Dry roast the rice, toor dal, cumin and black pepper on a pan until the ingredients are hot to touch. About a couple of minutes. Set aside.
Grind the dry roasted rice mixture in a mixie. Grind to a coarse powder.
Heat oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds and chana dal. Add in the curry leaves, split green chillies and dried red chillies. Let the mustard seeds crackle.
Add in the chopped onions and salt and saute till the onions are soft.
Add in the fresh shredded coconut. Saute for a minute. Add in 2.5 cups of water. Let the water come to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, add in the ground rice and dal mixture.
Cook for 3-4 minutes till the mixture absorbs all the water and becomes thick. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Let the dough become warm. When the dough is still warm, dip your hands in cold water and take a small lemon size ball of dough. Press the dough a little to form oblong shaped dumplings. Set aside. (Remove the chillies while making the dumplings)
Place the dumplings on an idli plate or any flat plate and steam it for 15 minutes on a medium flame. Remove from heat.
Serve hot with coconut chutney, red chutney or kara chutney.