Muthia is traditionally Gujarati vegetarian dish made with blend of flours, whole-wheat, chickpeas, millet or sorghum and seasonal vegetables. Its made by steaming hand pressed cylindrical dumpling almost sausage like and then sautéing with oil, mustard and sesame seed. Other version is made by frying this dumpling in oil. Both versions tastes equally great. I am going to show you how to make the steamed version.
Often times than not my mom used to make this dish by adding left over cooked rice or khichuri (rice-lentils dish) in addition to flour blend and with whatever greens we had at hand that time. Her choice of vegetables were, Bottle guard, Methi (fenugreek leaves) & spinach. I believe the whole recipe was developed to repurpose left over rice. I call that smart kitchen management. Did she get paid for this position, oh yes…abandoned love and respect. And she still continues to hold that earnest income till day.
Different household has different ways of making this dish, some prefers more green leafy vegetable than others. Also everyone have their preference for flours too.
I am making the same traditional recipe using Zucchini. We have abandon summer squash during this time of the year and before we run out of them grab a few from the local market and make this at home. I like to use seasonal vegetables in traditional recipe so I can enjoy them more often. Zucchini also taste very similar to bottle guard when cooked. Other dishes using this summer vegetable, zucchini with potato for making stuffed paratha, Handvo or even thepla. Yes, it’s very versatile vegetable & works great with lot of these recipes.
Growing up this dish was often made for lite dinner/supper at home, for me it works great for light lunch or even packing a lunchbox. And the best part is it can be prepared ahead. I generally keep the rice out of the recipe when serving in lunchbox to avoid spoilage. For this recipe we will work w/o rice too.
Believe it or not I have just recently mastered the recipe. It’s my favorite snack but more than that its the way mom makes. I have preference for right texture, softness and taste. And that’s when the art of mixing becomes important. It’s similar to working with wheat flour & gluten in baking, over kneading results in tough Muthia/dumplings. Right ratio of vegetable and flour is also critical for producing the right texture.
To finally learn I asked mom to make this recipe in front of me, while I jot down the recipe & ingredients and felt the dough by hand to understand the consistency. All these are important, if you are like me you know exactly what I mean when getting the dish right way or better yet mom’s way.
That process already sounds daunting, I know & for that very reason & for ease I have developed the recipe using kitchen aid stand mixer. No guess-work, all you need to do is measure the ingredient and add in to mixer bowl and it will do rest of the job/mixing for you. I know, I am patting my self on the shoulder, smile.
Yes, how easy is that. Lets look.
Steamed whole grain dumplings with seasonal vegetables
Prep | Cook | Total Time
15min 30min 45min
Recipe type: Lite Dinner, Brunch, lunchbox
Servings: approx 4
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup Rava (Soji)/semolina
1/4 cup chickpeas flour(besan)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp dry mango powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp eno/baking soda
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 cup grated zucchini (remove excess water if present by pressing between two palm)
1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro plus more for garnish
1/4 cup plain yogurt (I prefer whole milk yogurt in this recipe)
2 tbsp oil
2-3 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp green chili paste (optional)
2 tbsp oil
1/8 tsp asafoetida/hing
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
Heat water in steamer pot. You can use soup pot with vegetable steamer for this step. while water is steaming start preparing for muthia.
Put all dry ingredients except baking soda/eno in a large bowl or stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment. Yes, another hands-free, mess-free recipe. Mix until combined. Now add wet ingredients and baking soda/eno & mix again just until combined. Avoid over mixing. It is the only critical part about this recipe.
Now take about a cup full dough in hand and shape it like sausage and layer it on steamer tray. See the image for reference. Layer muthia alternatively on steamer and cover the pot. Let it steam for 15-20 minutes depending upon the size of the pot and quantity. Check if it’s done by inserting a toothpick and see if its comes out clean. Once done, turn the heat off & let them rest in the pot, covered for another 15 minutes.
Now remove each muthia on the cutting board and slice as thin or thick you prefer. I like mine just about medium so that it hold the shape when sautéing.
Now prepare tempering in a sauté pan. Heat oil, add mustard seeds and asafoetida, once mustard seeds starts to crack add sliced muthia pieces, sprinkle sesame seeds & toss. At this point you can garnish with fresh chopped cilantro & freshly grated coconut if you like.
This exact recipe can also be made as fried dumplings by making small sausage/bullet shaped muthia and by deep-frying in oil. Fried muthias have longer shelf life that mean they will stay good at room temperature for couple days making them suitable to take along as snack when traveling.
Tip: Make sure water is boiling hot & steam muthia as soon as the dough is prepared. Grated vegetable and yogurt tends to make dough softer when kept for long time which tends to make it hard to shape muthia for steaming.
You can substitute Zucchini with grated carrots, Chinese bottle guard, Spinach, Kale, Collard greens, Methi (fenugreek) leaves, grated cabbage or even just cilantro and spices.
Share your winning vegetable for this recipe.