Menthi or Menthula Sankatti (Telugu)/ Vendhaya Kali(Tamil)/ Fenugreek(Methi Seeds) Rice Balls

This dish is very common in my house and usually prepared for breakfasts. When I was a kid my mom used to beg, threat and bribe us to eat this dish or atleast taste some, but I never even went near it which I regret now. I always wondered how they can have it for breakfasts and when I had them after so many years realized how good and filling it was. This dish is especially good to have in summer/hot climates or even when one is having stomach pain. This will help to cool the body and also reduce the pain in stomach for people suffering from heat. Do not worry that it will be sweet as you cannot feel that when you are eating and also you will not know the bitterness from methi seeds. So why not try this out as summer is nearing and you can have once in 15 days or once a week as you wish.

Recipe from Mom/Grandmom( Read an alternative method down below)
Raw Rice/Pachi Biyyam/ Pacha Arisi – 1 ½ cup
Methi Seeds/vendhayam/Menthulu – 1/4 cup or little less
Jaggery/bellam/Vellam – 2 cups or less about 1 ½ cups
Gingelly oil/Nallennai – 4- 5 tbsp

Wash and soak rice in water also add methi seeds along with it for 4 – 5 hours. Then grind in a mixie to a fine paste.


Heat a thick vessel or clay pot( for good taste) and add jaggery pour some water till it is covered and boil until it melts. Filter or strain the water/syrup. Take the water back in the vessel and switch on the stove. Pour the ground batter and cook continuously. Also add gingelly/sesame oil and mix well with a spatula seeing that it does not stick to the vessel. If needed add more gingelly oil. The consistency should come out like a thick ball. Dip you fingers in water and touch the balls it should come out without sticking. Once done remove and when still warm make balls and serve.
At my house they add jaggery though sugar can also be added, but adding jaggery is better, you can read about this below this post. In place of jaggery can also use karupatti(palm sugar)

Another method to cook for people who want to use less jaggery is the one I am posting now. This is what my grandma and mom suggested.
Instead of raw rice boiled rice can be replaced( this also helps to cool the body or acidity).
For people who will be tasting it for the first time or trying or are doubtful of the qty above can reduce the amount of methi seeds by little from the above mentioned qty. 

Grind the rice with methi seeds to a fine paste. Add water just enough for grinding and once done add additional 3/4 - 1 cup of water or little more and add the ground paste in the vessel. Cook with stirring continously on medium high flame. When it come up to a boil, reduce and cook on medium low flame. Keep stirring and while the cooking add 1 tbsp of gingelly oil now and then so it does not stick the pan. Keep stirring and once it is little thick and raw smell leaves. Remove the consistency can be anywhere between thick to semi thick consistency. For people who are sugar conscious they can follow this one. 
Melt jaggery or Palm sugar(karupatti) in a pan with water. Once it is melted filter to remove impurities adn transfer back and boil it again to a thick syrup consistency. For serving can place a small amount of the rice balls/paste and pour this syrup on top. Mix both and eat. Taste equally good. Hope this helps you all. You can use the same amount of jaggery or karuppati as mentioned above or for sugar conscious people can use 1/2 of it as per the taste you want.

Benefits of adding jaggery instead of sugar:-

Jaggery is rich in iron and thus is highly recommended for anaemic people. It also contains many minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Manganese and Zinc. Since no chemicals are used in preparation of jaggery, some minerals and vitamins remain intact in it, compared to refined sugar.
Sugar is absorbed almost instantly in your body. Jaggery, being unrefined, is absorbed more slowly. Thus, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as rapidly as sugar.

The most common sweetener, sugar or sucrose, is extracted from sugarcane and refined in pure form through chemical treatment. An enzyme called sucrose (or invertase) converts sucrose into glucose and fructose which provide energy to the body. Insulin, secreted by the pancreas, stimulates transport of glucose into the cells through a membrane. In diabetic patients, glucose gets accumulated into the body due to insulin deficiency. Refined sugar in pure form is made up of only glucose and fructose. Its intake is more harmful than jaggery which is a natural sweetener prepared by heating and boiling sugarcane juice to a concentrate without using chemicals.

22 comments/Reactions:

Nisha said...

love traditional recipes like this . bookmarked

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Nice one and healthy too.... I myself never made this but I have tasted this so many time back home. Thanks for sharing.

Akila said...

Looks so yummy....

Sangeetha Nambi said...

Finger licking !

chef and her kitchen said...

never had this one...sounds nice n different

Suparna said...

hi padma,
this is a new ....interesting and healthy

Hema said...

Have heard about it but never tried it, thanks for sharing this traditional recipe..

Kalyani said...

wow looks delicious ........

Hamaree Rasoi said...

I was really surprised to see the methi seeds quantity but then later saw you assuring us that it will not leave bitterness. New kind of sweet for me...

Hamaree Rasoi

Anonymous said...

love it. 2 cups of jaggery are used? that is a lot. for people sugar sensitive how much can i add? also what temp do you cook this at medium heat or low heat so no lumps form?

Spicy-Aroma said...

looks so yummy..wonderfully made!!

Unknown said...


Sensible Vegetarian said...

Looks so good Padma.

Please send in your entries to the Cook Eat Delicious Desserts Event- Wholesome Desserts with no refined sugar or flours ending on March 31

Anonymous said...

you don't have to post this,


seems she keeps stirring on a medium to low flame to prevent lumps.

as for the sugar it seems everyone uses the 1 to 1 ratio of sugar to jaggery. maybe any lesser amount of sugar will not give good taste.

i want to make this for my parents but they are not able to have sugar and never eat sweets these days. so delicious though!

Padma said...

Thank you all for your comments on this post.

Padma said...

I have updated the post for people who asked about the sugar qty. Here we add only jaggery which is much healthier compared to refined sugar. Also I have updated when and how less jaggery can be added. Hope this helps you.

Lavanya said...

Looks good padma. Glad to follow u. Do visit my blog when you get time,

www.mahaslovelyhome.com said...

yummy looking balls. Wonderfully prepared.

Anonymous said...

outstanding work.

sorry what i meant to write is a 1 to 1 ratio of rice to jaggery seems high but all the kali dishes use it. my parents never eat sugar, and most sweets are made with sugar, not jaggery as you mentioned. i haven't tested their blood sugar levels after using jaggery because it is hard to find authentic karupatti velam.

you are correct in what you wrote and once i find it i want to make this dish. i think this kali was given to young girls during their coming of age as a way to nourish their bodies.

i love how you use karupatti velam in your dishes, its so authentic and you are doing outstanding work.


Anonymous said...

that's a good idea to add the jaggery syrup that way people can determine how much sweetness they can have.


Chitra said...

very new to me.will surely try :)

Healthy Food Recipes said...

Good One ! and healthy too :)

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