I was brought up eating lots of recipes that originate in Gujarat, in the North West of India. It’s where both set of grandparents were brought up before moving to Kenya where my parents were born. My mum makes recipes passed on from her mum and so on. Steamed dumplings are something which until I was older, I never really understood or appreciated.
These dumplings, traditionally called muthiya, are used for all kinds of dishes. They are often cut up and used in a traditional vegetable curry as a main course, it’s called undhyu, and every household has its unique way of making it. At our house however; they would be sliced once steamed and then get frozen, ready to be eaten as a snack whenever we felt the urge/when unexpected visitors showed up! My mum stir fry’s the slices with onions and cumin seeds which had been softened in a little ghee and then season with lots of sesame seeds and coriander.
Mum uses a variety of different flours to make these at her house. Including but not limited to chappati flour, millet flour and gram flour. The only one of these I regularly keep in my kitchen? It’s the chappati flour. So rather than going to my local Indian supermarket and buying countless bags of flour, I wanted to see if I could bring in the same flavour profile from my mums dumplings and at the same time, make them packed with protein so I could still enjoy one of my favourite snacks without having to worry about them being full of carbs and oil.
I noticed from the first packet of pea protein I’d purchased, it was a really similar texture to gram flour (also known as chickpea flour), and this ingredient is a staple in any Gujarati household. It acts as a batter, thickens curries, and even makes a base ingredient for sweet dishes once it’s been pan roasted.
These dumplings almost always contain some sort of crunchy, water filled vegetable like white cabbage. As I hate to waste food, I spoke to my mum about whether cauliflower leaves would work, often something we regularly cut off and throw away. “Yes” she said enthusiastically, “ your grandma uses those all the time for muthiya”. That was that, I was sold!
I can use something that I would normally throw away to make a snack that I love more and more every time I try it.
It’s taken me a while to get this recipe right, it uses ingredients that aren’t often used when making it the traditional way, but I take recipes as a guide, I then try to recreate things I’ve eaten, particularly when my mum has made them, with my own twist. That way I can be cheeky and call her if I’m ever stuck on a flavour that may be missing.
Along side the cauliflower leaves, there’s also another secret ingredient in these, it’s sugar free lemonade. I use a little of this to bind the ingredients along with some water, it lends a sweet and sour flavour to the muthiya without the need to add lemon juice or sugar. You could of course switch this out for some more water and add fresh lemon juice and a good pinch of sugar if that is your preference.
I hope you enjoy making one of my favourite snacks as much as I do! And do share your pictures if you do make them as I’d love to see them!
Pea Protein Muthiya/Dumplings
A delicious high protein steamed dumpling which can be enjoyed at any time of the day
- 100 g pea protein/gram flour
- 75 g chappati flour
- 100 g cauliflower greens/cabbage or any other watery vegetable
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek methi
- 2 chopped spring onions
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp chilli powder
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- ½ inch peice of ginger grated
- 1 chopped green chilli optional
- Handful of chopped coriander optional
- 100 ml sugar free lemonade
- 100-150 ml water
Put your cauliflower leaves into a bowl with the salt, pepper, spring onions, cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic, ginger and green chilli and mix it together and allow to rest for 5 minutes in order for the natural liquid in the cauliflower leaves to release.
Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the water and mix thoroughly
Add your water a little at a time, until the mixture forms a stiff dough
At this point, you can split the dough into two logs or into individual dumplings - the choice is yours, just don't make anything anymore than a 2inch/5cm diameter as this will mean it's going to take a lot longer to cook. If making two logs, I would wrap them up in parchment/greaseproof paper and then foil to protect them.
Steam your muthiya for around 30-45 minutes. I usually do this part in my Instant Pot but a regular steamer or pan of hot water.
Once complete, slice up and eat with a drizzle of olive oil straight away or allow to cool and freeze for a later date.
Once cooked, you can eat them as they are with a little spray oil, or stir fry them to get some texture, to do this, just soften some onion in a little oil, once soft, add a handful of sesame seeds and then add your sliced muthiya. On a medium high heat, toss everything around for 3-5 minutes until the muthiya are hot all the way through and some of the edges are beginning to crisp.
I’m sharing this recipe on the #cookblogshare linky and the #cookonceeattwice linky for this month!