• Samanaa

Kumbalakai sihi kadubu (Pumpkin-rice grits sweet dumplings)

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

A traditional dish made during Diwali festival, this delicacy is almost forgotten. It's easy, steamed, utterly delicious and very nutritious. What’s more, this is our south Indian take on using the most popular winter vegetable, the very versatile sweet pumpkin. No fancy ingredients or techniques involved, anyone can whip this up in no time. Tastes best with ghee, coconut chutney and honey.

Cup measurement used – standard 1 cup = 240 ml

Yields 12 idlis


Grated sweet pumpkin 1 cup

Idli rava ½ cup

To grind:

Grated fresh coconut ½ cup

Powdered jaggery 1/3 cup

Cardamom 2 pods

A pinch of salt


Skin the pumpkin and grate it. In a blender jar, add grated coconut, jaggery and cardamom and blend it without adding any water. It need not to achieve a pasty consistency – coconut and jaggery needs to just come together. Add this mixture to grated pumpkin. Now, mix in the idli rava and salt. The mixture will seem dry, but do not add any water. Let this mixture sit for 15-20 minutes. Grease idli plates with little oil, fill in the mixture and press it down a little (the mixture will still seem dry at this point – don’t worry!). Add enough water in your steamer/pressure cooker and steam the kadubu for good 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let sit for 10 more minutes. Carefully remove the kadubu from the idli plate cavity and serve it hot with ghee, coconut chutney and honey.


Do not use normal upma rava. Idli rava is made from rice and upma rava from wheat. Using upma rava results in gluten development and hence the texture of the kadubu will vary.

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