Vegetables with gram flour dumplings


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook: 300 Classic Recipes from the Great Regions of India

The Complete Indian Regional Cookbook

By Mridula Baljekar

Published 2017

  • About

Gram flour is made from ground chickpeas and is a staple ingredient in both Gujarat and Rajasthan. High in protein and gluten-free, it can be used for both sweet and savoury dishes. For this recipe, Oondhiu, it is turned into little dumplings as a topping for a spicy mixture of vegetables cooked in a coconut sauce.


For the dumplings

  • 185 g/672 oz/173 cups gram flour (besan)
  • pinch of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground aniseed
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ginger purée
  • 10 ml/2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)
  • 1–2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped (deseeded if preferred)
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
  • 2.5 ml/½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • 60 ml/4 tbsp sunflower oil

For the vegetable mixture

  • 30 ml/2 tbsp sunflower or light olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed, or 5ml/1 tsp garlic purée
  • 5 ml/1 tsp ginger purée
  • 1–2 fresh red chillies, finely chopped (deseeded if preferred)
  • 2.5 ml//2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 200 g/7 oz carrots, thickly sliced
  • 200 g/7 oz green beans, cut into 2.5cm/1in lengths
  • 200 g/7 oz sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks
  • 1 small or ½ large aubergine (eggplant), about 200g/7 oz, cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks
  • 400 g/14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2.5 ml/72 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 200 g/7 oz boiled potatoes, cut into 2.5cm/1in cubes
  • 30 ml/2 tbsp tamarind juice or lemon juice
  • plain (all-purpose) flour or warm Indian bread, to serve


  1. For the dumplings, sift the gram flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Add the aniseed, turmeric, ginger, fenugreek, chillies, coriander and salt. Stir together.

  2. Heat 30ml/2 tbsp of the oil in a large, deep frying pan. Add 75ml/5 tbsp cold water to the dry ingredients and stir. When the mixture comes together, add the oil and, using dampened hands, mix to a soft dough.

  3. Shape into about 24 cherry-sized balls and loosely cover with clear film (plastic wrap) to prevent them drying out.

  4. Blanch the carrots and green beans in a pan of lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain immediately and plunge them into iced water.

  5. Heat the remaining 30ml/2 tbsp oil in the pan over a medium heat. Fry the dumplings in batches until browned, turning them frequently to ensure they cook evenly. Lift out of the pan and drain on kitchen paper.

  6. For the vegetable mixture, heat the oil in the same pan you used for frying the dumplings, if possible. Add the garlic and ginger and fry over a low heat for 1 minute, then add the chillies and turmeric. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the chunks of sweet potato and aubergine.

  7. Pour in 300ml/10fl oz lukewarm water and bring it to the boil. Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

  8. Add the coconut milk, fried dumplings, boiled potatoes, and blanched carrots and green beans, and stir in the salt. Bring to a slow simmer, cover the pan and cook gently for 6–8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but still firm.

  9. Stir in the tamarind or lemon juice and remove the pan from the heat.

  10. Serve immediately with Plain Boiled Rice or warm Indian bread such as chapatis or naan.

Per portion Energy 328kcal/1375kJ; Protein 9g; Carbohydrate 37g, of which sugars 10g; Fat 17g, of which saturates 2g; Cholesterol 0mg; Calcium 101mg; Fibre 6.8g; Sodium 431mg.