16 bean dumplings of glory!

NC boasted of an insipid and listless weather. It did not quite make up its mind on the sunny scale and we the poor residents were left with drizzle and chills , and added winds. So what do you do on a cold and lousy weather day.  Adding to the list of variables, 3 kids with cranky temperaments in various level in the crank-o-meter scale .  And it being Navrathri, we were fast exhausting the tolerance for steamed lentils ( aka sundal). Coming to my rescue was a packet of 16 bean soup mix which I had bought some time ago. And this recipe was born !


  1. 16 bean soup mix – 2 cups ( check my notes for substitutions)
  2. Brown basmati rice – 1.5 cups
  3. ginger – 2 inches ( skinned )
  4. whole black pepper – 2 tsp ( but please adjust according to your spice levels)
  5. Byadagi chilli –  2
  6. Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Fresh grated coconut – 2 tsp ( optional)
  8. Curry leaves – 2 healthy sprigs
  9. Coriander leaves – a fistful, washed and finely chopped.
  10. Salt : 1.25 tsp or to taste

Preparation time :

  1. Soak the 16 beans in sufficient water for 4 hours at least so it can get rehydrated very well. Soak it along with the ginger , black pepper,cumin seeds and red chillies.
  2. Soak the brown basmati rice in a separate bowl with sufficient water. 4 hours should do for this.


  1. Grind the beans soaked along with ginger, red chilies and black peppers to a coarse paste.
  2. Grind the soaked rice to a fine paste.
  3. Mix the two to yield a nice semisolid batter.
  4. Add salt , and finely chopped coriander and the curry leaves
  5. The batter is now ready for shallow frying, deep-frying or to make thin or thick pancakes.

Shallow frying process:

  1. If you own a mini pancake pan in cast iron or non stick for stove top cooking, cyber high five for you! . This is exactly what I use.
  2. Heat the pan, add a drop of oil  or more in case of cast unseasoned cast iron pan, drop in spoonfuls of the batter , just until the holes are 3/4 full.
  3. Make sure you cook in medium heat. You will know the pan is ready when you add the batter in and it sizzles !
  4. In about 2-3 min, you can find the edges browning , you can flip it over. I used a bamboo skewer ( make sure it is dipped in water) to ease the process.
  5. Once flipped, you can see the reddish golden orbs of goodness glistening.
  6. The bottom side should take another couple of minutes to cook.
  7. These are sizzling hot, make sure you wait a couple of minutes before you put it in your mouth.
16 bean pan fried dumplings
16 bean pan fried dumplings

Deep frying:

I will commend you on taking this bold step ! Oh ye brave soul, if you decide to go for this process , you just need to drop spoonfuls of batter in hot oil in a wok.

Points for consideration/Notes:

  • Make this more nutritious by adding grated carrots, zucchini, squash, chopped spinach etc.
  • Batter a little runny? No worries ! Add in a tbsp of rice flour. No rice flour at home ? Improvise. add in corn meal, wheat flour etc. Yes, the taste will differ , but you would you rather not try it before you decide?
  • Make think pancakes out of this. It’s quite yummy.
  • Don’t have 16 bean mix – add a variety of lentils that you have. This is protein packed , so a missing lentil or 2 or 5 should not matter.
  • Sprouted lentils, beans? is even better.

Thoughts? Feedback?Questions? ..Write to me :-)