Gujarati muthia (Steamed vegetable dumplings)

Have it steamed or with a tempering of sesame seeds, this traditional Gujarati snack is an all-time favourite in our family.

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Muthia is yet another tea time snack that is much loved by all Gujaratis and is relished with tea and chundo – a sweet and sour mango chutney. Muthia is basically a steamed mix vegetables dumpling that gets its name due to the way it is rolled in ‘mutthi’ which literally means fist.

These dumplings comprise of flour, vegetables and the essential flavours of Gujarati cuisine – sweet, spicy and sour spices. To make muthia, grated vegetables with the spices are mixed together to release their natural juices and then the flour is added to bind it all in a sticky dough. The sticky dough is then rolled in an oblong shape and then steamed.

I still remember the smell of freshly steamed muthia wafting through the whole house and my mum calling us to enjoy the hot muthia dipped in peanut oil and koro sambar – a powder pickle of red chilies with fenugreek and mustard seeds. And then the leftovers would be tempered with aromatic mix of sesame seeds and curry leaves to be enjoyed with tea the next day.

But it doesn’t end there. These dumplings are super versatile and you can do a variety of recipes with them. Valor muthia (muthia with flat beans), rasa wala muthia (muthia in watery gravy) are some of the ways Gujaratis use them. One of the most popular use of muthia is in Undhiyu (one pot vegetable dish) which is made slightly differently that the technique I have described here. The muthia recipe that I have written here is what we call as vata which is a big log that is steamed and then cut in cubes.

Like most of my recipes, this one too is highly customizable. Though traditionally bottle gourd and fenugreek leaves are added to the dough; for the lack of fenugreek leaves, I added amaranth leaves which were lying in my fridge. So please feel free to clean up your fridge just like in my clean-up-the-fridge handvo. Cabbage, onions, spinach, carrots, zucchini, methi, drumstick leaves are some of the great veggies to put in muthia as long as you keep few things in mind.

  1. As water is not added to the dough, choose vegetables that release their juices when mixed with salt and sugar
  2. A sticky dough makes soft muthia so the ratio of vegetables to flour should be almost equal. Do not get tempted to add more flour as the muthia can become dense.
  3. Don’t skimp on the essential flavours – chili for spicy, lemon for sour and jaggery for sweet. As my mother would tell me, these flavours need to be ‘agal patdu’ means put more than what is required.
  4. If you have some khichdi or rice lying around in the fridge, do put that in too. Adding in some mushy rice gives muthia a great texture and softness.
  5. You can play around with the flour too. In the past, I have used jowar, semolina, bajra as well while making muthia and they turned out equally delicious. My suggestion would be to use a combination of flour to get the best results.

Hope you will enjoy making and relishing these muthia as much as we do. If you are left with some leftovers, don’t worry, go ahead and make super sticky, sweet and spicy orange glazed muthia. You will thank me for it 🙂

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Let me know how this recipe turned out for you by writing to me in the comments below. And if you take a picture, please tag me on my instagram handle @acookwithin to share your creation😊 It would make my day!

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