Kumbalkai Kottige Kadubu Recipe | How to Make Kotte Kadubu Recipe

Whole Food Plant Based Recipes

Fri Apr 24, 2020

Vegan Kumbalkai Kottige Kadubu Recipe

This festive dish traces its origins to the Havyaka community. Havyaks have an intrinsically healthy food system and use minimal oil in most of their dishes.

Traditionally, this lip-smacking dish brings together pumpkin, nuts, and green chillies, however, in this recipe, we have used pepper to spice things up instead! Serve it with a chutney for the prefect combination.

Kottige usually refers to banana leaf or any other leaf shaped into cups, which are filled with rice batter and stuffing.

Recipe Credit: Shilpa Bhat, Puttur

Whole Food Plant Based Kumbalkai Kottige Kadubu Recipe

Course: Course 3 (Grain Dish) at Lunch & Dinner Meals
Cuisine: Havyaka Recipe from Puttur & Mangalore in Coastal Karnataka, South India
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2 people


1 cup Red Rice
1/4 cup Urad Dal
1 tsp Methi / Fenugreek Seeds
1/2 cup Yellow Pumpkin
1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder
2 tsp Miso Paste (Healthy Salt Alternative. See Nutrition Science Highlights below)
1 cup Water as required


  1. Soak red / brown rice for 3 hours. Separately, soak urad and methi seeds for 3 hours.
  2. In the meantime, chop pumpkin into small pieces.
  3. Grind urad dal and methi seeds into a smooth batter with minimal water. Add soaked rice to the mix and grind with minimal water to get thick batter. Stop grinding once the rice is ground into broken rice. If batter becomes too thin, it will spill out of the banana leaf. Mix pumpkin pieces with miso paste and black pepper powder to make pumpkin stuffing and keep aside.
  4. Take a banana leaf. Cut a 10-12 inch square piece. Spread rice batter on it. Place a little pumpkin stuffing in the center and fold it in half to form the traditional kadubu shape, or else fold the four corners to form a cup into which you pour the batter and stuffing. Steam cook in an idli cooker for 15 minutes.
  5. Once steamed, remove from idli cooker and allow to cool completely. Serve fresh. Pumpkin Kottige Kadubu can be served with coconut chutney or any curry of your choice!

Plant Based Chef Pro Tips for Best Kumbalkai Kottige Kadubu Recipe

  1. Right kind of rice should be used to get proper kadubus. Make sure you use unpolished rice!
  2. Any other vegetable like gourds can also be used for stuffing.
  3. Turmeric leaves, taro or large palak leaves can be used for steaming as well. If palak is used, the leaves can be eaten with whole steamed kadubus.

Nutrition Science Highlights for WFPB Kumbalkai Kottige Kadubu Recipe

  1. Why Miso Paste? Miso paste is fermented & salted soya bean paste. American Heart Association Maximum recommended maximum daily salt intake of 3.75 grams per person to minimise risk of high blood pressure, stomach cancer and chronic kidney disease. In addition to helping us restrict salt intake, replacing salt with miso paste also helps by neutralising the negative effects of salt by soya phytonutrients. You can easily make fresh miso paste at home by mixing 100 grams of cooked soya paste with 10 grams of salt, or 10 tablespoons of cooked soya paste with 1 tablespoon of salt. If making at home, ensure to use immediately, or freeze in batches to use later. Or, simply use 3.75 grams of salt or less per day per person and add 18 to 20 grams (dry weight) of soya beans in any dishes, spread through the day!
  2. Why cool grains? When cooked grains are allowed to cool on the counter or in the fridge, the starch crystallises to form resistant starch. This can be eaten by our good gut bacteria and also reduces the glycemic index (the rate at which glucose is absorbed), making the whole grain even healthier. For the same reason, parboiled whole grains can be used as well.
  3. Why methi seeds? Whole grains are super healthy foods, but whole grain flours, not so much. Because of a smaller particle size, the starch from ground up grains gets absorbed much faster than from intact whole grains, causing a glucose spike and insulin spike in the blood. This is why we recommend coarsely ground whole grains as against finely ground whole grains. When we cook dishes using whole grain flours, it is wise to add an ingredient that makes the dish sticky and slows down absorption. Methi seeds are a great addition for making idli, dosa, or kadubu! For the same reason, adding pulses to grain flour dishes is a great idea too.
  4. Why not dairy? Pumpkin Kottige Kadubu is usually served with ghee. Why is this harmful for health? Dairy products have been found to be associated with increased risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, obesity, asthma, PCOS, and heart disease. We can still enjoy our milk, cream, and butter though - as long as they are made from whole plant foods!
  5. Why legumes? Legumes are the #1 number food associated with long life in many recent large studies! They also fuel your gut microbiome through their resistant starch content and slow down glucose absorption, keeping your blood sugar levels steady - even in the next meal! This has been called the Second Meal Effect. This recipe is one of the yummiest ways to include pulses and legumes in your daily diet.

Dr Achyuthan Eswar
Lifestyle Physician & Co-founder, NutritionScience.in, PHC Lifestyle Clinic & SampoornaAhara.com Plant-based Kitchen


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