Kucchida Kadabu( Revisited)


IMG_0651Yesterday was Nagarapanchami and as per tradition, we made Kucchida Kadabu. I thought it would be nice to try making a video of the whole process. It turned out to be a disaster. I had not thought the process through and both me and my Husband Hari are new to shooting video, so we were trying to figure out how to do it continuously. It did not turn out the way I would have preferred, but we are still in the learning stage, so we forgave ourselves. I did upload a part of the process though. I also had a couple of videos for how I made the Hoorna and I made the dough to make the covering for the Kadabu. I am not happy with the quality of the video, but don’t mind uploading if it’s useful to anyone who would like to try.

I would like to make a single video describing the whole process better. Please bear with me till I do learn how to make these videos more efficiently.


For the Dough- 

  1.  Rice Flour( Use rice flour that is washed and dried before powdering also called idiyappam flour) – 1 Cup
  2. Water- 1.5 Cups
  3. Ghee- 5 Tsp
  4. Salt- 1/4 Tsp


For the Filling or Hoorna-

  1. Fresh Coconut, scraped- 1.5 Cups
  2. Jaggery, powdered- 1 cup
  3. Green cardamom powder- 1/2 Tsp
  4. Nutmeg powder( Optional)- 1/4 Tsp
  5. Khus Khus or Gasagase- 1 TBSP
  6. 1 TBSP water for making the jaggery syrup



First make the Hoorna or filling. Take the Jaggery and water in a kadai. Melt the Jaggery. When bubbles start forming in the sides, add the Coconut and mix well on a low flame. Add the Khuskhus and the favoring powders. Mix well and turn off the heat. Do not let the Hoorna become too hard. Let it be a bit syrupy.


To make the dough- 

I have a video here. Please excuse my presentation, it’s a work in progress.

I also have a video here on how the knead the dough to make it nice and smooth so that is is soft and does not crack when rolled. Add a little more ghee on the plate while kneading and incorporate it into the dough. Break the Dough into lemon sized balls, roll them into smooth disks and always keep covered till they are rolled out.

Keep the steamer ready for steaming the Kadabus.

The next step is to start shaping the Kadabu. The simplest way is to do it on a banana leaf. Cut out the banana leaf into 5X5 inch squares. Gently run the banana leaf on a low flame. This helps make the leaf soft. Roll out the dough as thin as possible into a circle of diameter about 4 inches. Put a tablespoon of the coconut filling. Flip over half the banana leaf to shape the Kadabu. Arrange the banana leaves carefully in the steamer, so that the Kadabu do not break. Steam in the Steamer for about 15 minutes, till done. Serve hot, drizzled with ghee.

I had a video which showed how to roll out the dough on the banana leaf, fill it and fold it before steaming in the banana leaf, so that there is no breakage. Unfortunately it is not loading on Youtube. Will try to upload it soon.





Kuchhida Kadabu( Nagarapanchami Special)

Naagarachauthi and Naagarapanchami are 2 special days in the Sravana month that the Snake God is worshiped. Naagarapanchami is also a special day for brothers and sisters. It is our version of the ‘Raksha Bandhan’, where the sister brushes her brother’s back with a flower dipped in milk,  gives him gifts and prays for his wellbeing. I am not sure why this tradition came about, but this is the story I found online-


There is also a tradition of not frying anything on this day, which is why the special dishes that are made are steamed not fried.

‘Kuchida Kadabu'( Steamed Kadabu) and Nucchina Unde are two delicacies that are a must for Naagapanchami in our house every year.

Ingredients for ‘Kuchida Kadabu’-

  1. Flour made from Rice that has been washed and dried- 2 Cups( Easily available in stores as Idiayappam flour)
  2. Water- 2 1/2 cups
  3. Salt- 1/4 Tsp
  4. Oil/Ghee- 1 Tbsp
  5. A few banana leaves or Turmeric leaves- Banana leaves are also readily available in US stores in the frozen section. Use of these is optional, but I recommend it both to enhance flavor and to prevent the dumplings from cracking.

For the ‘Hoorna’ or stuffing-

  1. Fresh coconut Grated- 1 cup
  2. Jaggery- 3/4 Cup( powdered)
  3. Poppy seeds- 1 Tbsp
  4. Cardamom powder- 1/8 Tsp


First make the stuffing. Roast the poppy seeds till they start popping. Add the grated coconut and jaggery powder. Keep stirring till the jaggery melts completely and is well integrated with the coconut. Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Turn off the heat and keep aside.

Boil the 2 1/2 cups of water with the salt and about half the oil. When the water starts bubbling, add the rice flour in parts to prevent lumps. When all the flour is used up and looks cooked, turn off the heat. Cover and leave for a couple of minutes. Take a tennis ball size on dough and add a few drops of oil. Knead very well on a board, till the dough is very smooth and does not crack when rolled. Repeat with the remaining dough. Keep the dough covered at all times, so that it does not dry out.

Cut the Banana leaves into 5 inches X 5 inches squares and wipe them clean. Take a lemon size piece of dough. Roll the dough over the banana leaf into a 3 inch diameter circle. Put some of the stuffing on the center. Fold over the banana leaf so that a small semicircular dumpling is formed.  Secure the banana leaf with a tiny stick or a stapler. Be careful to remove these before serving.

Make several of these Kadabu’s or Dumplings and steam them like idlis for about 15 minutes. Remove from the Banana leaf and serve hot.

Kaayi Holige

‘Kaayi holige’ is a sweet, stuffed with a mixture of fresh coconut and jaggery. The trick to making a good holige in general, is to be able to make the outer covering, called ‘Kanaka’ in Kannada, as elastic as possible. This makes the cover of the holige extremely thin and almost transparent. This dough can then be rolled into disks as thin or thick as needed. Kaayi holige is supposed to be thinner than the Bele holige and a bit harder.

Anyone who has tried baking Bread from scratch, knows that it is imperative to knead the bread very well, so as to develop the gluten in the flour.Gluten is the protein in flour that gives elasticity to the flour. It is absent in rice flour, which is why a dough made of rice flour is not elastic.  The same rule of kneading applies to making the Kanaka. A mixture of fine semolina and all purpose flour, has a good gluten content. The dough needs to be a bit sticky, and needs to be kneaded very well to make it elastic. I have tried using a food processor with a kneading blade, and succeeded with great results.

Coconut oil is used very extensively in Udupi cuisine. The unrefined oil has a very distinct aroma. In this recipe, I used a little to bring out the flavor of the fresh coconut, and the taste was simply excellent. It is strictly optional, and can be substituted with refined oil.

So without further ado, let me get down to the recipe

Ingredients for the stuffing( Hoorna)

1. Finely grated coconut- 2 cups

2. Jaggery- 1 1/2 cups

3. Cardamom Powder 1/2 Tsp

For the outer cover( Kanaka)

1.  Fine semolina 3/4 cup

2. All purpose flour( Maida)- 1/2 cup

3. A pinch of salt

4. 1/4 Tsp Turmeric powder

5. Refined oil – 1/2 cup

6 Coconut oil – to taste( optional)

Additional materials needed- 

1. Parchment paper or a Banana leaf( avoid plastic because it might burn and turn toxic)

2. A Non stick Tava- This works well, because jaggery tends to get a bit sticky with heat.


For the outer cover( Kanaka)

Mix together the semolina, flour, salt and turmeric and make a slightly sticky dough with some warm water. Start kneading the dough by hand adding about 6-7 Tbsp of refined oil, a Tbsp at a time in short intervals. The dough will completely absorb all the oil. At this stage, either continue to knead by hand for a further 10 minutes, or put the dough in a food processor with a kneading blade and run the machine for about 3-4 minutes. This the how the dough turns out-

It will be shiny, soft and very pliable. Put some oil on the dough to prevent crusting, cover and let the dough rest at room temperature for about an hour. After 1 hour, knead the dough well again. Adding a Tsp of coconut oil at this stage gives a nice aroma to the dough. This is how elastic the dough becomes after an hour-

Notice how the dough can be stretched, without tearing, and how it coats my fingers. That is the sign that the Kanaka is ready.

To make the Hoorna-

While the Kananka is resting, the hoorna can be made. Grind the coconut without adding any water. I did not do it, and regretted a bit. Take the Jaggery and coconut in a thick pan and keep stirring on a medium flame till the mixture starts thickening, add the cardamom powder. Add a tsp of coconut oil or ghee and keep stirring. The mixture should form a soft lump and leave the sides of the pan. Jaggery has a tendency to become hard, so it is a good idea to use a medium flame. Let the mixture cool and make small balls approximately the size of a small lemon.

To make the Holige-

Keep a small bowl of refined oil( in Udupi, coconut oil would be used)  for dipping. Take a small amount of kanaka( smaller than the Hoorna ball) spread it wide on your palm, keep the hoorna on it and cover with kananka completely. Dip the ball in oil, and roll out on a piece of parchment paper, as thin as possible.

Transfer onto a hot tava, and cook well on both sides on a medium flame till both sides are slightly golden. No need to add ghee or oil again-

Serve the Holige with some warm milk and ghee. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, after a day.