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Muthia (Steamed Dumpling)

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Muthias are steamed spiced dumplings, made with gram flour (besan), cabbage, and spices. They make a tasty appetizer or snack.

Serves 4.

for Muthia:

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon citric acid
  • 4 cups very fine shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup gram flour (basen) (available in Indian grocery stores)
  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fenugreek leaves (can be substitute with 2 tablespoons of dry fenugreek leaves or kastoori mathi) fenugreek can also be replaced with chopped cilantro (hara dhania)
  • 2 chopped green chili (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seed (jeera)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (haldi)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons oil

for Seasoning and Garnish:

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (til)
  • 4 whole red chili
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro (hara dhania)


  1. Combine gram flour, whole wheat flour, fenugreek, cumin seed, turmeric, green chili, sugar, citric acid, oil, and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add the cabbage to the flour mixture and mix well to make soft dough. Add water if needed .
  3. Grease your fingers and divide the mixture into 14 pieces. Drop slowly onto the steamer and steam, covered, 18 to 20 minutes. Test by inserting a knife; blade should come out clean.
  4. Let the muthias cool.  Cut each one into two pieces off and then slice them in two pieces.

Making Seasoning

  1. Heat the oil in the frying pan over medium high heat. Add the mustard seeds. Once they crack, add the sesame seeds and red chili and stir-fry the mixture a few seconds.
  2. Add muthias and stir-fry them for three  to four minutes until they are light brown.Garnish them with chopped cilantro.
  3. Serve them hot or at room temperature.

Additional Notes:

  • Steam immediately after preparing the mixture. If you allow it to sit, it will be too soft. If you have more than one batch, hold the salt and add it one batch at a time or it will be too soft.
  • Muthias can be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days.
  • Muthias can be frozen before seasoning. When ready to serve, thaw the frozen muthias and season them.


You can substitute zucchini or bottled gourd (also known as doodhi, loki or ghia) for the cabbage. Because theses vegetables have more water content, after shredding lightly squeeze them between your palms to remove the excess water before making the mixture.

Serving suggestions:

  • Muthias are great with cilantro chutney.
  • Muthias can be served just after steaming, but before seasoning, with cilantro chutney.

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