Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Ragi Kudumulu with Garlic Ghee

Ragi kudumulu is an old classic from Andhra Pradesh, India. Dumplings like kudumulu are prepared with ragi flour and steam-cooked in flavorful kura (curry). The main ingredient of kura in which ragi kudumulu are steamed changes with the seasons. Sometimes the kura is prepared with vegetables, sometimes with meat or a combination. Depends on the cook’s mood and the market prices. Popular in agricultural community, this protein powerhouse is a build or nourish the muscle-on-the-bone kind of one-pot meal.

For Mathy’s Jihva, I have been thinking about a new recipe using garlic-ghee. Then I thought, why not incorporate garlic-ghee into ragi dough and make kudumulu with it. When people say developing new things or techniques is like constantly rediscovering the wheel, it’s very true, indeed. Years of nutritional strategies and accumulated wisdom among cooks throughout the world before us are right to benefit us all through good times and hard times.

Ragi kudumulu is one such nutritional strategy, and here it is in a new avatar. An acquired taste, but a delight to an adventurous palate. Give it a try.

Ridge gourd and Ragi Dough
Ridge Gourd and Ragi Dough (Beerakaya mariyu Raagi Mudda)

(for two adults, for two meals)

Recipe happens in three steps. 1. Prepare Ragi dough for Kudumulu.
2. Prepare kura (curry or kurma) for Kudumulu. 3. Prepare kudumulu and steam-cook.

Step 1:

Take one-cup ragi flour in a bowl. Add a tablespoon of garlic-ghee puree and quarter teaspoon salt. Stir in a tablespoon of garlic infused ghee. Sprinkling few tablespoons of hot water, make soft dough. Cover and keep it aside for about 15 to 30 minutes. The dough firms up on resting.

Step 2:

While the ragi dough is resting, prepare kura for ragi kudumulu. It can be with either vegetables, (traditional choice: Indian broad beans, silk squash and ridge gourd), or meat (chicken or mutton). For my meal today, I have prepared Ridge gourd curry (beerakaya kura) for ragi kudumulu.

– – 2 ridge gourds: peel, rinse and cut into ½ inch, big pieces
– – 2 tomatoes and one onion – finely chop to small pieces

Heat a tablespoon of garlic infused ghee in a wide, deep-bottomed skillet. Add and toast a pinch each – cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the onion. Sauté to soft. Then tomatoes. Add about a cup of water and cook the tomatoes to mush on high heat.

While tomatoes are cooking, prepare the kura masala:
For kura masala: Two tablespoons of grated coconut, 4 green chillies and an inch of peeled ginger, two cloves, one inch cinnamon, a teaspoon each – coriander seeds and cumin. Take them all in a mixer. Add a pinch of salt. Blend to fine consistency.

Tomatoes will be cooked to soft by now. Mush them by pressing with a sturdy spoon. Add the ridge gourd pieces and the masala paste to the skillet. Also half teaspoon each- turmeric and salt. Stir in another cup of water. Close the lid and simmer on medium-low heat.

Step 3:

While kura is cooking, quickly prepare Ragi kudumulu.

Take the ragi dough out onto a plate. Knead and divide into small, about key lime-sized rounds. The dough came about 16 rounds for me. Take a round on your palm, and close the fingers around the round to make a fist. The shape changes to cylindrical with conical ends. That’s what we call “Kudumu” shape in Telugu. Compared to the round shape, the kudumu shape will have more surface area exposed, and that would facilitates thorough steaming. Prepare all rounds in this way. You have to make them fast in two to three minutes.

Place them one after another neatly in simmering kura. Close the lid tightly, and steam for about 15 to 20 minutes on medium-low heat. Ragi kudumulu have to be cooked properly inside. To test, take one out and cut into half. A well-steamed one has the color of red soil (erra mannu) that you see in moderate rainfall areas like Telengana, Andhra Pradesh. On taste, they should have the comforting texture of a well-chewed bubblegum.:) Sticky with unique ragi flavor. The size/volume also increases on steaming.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and lime juice. Serve hot. Until serving time, cover the skillet with tight lid and keep the kura hot on low heat.

How to serve: Place four ragi kudumulu in a wide bowl or plate along with vegetable or meat pieces. Pour the tomato-masala gravy around.

How to eat: With fingers or spoon, take a portion of ragi kudumu with kura. Blow to cool for once or twice. Eat. Ragi flour has gummy properties and it would stick to the mouth roof. So don’t chew on the kudumu, just swallow. The masala gravy and vegetables or meat pieces, together they make a memorable meal experience.

Why: Ragi is rich in Iron, minerals and protein, gluten-free, and is known for it’s health benefits. Ragi is cultivated from ancient times in many parts of India, and in fact the name Ragi is a Sanskrit word. So, Ragi consumption means nourishment to the body and also nourishing the traditional agricultural practices.

Here is the preparation process in photos:

Ragi Kudumulu and Ragi Dough

Steamed Ragi Kudumulu in Ridge Gourd Kura

Ragi Kudumulu Flavored with Garlic Ghee in Ridge Gourd Kura ~
Meal today and My Contribution to Mathy’s Garlic-Jihva Event.

Ragi flour is available in most Indian grocery shops.
Kudumu is singular and kudumulu is plural in Telugu language.
Traditional Kudumulu from other parts of Bharath:
Jonna (Corn) Kudumulu from En Ulagam
Jowar-wheat Kudumulu from My Food Court

Do you have this type of tradition where kudumulu or dumplings are steam-cooked in the stew itself?

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Beera kaaya(Ridge Gourd),Garlic (Vellulli),Ghee,Ragi,Ragi Flour (Tuesday April 1, 2008 at 5:45 pm- permalink)
Comments (26)

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26 comments for Ragi Kudumulu with Garlic Ghee »

  1. Indira,

    My ammamma makes kudumulu with rice rava but I’ve never heard of ragi ones. This is such a healthy recipe. I will try it for Ugadi.

    Comment by Anitha — April 1, 2008 @ 6:23 pm

  2. My mother in law used to make a sweet version of ragi kudumlu with coconut, jaggery and mung dhal. But this is the first time I’m across this recipe. As always unique and healthy.

    Thanks Indira.

    Comment by Madhuram — April 1, 2008 @ 6:52 pm

  3. I am from Mangalore, Karnataka and we make similar dumplings with rice flour (called ‘Pundi’ in Kannada) and cook it in a coconut based Indian spinach curry. YUM!

    Betw, your blog is awesome!

    Comment by Hash — April 1, 2008 @ 6:55 pm

  4. Hi Indira,

    This is really one nutritious dish. I have never heard of ‘Kudumulu’ before and am interested in trying out this one for my baby.

    Comment by Roma — April 1, 2008 @ 9:53 pm

  5. Thats a nutritious one pot meal! Great one Indira! We do not have dumplings in such gravy ! I have read about similar kerala recipes with rice flour. Thanks for sharing these treasures!

    Comment by Nirmala — April 1, 2008 @ 11:10 pm

  6. Hi Indira,

    I am a big fan of your webpage and cannot stop myself from looking at it atleast once a day.

    I am natively from rajasthan, and on the note of dumplings recipe that you posted, there is a very similar version of recipe very popular and authentic from Rajasthan. It is called “Daal-Dhokli”. This version consists of spicy wheat flour small thin dumplings cooked in spicy green moong daal.But sure raagi flour seems a good alternate to try on. Have you ever tried this recipe with daal instead of veggies?

    Comment by Swati — April 2, 2008 @ 1:27 am

  7. That looks very delicious!!

    Comment by babin — April 2, 2008 @ 5:27 am

  8. it looks like Ragi Mudde(little different cooking method from this) we make in Karnataka. Ragi mudde is served with bassaru or soppina saaru which is the staple diet at most of the vilalges. its been ages since i had them thanks for the reminder Indira. ur pictures makes even simple, humble food look so exotic 🙂

    Comment by sia — April 2, 2008 @ 6:26 am

  9. This curry sounds so yummy Indira. Will try it with beans this weekend. My mother makes chana&toor dal dumplings for majjiga pulusu I think there is a dish called vada curry in the South which might be a similar preparation.

    Comment by Priya — April 2, 2008 @ 6:47 am

  10. Amma makes kudumulu with rice flour but she never made it with Ragi. She would steam them and the curry is made with any dried beans.

    Comment by Sarada — April 2, 2008 @ 9:22 am

  11. This is new to me, but sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing, Indira! 🙂

    Comment by Kalai — April 2, 2008 @ 9:45 am

  12. Wow , it is such an interesting recipe Indira. Totally new to me. i love ridge gourd and i am sure i love it too. Can’t wait till I get ridge gourd this weekend. Lovely entry for JFI 🙂 . I also have something in mind for that. Let me see if I can manage to post it sometime soon.

    Thanks a lot for wonderful recipe with ridge gourd.

    Comment by Pooja — April 2, 2008 @ 10:00 am

  13. This is absolutely fantastic recipe. Ever so often I see recipes and go “Why did I not think about it”..

    This is one such recipe.. Ragi dumplings.. I can see myself devouring ragi kudumulu in chicken kurma. Absolutely delicious it would be.

    Beerakaya kura with dumplings is a wonderful earthy dish tracing back to our roots !!

    Comment by Revathi — April 2, 2008 @ 12:20 pm

  14. Indira, you’ll love this article. just in time favoring ragi mudda;

    Comment by R — April 2, 2008 @ 12:25 pm

  15. ok..for non-telugu readers, this old lady at 125 years with 26 grand children and 48 great-grand children.Lives in Karnataka.

    Eats Ragi muddalu and happily takes care of all chores at home. even can sort rice picking up small stones mixed(good eye sight). No sugar or BP and havent visited hospital once.

    Comment by R — April 2, 2008 @ 12:44 pm

  16. Classic! Looks yummy Indira. My kids have also started to enjoy Ragi Sangati and Kudumulu. Love the way u’re kura looks vibrant!

    Comment by Latha — April 2, 2008 @ 1:41 pm

  17. Ok, as kids we *occasionally* had chicken and dumplings — oh, plain old white flour dumplings, but they tasted good cooked in the stew. But my oh my… never looked as appetizing as this! I’d better find that bag of ragi flour. I know it’s here somewhere… 🙂

    Comment by Linda — April 2, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

  18. Hello Indira garu,

    Looks great. I definetely want to try this out! I saw Organic Millet Flour in Whole Foods Market. Can you please let me know if this is the same as Ragi flour?
    Thanks is advance.

    Comment by Swarna — April 3, 2008 @ 1:30 pm

  19. Hello,

    Can someone please let me know if Millet is the English name for Ragi.

    Thank you all in advance

    Comment by Swarna — April 3, 2008 @ 1:32 pm

  20. Hi Swarna,

    Ragi’s English name is Finger Millet and Hindi name is Nachini. Try it at Indian grocery shops.

    Comment by Sudha — April 3, 2008 @ 2:03 pm

  21. Dear Indira, It’s wonderful to see the comments section open again. 🙂 I have been breaking my head on how to make this for a long time. Not for me, ;P but for my little one. I hated it when I was a kid, but would love to give her so she can try and decide for herself if she likes it or not. Thanks for writing about this.

    Comment by Kay — April 3, 2008 @ 3:21 pm

  22. wow indira, this one looks like classic! great going.havent tried this dish before. must be tasting delicious. will try. have ragi flour at home.

    Comment by srividya — April 3, 2008 @ 3:24 pm

  23. indian broad beans is a good choice in veggies. would taste divine in mutton curry. also heard ragi has a cooling effect and to be eaten in summers.nice!

    Comment by srividya — April 3, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

  24. […] Ragi Kudumulu with Garlic Ghee ~ from Indira of Mahanandi […]

    Pingback by Jihva for Garlic: Roundup « V I R U N D H U — April 7, 2008 @ 9:40 pm

  25. It has been some time since I read your blog Indira…my loss. I found the comment about just swallowing very interesting. The texture is one I’d like to try sometime. I’ll let you know if the roof of my mouth is stuck!

    Comment by Maureen — April 8, 2008 @ 10:15 am

  26. Hi Indira,

    With a mixed heritage of Karnataka and Andhra, I am familiar with Ragi Mudde and Rotti. I have seen a recipe for Ragi Dosa which I haven’t tried yet. I am always looking for new recipes to use this amazing grain. This is a welcome addition to my list!

    If you have any other Ragi recipes, please post.


    Comment by praki — April 19, 2008 @ 9:04 am

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