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5 from 1 vote

Nucchina Unde

This is a South Indian cousin of the popular Arab Falafel. The difference being it is steamed instead of fried in oil. So is a lot healthier and way lot tastier. Of course, I am biased :-).
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Indian, Karnataka Cuisine, karnataka food, South Indian, vegetarian
Keyword: ambode, falafel, masala vada, nucchina unde
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 331kcal


  • Pressure cooker
  • Big bowl
  • Stacked Steamer Plates
  • Blender
  • Big Pot(Optional)
  • Regular flat stainless steel plate(Optional)
  • Flat wide steel cup(Optional)


  • 200 gram Togaire Bele Toor Dal. Dal in HIndi and Bele in Kannada are the synonyms for Lentils.
  • 100 Gram Kadale Bele Or Chana Dal in Hindi. Is similar to you split yellow peas. You can use just one kind of lentil that you can find locally. Preferably a yellow lentil. If you add more varieties of lentils(skinless) the taste will be different but interesting, So go experiment.
  • 30 gram Coriander Leaves Diced fine. Fresh
  • 3 pieces Green Chilies Diced fine. I prefer African Piri piri chillies. Not too hot or not too bland. They have the perfect amount of heat I love.
  • ½ inch Ginger Diced fine.
  • 1 tbsp Curry Leaves
  • 30 gram Coconut Flakes In case you cannot find fresh coconut
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Kadle Hittu Besan in Hindi or Chickpea flour.


Soak the Lentils and coconut flakes

  • Wash the lentils with some cold water thrice.
  • Soak the lentils with 2 inches of water standing over the level of the lentils for 6 hours.
  • Take the coconut flakes and soak them in hot water, enough t o cover the flakes.

Mince the Lentils

  • After 6 hours, take the lentils a handful or two at a time, out of the water into the blender. Mince the lentils into tiny coarse pieces.

Mix the ingredients

  • Once all the lentils are minced fine, add the freshly diced coriander leaves, diced ginger, minced green chilies, curry leaves.
  • Take the soaked coconut flakes out of the water by lightly squeezing the water out but retain a little wetness. Add it to the mix in the step above.
  • Add the salt. Mix the mixture well using your hand.

Ball the mix

  • Take a handful of the mix into the middle of your palm, then using your fingers start squeezing with medium pressure into an oval ball. Keep doing that till you feel that the ball is now sticking together. As I said in the class, don't be afraid just make sure you don't squeeze too hard or too light.
  • Place the squeezed balls into the steamer plates. In case you do not have a steamer plate, you can use a regular plate that can fit into your pressure cooker or a big pot.
  • Add an inch and a half of water to the bottom of the pressure cooker. Put the steamer plates in. Close the lid. Put it on the stove on medium heat. Let it cook till the first whistle or for 10 minutes if your cooker does not have a whistle.
  • In case you want to do this is a big pot with a single plate, you pour 2 inches of water into the pot. Place a wide shallow upside down in the pot. Place the balls on the stainless steel plate and put it on top of the inverted cup in the pot.
  • Put the pot on medium heat, close it with a lid. Let it cook for 15 minutes.
  • And voila you have your Nucchina Unde! Serve it with two pieces each in a cup of Majjge Huli.


Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 1217mg | Potassium: 112mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 786IU | Vitamin C: 150mg | Calcium: 112mg | Iron: 3mg