Diwali Dumplings

Dumplings are not only traditional but also universal preparations, they are ubiquitous in almost every cultural cuisine in various forms be it boiled, baked, steamed or fried. Chinese dim sum, Italian ravioli, Nepalese yomari, Jamaican fried dumplings, Polish potato plum dumplings, British herb dumplings, American apple dumplings, etc. are some of the old-fashioned adorable dumplings that delight the gourmets across the globe.


Indian cuisine also boasts a wide range of traditional dumplings of different shapes, flavors and textures. We celebrate every special occasion with delicious dumplings stuffed with sweet or savory fillings.


Munthiri kothu, susiyam, and bonda are the typical south Indian dumplings prepared specially for the most popular festival Diwali.


Susiyam is a delicious dumpling with sweet filling and spongy covering. Filling is made of cooked lentils, coconut and a sweetener mostly jaggery. The recipe for susiyam is as below:


Yields:  12 dumplings



  • ½ cup of Bengal gram (chickpeas/ kadalai paruppu)
  • ½ cup of powdered jaggery
  • Coconut meat as desired
  • 1 cardamom
  • ½ tsp of ghee


  • ¼ cup of idli rice
  • ¼ cup of whole blackgram*
  • ¼ tsp of salt

* You may adjust the quantity of dal to suit your palate, reduced dal leads to hard skin.

susiyam ingr


  • Wash and soak rice & black gram for 2 hours.
  • Wash & soak Bengal gram separately for 1 hour.
  • Pressure cook the soaked lentils by adding ¼ cup of water.
  • Simmer for 5 min. after reaching the high pressure.
  • Grind chopped coconut meat & cardamom without adding water.
  • Add cooked lentil into the mixer and grind into a fine powder.
  • Heat the same pressure cooker in low flame after adding the lentil mixture.
  • Add powdered jaggery and mix well to blend together.
  • Remove from flame.
  • Add a tsp of ghee and roll into small balls.
  • Now grind the soaked rice, black gram & salt into a smooth batter after adding enough water.
  • Transfer the batter to a bowl.
  • Dip the balls into batter and drop them one by one into hot oil using a fork.#
  • Fry them until sizzling sound ceased.
  • Remove from oil and place them onto a kitchen paper to drain excessive oil.

#Fork helps to form dent-free dumplings.


Munthiri kothu is popular in Tirunelveli, Nagerkoil, and Kanyakumari regions. It is almost similar to susiyam but has hard filling wrapped by thin crispy skin. The recipe for munthiri kothu is as below:


Yields: 22 dumplings



  • 1 cup of toasted greengram (varuththa paasi payaru)
  • ½ cup of desiccated coconut*
  • 1/8 cup of toasted sesame seeds (varuththa ellu)
  • 2 cardamoms
  • 2 cups of jaggery

*I used desiccated coconut in place of fresh coconut, as there is no need to fry them before using.


  • 1 cup of rice flour*
  • ¼ cup of all purpose flour (maida)
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp of salt

*I used maida as a binding agent only, liberal use of maida leads to crinkled skin which I don’t prefer.



  • Grind toasted lentils, sesame seeds, desiccated coconut & cardamom into a slightly coarse powder.
  • Heat a sauce pan with 2 cups of jaggery & ¼ cup of water in medium flame.
  • Bring it to boil until 110ºC and remove from flame.
  • Pour the syrup into the flour gradually and mix well.
  • Roll into small balls and refrigerate them for 2 hours allowing to dry quickly.
  • Prepare the batter by mixing all the ingredients for batter with water in a bowl.#
  • You can fry munthiri kothu as shown below.

#The quantity of water used in this batter decides the thickness of skin, here I used water little more than required, so the covering became too thin and the filling slightly discharged into oil.

munthri kothu.gif

Bonda is a savory dumpling with spicy potato filling usually served with coconut chutney. The recipe for potato bonda is as below:


Yields: 10 dumplings



  • 2 boiled potatoes
  • A handful of boiled peas
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves (roughly chopped)
  • ½ tsp of red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp of salt


  • ½ cup of gram flour
  • ½ tsp of red chilli powder
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • ¼ tsp of turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp of asafoetida powder

bonda ingr

You may refer the gif below for aloo bonda preparation.



100 Comments Add yours

  1. Sugiyan (as we call it) is a personal favorite. My friend who lived in our building ensured this treat in her Diwali snack pack every year. She even told me a short cut of using idli batter to dip the jaggery mix in. Of course, it was her short cut.
    Now that you have given me the bonda recipe, I will try this as my evening snack today. Seems easy too! Thank you, Megala.

    1. Megala says:

      Pleasure is all mine! Happy Diwali to you and your family!

  2. These must be so delicious!😋

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, thank you! 🙂

  3. Kranti says:

    These are mouthwatering delicious! ❤️

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you so much.

  4. I am already craving!!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you!

  5. I love traditional recipes such as this one! Never knew something like this existed – thank you for sharing this and enlightening people like me. 🙂 This looks delicious, btw!

    1. Megala says:

      Oh, really? I’m so glad that I have introduced these to you, hope you would like to try them sometime soon. Thank you.

  6. Timelesslady says:

    You are so right. Dumplings are universal. I make an old Pennsylvania Dutch dish called Pot-pie. The potpies are really doughy and much like dumplings.

    1. Megala says:

      Oh, nice! Now I feel dumplings are invariably delicious too. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. So many different shapes and sizes of dumplings . I do love the Indian ones the best. They ahbe made me super hungry for them and it’s only breakfast…

    1. Megala says:

      Oh, so nice to hear this. Thank you.

  8. Wonderful collection of dumplings. Nice presentation.

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you.

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