This rich stew with dumplings is a meal in itself

This dish is famous in Madurai and Ramnad areas; it’s been around for as long as I can remember and is still a traditional staple. It appears to have originated from a village called Natham in Ramnad District; in fact, when I visited the village recently, I was served a plate of Sunila. I still remember eating a plate of Sunila prepared by my 80-year-old grandmother on coming back from school in the evening. It’s a favourite of mine, bringing back memories of my grandmother’s cooking. It’s rich, colourful, tasty and nutritious; it can be eaten with rice or idli and dosa; or it may be had as a porridge if more dumplings are added and can be a meal in itself.

Cooking instructions

Wash and clean the mutton bones. Slice onion, tomato and green chillies

Put the pot on the fire and add mutton bones, sliced onion, tomato, green chillies, ginger garlic paste, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, chilli powder, turmeric and some salt.

Add 6 glasses of water, bring to boil and cook till the bones are done. Meanwhile, prepare the rice ball dumplings. Add hot water to the rice flour little by little and keep mixing till the dough looks like poori dough. Make soft, small balls from this dough and place them in the mutton liquid.

Cook for about five minutes till the gravy becomes thick. Remove from the fire, garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chapattis, dosa, parotas or rice.

What you need:

Mutton bones – 250 gm

Tomatoes – 150 gm

Onion – 200 gm

Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp

Coriander powder – 3 tsp

Cinnamon – 2 nos

Cardamom – 2 nos

Cloves – 2 nos

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Green chillies – 2 nos

Salt – to taste

For the rice balls

Rice flour – 150 gm

Hot water – 75 ml

Salt to taste

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