Spicy Courgette, carrot and ground rice steamed dumplings

25 Jan

Spicy courgette, carrot, ground rice steamed dumplings by Deena Kakaya
Somewhere along the journey, the lines between work and play, rest and recreation changed.

For most of the years that my husband and I have been together, we shared energy and squinted-eyed enthusiasm for filling our pockets of free time with making memories, having fun, exploring, travelling and being spontaneous in a sensible sort of way. Our summers were long and full of weekends away and eating outdoors and with friends in the weekday evenings.

Each summer we would make our trip to our favourite spots in Cornwall. Pothcurno being one of them. Pothcurno houses an open air theatre on the edge of a cliff, overlooking seas with a blue swirl that could easily be confused for a Mediterranean destination. We hang around until the evening until we grab steaming hot cheese and baked bean jacket potatoes, a blanket and sit under the stars watching opera whilst sat on the cool stone.
Culture and history soaking in Bath, picnics in Windsor, outdoor pubs and chips in Brighton, scenic walks and clotted cream ice-cream in the cotswolds or nearer to home and ambling the streets of london popping our head into Dim Sum or kathi roll joints. I have a lot of happy memories.

In the cooler months we would visit farmers markets, recuperate in Spa’s, go to Edinburgh for windy stops and chill out in cottages in wales, and most excitingly, take our annual holiday to more exotic destinations. Each of my January birthdays after graduating was spent away, somewhere sunny, making memories. One of my birthdays was spent on a house boat in Kerela, another abseiling over shallow waters in Mauritius, one looking down at the pitons whilst having dinner in st.Lucia. They made me a fresh coco and coconut cake made with locally sourced ingredients. I had one birthday on safari, eating guava cheesecake in South Africa, whilst watching wilderbeast and one on the most scenic train journey near Zurich. We were both working full on, heavy roles and this trip was the carrot in our otherwise hectic lives.

Along the way, a lot changed. We had our boy, who has showered immense joy and love into our lives. We are a salary down. Husband has 23 international trips abroad planned this year, for work. We are tired.

This week I was clearing through the guest room and stumbled upon some old photographs. I sat down, puffed out at the realisation of how things have changed. My little one came and sat on my lap, ‘what you looking at mumma’. I told my nearly-two-year old that mumma was looking at lovely memories. One of the common threads between each of the pictures is that the long journeys were occupied with munching on Dhokla (steamed and spiced rice and lentil flour cakes, which are sour and fluffy clouds of scrummy glory) or muthia Dhokla, which a Gujarati savoury bite made from grated veg and cooked rice with some spice and also steamed and then tempered in curry leaves and mustard, cumin and chilli. It got me thinking. Things have got to change again. Having fun is the way to stay alive inside.

It also got me thinking about rice flour steamed dumplings, one of the Gujarati items my mum makes so well…put them all together and roll them around, I created these little steamed dumplings with the added sweetness of carrot and courgette. They make wonderful snacks to accompany a cuppa. Spicy, dense, filling, hot, smooth…oh, go on.

Ingredients to make 24 dumplings

3 cups of hot water
2 long green chillies
125g grated carrot
125g grated courgette
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ajwain, or carom seeds
1 3/4 cup of ground rice
Salt to taste
Oil to grease palms when forming the dumplings


1. In a large vessel, heat the water and add the cumin seeds and coriander seeds with the minced chilli.
2. When the water is boiling add the courgettes and carrots, stir and simmer for a minute. When the vegetables have softened, start to trickle in the ground rice whilst stirring the water with a wooden spoon, to avoid lumps forming.
3. Continue to stir more swiftly, until a grainy dough has been formed.
4. Turn off the heat and tip the dough into a very large plate.
5. Prepare your steamer and oil your palms. Take golf ball sized amounts of dough, form a ball and then flatten it in your palms. Try not to let the ball crack.
6. Steam the dumplings for 8-10 minutes and serve with chilli oil, whilst still hot and moist.

I am linking this to Marks Made with Love Mondays because it is all kme made Jave

I’m also liking with Helen and Michelle, for hidden veg



16 Responses to “Spicy Courgette, carrot and ground rice steamed dumplings”

  1. Zoe Perrett (@TheSpiceScribe) January 25, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    These sound lovely – the perfect combo of stodgy and light. Grated courgette’s always a winner and I love anything made with ground rice. sweet or savoury. Would relish even more in kadhi or dipped in sambhar! x

    • Deena Kakaya January 25, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks so much Zoe, I’m very glad that you like the look of these!

      Have you tried Gujarati Khichi before? That’s the texture.,,like dough. I can see it working with kadhi, fabulous idea xx

  2. Rachel Cotterill January 25, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    These look wonderful, and I think I have some ground rice in the pantry.

    I also enjoyed reading about your reminiscences. Your earlier self does make me think of the way I hare around the country (and ideally the world) sometimes 😉 I’ve no doubt it’s harder with a toddler – but I’m sure it’s achievable, too, if you decide that’s what you want to go back to. Or maybe some middle ground with more local day-trips while he’s little 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya January 25, 2014 at 7:10 pm #

      Hi Rachel, great to hear from you! I hope you’ll try these little bites…they hit the spot but are steamed-that’s a good thing for me!

      Yes, it’s harder with a tot who doesn’t want to sit in the car and wants to play etc, also we had to full time incomes so we felt more relaxed. That said, life is short so we will have to inject more fun somehow! Xx

  3. Deb January 25, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Life without fun is very sad indeed. But fun takes many forms and joy can be found in finding small pockets of grace and gratitude each day. Cooking is one such daily pleasure! We are fortunate to be able to make such fragrant and glorious recipes such as the marvelous Rice Dumplings!

  4. Javelin Warrior January 26, 2014 at 1:12 am #

    It’s amazing how fast things can change without us ever realizing it’s happening. Sometimes it’s strange to look back at old photos and remember the “way we were”… Love the vegetable mix in these dumplings – beautiful and nutritious!

  5. Tina @ The Spicy Pear January 26, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Those courgette and carrot rice dumplings look delicious. I’m a fan of dhokla too. Lovely reading your post reminiscing on the past. Here’s to many fun times ahead for you and your family.

    • Deena Kakaya January 26, 2014 at 11:51 am #

      Hi Tina, great to hear for you! Oh you love dhokla too, they are easy to love aren’t they.

      Yes, here’s to many fun times ahead for all xx

  6. What Jessica Baked Next January 26, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Looks delicious! 🙂

    • Deena Kakaya January 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

      Thanks Jessica! They are delicious, hope you’ll try them x

  7. theundergroundgourmet January 27, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Very nice. I am holding on to the recipe.

    • Deena Kakaya January 27, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

      Thank you, please do! I hope you enjoy it.

  8. Joanne January 28, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    It is crazy how much things can change over the course of even a few years. I love the sound of these dumplings!

    • Deena Kakaya January 28, 2014 at 2:28 pm #

      Hi Joanne, are you well? Crazy is the right word. If someone, say 4-5 years ago had shown me a visual of how my life would be now I would never have believed them. This is one reason why I’m all the more open about what the future holds!

      Yes, they are spicy, have lovely silky and deep texture and they are steamed 🙂 x

  9. hs August 27, 2014 at 11:58 pm #

    what is ground rice?

    • Deena Kakaya September 2, 2014 at 7:59 am #

      The rice is ground into almost a flour, but it’s grainy. You can purchase ground rice in large supermarkets or Asian stores. Hope that helps!

Let me know what you think about this recipe

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