These rice balls are typically served with a variety of chutneys or with sambar, a lentil-based vegetable stew, and are enjoyed as a snack, breakfast item, or even as a main course.

Undrallu holds a special place in South Indian cuisine and is prepared during festivals like Vinayaka Chaturthi, where it is offered as a prasadam (an offering to the deity). The preparation of Undrallu often brings families together as they engage in the joyous task of shaping the rice balls and sharing anecdotes and stories. The unmistakable aroma of steaming Undrallu fills the air during these festive occasions, creating an atmosphere of celebration and togetherness.

Introduction to Undrallu Recipe

Undrallu is a beloved traditional South Indian dish that holds a special place in festivals, especially during Ganesh Chaturthi. This savory delicacy is savored by people of all ages, making it an integral part of this auspicious occasion.

Traditional South Indian Delicacy

Undrallu, also known as Kudumulu, is a quintessential South Indian treat that has been passed down through generations. It is a delightful combination of flavors and textures that makes it a favorite among food enthusiasts.

Ingredients Required

Prepare yourself to embark on a culinary adventure by gathering the essential ingredients for undrallu. Your pantry or local grocery store will have everything you need, such as:

  • Rice flour: The base of this recipe, rice flour gives undrallu its soft and delicate texture.
  • Chana dal: These split chickpeas lend a nutty flavor and add a protein-packed punch to the dish.
  • Grated coconut: A tropical ingredient that adds a touch of natural sweetness and enhances the taste of undrallu.
  • Ginger: Bursting with aromatic flavors, ginger brings a spicy kick to this traditional dish.
  • Green chilies: Adding a hint of heat, green chilies balance the overall taste and bring a zesty flavor to undrallu.
  • Curry leaves: Fragrant and vibrant, curry leaves infuse the dish with their distinct South Indian essence.
  • Mustard seeds: These tiny seeds pop and crackle when heated, releasing their unique flavor and fragrance.
  • Cumin seeds: Also known as jeera, cumin seeds add a warm and earthy taste to undrallu.
  • Oil: Used for tempering and greasing, a neutral oil such as vegetable or canola oil is ideal.
  • Salt: The essential ingredient that brings all the flavors together harmoniously.

Step-by-Step Cooking Process

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to dive into the step-by-step cooking process of making scrumptious undrallu:

Step 1: Soak the Chana Dal

Begin by soaking the chana dal in water for about 3-4 hours. This will soften the dals and make grinding easier later on.

Step 2: Grinding the Coarse Paste

Drain the soaked chana dal and transfer it to a blender. Add grated coconut, ginger, green chilies, curry leaves, and a pinch of salt. Grind these ingredients together until you achieve a coarse paste consistency.

Step 3: Mixing with Rice Flour

In a mixing bowl, combine the rice flour and the ground chana dal mixture. Add salt to taste and mix thoroughly to form a smooth dough.

Step 4: Shaping the Dough

Take small portions of the dough and roll them between your palms to form small, round balls. Ensure that the balls are compact and well-shaped.

Step 5: Steaming the Undrallu

Grease a steamer plate or idli molds with a little oil to prevent sticking. Place the shaped undrallu on the greased plate and steam them for about 10-12 minutes until they are cooked through.

Step 6: Tempering

In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Allow them to splutter and release their aroma. Pour this tempering mixture over the steamed undrallu.

Step 7: Serving and Enjoying

Your delicious undrallu is now ready to be served! It can be enjoyed as is or paired with coconut chutney, sambar, or a tangy tomato chutney. Serve them warm and relish the mouthwatering flavors.

Undrallu is a culinary delight that captures the essence of South Indian cuisine. With its blend of flavors and unique cooking process, it is sure to impress your taste buds and leave you craving for more. So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and savor the goodness of undrallu during festive occasions or anytime you desire a dose of traditional South Indian gastronomy.

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Undrallu

Soaking Chana Dal for the Right Consistency

Soaking the chana dal for the right amount of time is crucial for achieving the perfect consistency in the undrallu. To start, measure the desired quantity of chana dal and rinse it well in cold water. Then, transfer the dal to a bowl and cover it with enough water. It is recommended to soak the dal for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible. Soaking helps soften the dal, making it easier to grind into a smooth paste later on.

Once the soaking time is complete, you can test the readiness of the dal by gently pressing a soaked lentil between your thumb and index finger. The properly soaked dal will break easily, indicating that it is ready for grinding. If the dal is still hard and doesn’t break easily, continue soaking for some more time until it reaches the desired consistency.

Steam Cook to Perfection

The steaming process plays a vital role in the final texture and taste of the undrallu. To steam the undrallu, you will need a steamer or idli maker. Fill the bottom vessel with water and bring it to a boil. Meanwhile, form small lemon-sized balls from the ground chana dal mixture, gently shaping them using your hands.

Grease the steaming plates or idli molds with a little oil to prevent the undrallu from sticking. Place the shaped undrallu on the greased plates or molds, leaving some space between each one to allow for expansion during the steaming process. Once the water in the steamer is boiling, carefully place the plates or molds inside and cover with a lid.

Steam the undrallu for about 10-12 minutes on medium heat. Avoid lifting the lid frequently, as it may cause uneven cooking. After the steaming time is up, turn off the heat and allow the undrallu to rest for a couple of minutes before removing them from the steamer. This resting period helps them set and become firm.

When removing the undrallu from the steamer, use a spoon or a flat spatula to gently lift them to avoid breakage. The perfectly steamed undrallu should be moist and soft, yet hold their shape well.

Flavorful Customizations

Undrallu can be customized with various additional ingredients to enhance its taste. If you want to add some extra flavor and nutrition to your undrallu, here are some creative ideas:

  • Grated Carrots: Adding grated carrots to the basic undrallu mixture not only adds a pop of color but also imparts a subtle sweetness to the dish.
  • Chopped Spinach: Finely chop some spinach leaves and mix them into the chana dal batter. This adds a fresh, earthy taste and boosts the nutritional profile of the undrallu.
  • Grated Paneer: For a rich and creamy twist, grate some paneer and mix it into the undrallu mixture. The grated paneer melts during the steaming process, making the undrallu even more flavorful and indulgent.

Feel free to experiment with other ingredients and spices as per your preference to create personalized versions of undrallu that suit your taste buds perfectly.

Serving and Storing Undrallu

Best Accompaniments

Undrallu are best enjoyed when served hot alongside coconut chutney or sambar. These traditional South Indian condiments perfectly complement the flavors and textures of undrallu, enhancing the overall culinary experience. However, don’t limit yourself to just these accompaniments! Feel free to explore other combinations of flavors and dishes to create a unique and extraordinary dining experience.

Storage Tips

Whether you have leftovers or want to prepare undrallu in advance, it’s essential to store them properly to maintain their freshness and flavor. Here are some insightful tips:

– Allow the undrallu to cool down to room temperature before storing them.

– Place them in an airtight container to prevent moisture from seeping in, which could make them soggy.

– Refrigerate the undrallu, and they will stay fresh for up to three days.

– To reheat, steam the undrallu for a few minutes or microwave them with a damp paper towel to restore their softness and retain their taste and texture.

Variations and Fusion Ideas

Undrallu are undoubtedly delicious in their traditional form, but why not experiment with some exciting variations and fusion ideas? Here are a few suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:

– Add a twist of cheese to the undrallu batter before cooking them. The melted cheese will give them a creamy and gooey center, taking their flavor to a whole new level.

– Sprinkle some spices like cumin seeds, chili flakes, or black pepper into the undrallu batter for an extra kick of flavor.

– Instead of shaping the undrallu into their traditional round shape, try making them in different forms, such as mini pancakes or elongated shapes.

– Use the undrallu as a base for innovative appetizers or snacks. For example, top them with a mixture of finely chopped vegetables, herbs, and a tangy sauce to create delicious party bites.

These variations and fusion ideas allow you to infuse your own personality and creativity into the undrallu preparation, making them even more exciting and versatile.


A Traditional Delight

Undrallu, a traditional South Indian dish, is a delightful delicacy that has been enjoyed for generations. Its unique combination of flavors and textures has made it a favorite among both young and old. In this article, we have provided a comprehensive guide on how to make undrallu at home, along with helpful tips, tricks, and serving suggestions.

The Perfect Blend of Ingredients

The key to making delicious undrallu lies in the perfect blend of ingredients. Rice flour is the main component of this dish, giving it a soft and chewy texture. To enhance the flavor, grated coconut, roasted sesame seeds, and a pinch of salt are added to the rice flour mixture. This combination creates a harmonious balance of sweet and savory notes in each bite.

Furthermore, the addition of lentils, such as moong dal or chana dal, adds a protein-rich element to the undrallu. These lentils not only provide a nutritional boost but also contribute to the overall taste and texture of the dish.

A Labor of Love

The process of making undrallu requires time and patience, making it a true labor of love. The rice flour mixture is carefully prepared by mixing the ingredients together and kneading them into a smooth dough. This dough is then shaped into small, cylindrical dumplings by hand or using a traditional wooden mold.

The undrallu are steamed to perfection, resulting in soft and fluffy dumplings. The steam not only cooks the rice flour but also infuses it with the flavors of the other ingredients, creating a truly delightful culinary experience.

Celebrating Festivals with Undrallu

Undrallu holds a special significance during festivals, particularly during the auspicious occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. These dumplings are considered a favorite of Lord Ganesha and are often prepared as an offering for prayers and rituals.

However, undrallu can be enjoyed all year round as a delicious treat. Whether it’s a family gathering, a special occasion, or a simple craving for a traditional delicacy, undrallu is the perfect choice.

Serving Suggestions

Undrallu can be enjoyed on its own or paired with various accompaniments to enhance its taste. A drizzle of ghee (clarified butter) over the steamed dumplings adds richness and a delightful aroma. Coconut chutney or tomato chutney can be served as a dip for a burst of tangy flavors.

For those who prefer a spicier option, a side of sambar (a spicy lentil soup) or a tangy tomato rasam complements the undrallu perfectly. The combination of the soft dumplings and the flavorful accompaniments creates a truly satisfying meal.

Overall, undrallu is a timeless delight that brings joy to any occasion. With its unique flavors and textures, it continues to be a cherished part of South Indian cuisine. So, gather your loved ones, follow our guide, and indulge in the deliciousness of undrallu!

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