Kuzhi Paniyaram – soft and fluffy dumplings made from fermented batter consisting of rice and urad dhal. These bite size paniyarams are cooked using a special pan with cavities / indentations. These cute dumplings are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside and can be served as breakfast / dinner or as a tea time snack. These ball shaped Kuzhi paniyarams are served along with chutney and/or sambar.
Other names for kuzhi paniyaram are paddu, gundponglu, guliyappa, gunta ponganalu, appe.
Preparation Time: 15 to 18 hours ( for soaking, grinding & fermentation)
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 minutes
For the batter
- Idli rice – 1 cup
- Raw rice – 1 cup
- Urad dhal – 1/2 cup
- Methi seeds / Vendhayam – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 2 teaspoon
- Oil – 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon
- Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
- Channa dhal (optional) – 1 teaspoon
- Green chillies – 1 to 2
- Curry leaves – few
- Coriander leaves – few
- Onion – 1 (medium size)
- Carrot – 1 (optional)
- Salt – just for seasoning
Step by Step Instructions:
- Take a wide mouthed pot and add the idli rice, raw rice, urad dhal and methi seeds. Wash the ingredients with water twice or thrice. Soak the ingredients in water for about 6 hours.
- Drain the water completely and transfer the soaked ingredients to a blender or wet grinder. Add little water every now and then and grind it to a smooth batter. The consistency of the batter should be thick similar to idli / dosa batter. Transfer this to a vessel and add salt. Mix thoroughly so that the salt is uniformly mixed. Cover the batter with a lid and allow it to ferment for about 8 to 10 hours. The time for fermentation may vary depending on the place you live. Allow enough time for the batter to ferment. If not fermented well, the taste of the kuzhipaniyaram will not be good.
- Seasoning the batter – Heat a pan and add 1 to 2 teaspoon oil. To this add finely chopped onion and saute` until it turns transparent. Add finely chopped green chillies, curry leaves and grated carrot (optional). Add little salt just for the vegetables. Saute` for 1 to 2 minutes, until the carrot is half cooked. Keep this aside. Heat a pan, add 1 teaspoon oil and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, add urad dhal and channa dhal. Saute the lentils until they turn golden brown.
- Take the required portion of the batter in a bowl. Add all the seasonings to this batter.
- Heat the paniyaram pan and add little oil in each of the cavities / holes. Once the paniyaram pan is warm enough, use a ladle to pour the seasoned batter into each of the cavity. Pour the batter so that it occupies just 3/4 th of the cavity since the batter puffs up when it is cooked. Sprinkle some oil on each of the cavity containing the batter. Close with a lid and cook in low flame until you see light golden brown edges. If you want the outer layer to be soft instead of crispy, then flip sides before you see golden brown edges. Using a wooden or stainless steel skewer, gently flip onto the other side. Cook until the kuzhi paniyaram turns golden brown. Remember to keep the flame low since the kuzhi paniyaram might burn out and become harder in texture and darker in colour.
- It is optional to add onion and veggies to the batter. The batter can be seasoned just with mustard seeds, urad dhal, channa dhal and green chillies.
- For variation, if you prefer add a handful of grated coconut to the batter before you make the kuzhi paniyaram.
- Variation – Instead of green chillies, you can add broken red chillies for flavour.
- If you want the outer layer to be soft instead of crispy, then flip sides before you see golden brown edges.
- Variation – If you want super soft paniyarams, then instead of 1 cup raw rice, just add 1/2 cup raw rice.
- The left over batter can be stored in the fridge for 5 to 7 days.
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