n Tulu, Marvai stands for sea clams.  Pundi means rice balls or dumplings. Mavai Pundi is essentially rice dumpling soaked in coconut gravy with clams to enjoy all the spices along with flavors of the clams. Marvai Pundi is usually prepared for breakfast in Tulunadu region.  This dish, Marvai Pundi, requires love for cooking and needs some effort to get done – definitely not in the fast food category.

Pundi (Rice Dumpling or ball)

Ingredients: Rice – 4 cups, Grated Coconut – 1 cup, Coconut oil – 2 tsp, Salt as per taste

Method: For preparing Pundi, soak rice in water for 3-4 hours or overnight. Grind the rice and coconut. Put little water to make it a thick and coarse batter. Heat a kadai or wok in medium to low flame. Add about 2 tsp of coconut oil and pour the ground batter. Add salt to taste.

Keep stirring on medium flame till the batter forms lumpy soft dough. Keep one bowl of water by your side. Make your fingers wet. Take a spoonful of dough and make a small ball (the size of a table tennis ball). It is also a good practice to make a dent or groove on one side of the ball. This makes sure that it is fully cooked in the next step.

After making all the dough into balls, steam them for 20-30 minutes.

Marvai curry (clams curry)

Ingredients: Marvai (clams ) – 100, soak marvai for 10 – 20 minutes, grated coconut -1, Red chilli – 5 small, 8 long, coriander seeds ¼ tsp, cumin seeds ½ tsp, Pepper -15, tamarind–size of small lemon , Garlic – 5 cloves , turmeric powder ½ tsp, Onion –2 chopped , curry leaves -1 sprig, salt – to taste, oil – 2 tbsp.

Method: Take a pan and put 1 tsp of coconut oil. Put all the ingredients (except Marvai) to roast in a low flame. Now grind the roasted spices – put coconut and sufficient water.

Now take a wide mouthed clay pot (bisale) if you have, else you can use any thick bottom steel vessel. Reduce the heat to low flame put 2 tbsp of oil, with curry leaves and one chopped onion fry until it changes to golden colour.

Next add the ground paste, salt to taste and water or according to gravy consistency. When the gravy reaches boil, add the Marvai (clam) and allow it to cook for few minutes.

Marvai Pundi – putting it together

When the Marvai has cooked, drop the pundis into the curry and cook till the gravy thickens. Add another round of chopped onions seasoned in coconut oil. Allow the pundi get soaked well in the gravy for atleast 30 mins.

The spicy & flavorful Marvai Pundi is ready to serve. For more interesting local recipes of the region, you may visit this page here

Check out the video below to make the cooking process of Marvai Pundi easy for you.