If we have to define South Indian cuisine in a word, it surely will be ‘soothing’. Most of the dishes in this cuisine are healthy, light on stomach and a potpourri of flavours, making them a preferred breakfast option for many of us. Although dosa, idli and upma are the most popular choices in the lot, but if you explore, you will find several other dishes that are light, easy to make and will please your palate with the flavours. One such dish is uppu urundai – a popular breakfast food in Tamil Nadu.

Uppu urundai is a mildly-spiced steamed rice ball, tempered with mustard seeds, jeera seeds, chana and urad dal and curry leaves. Also called neer urundai, it is a fuss-free recipe that can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. You can also enjoy uppu urundai as evening snacks.

All you have to remember is to use parboiled rice for the recipe and keep any kind of steamer near you. We prefer using idli maker for this recipe.

Here’s The Recipe For Uppu Urundai:


Parboiled rice- Half cup (overnight soaked)

Chana dal- 1 teaspoon

Urad dal- 1 teaspoon

Peanuts- 1 teaspoon

Grated coconut- half cup

Mustard seeds-half teaspoon

Jeera- half teaspoon

Whole red chilli- 2 (broken into pieces)

Hing- half teaspoon

Curry leaves- 6-8

Salt- as per taste

Sugar- as per taste (optional)

Oil- 1 tablespoon


Strain the overnight soaked rice through sieve and let it dry for 10-15 minutes.

Transfer it to a grinder, add salt and sugar (optional) and blend it to a smooth paste. Add some water, if needed.

Now, take a pan and pour oil in it. Add hing, jeera, mustard seeds, red chilli, chana and urad dal, peanuts and curry leaves one by one.

Fry them on medium flame till the masala is well roasted. Add the coconuts and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

Pour the rice paste to the pan and mix everything together till the water is absorbed. Wait till it turns into soft dough.

Make small laddoos out of the dough.

Now, place the laddoos in an idli maker or any plate and steam for 10-15 minutes.

Finally, serve them hot with coconut chutney and tomato-peanut chutney.


If you are tight on time in the morning, then prepare the batter at night and store it in the refrigerator. In that case, soak the rice for 3-4 hours before making the batter and do not add the seasonings (salt/sugar) to it.

So, prepare it for breakfast today and give a healthy and tasty start to your day!

About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.

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