Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kuzhi Paniyaram

For a long time, the traditional paniyaram was relegated to the kitchens of chettinad households. Invented by diligent home chefs who were keen on not wasting food especially idli/dosa batter that was painstakingly hand ground. So the batter took on various avataars - idli on day 1, dosa on day 2, uthappam on day 3 and finally it became the delectable paniyaram. Spongy and soft with just the hint of onion, chillies and spices, the humble kuzhi paniyaram has come a long way.

The traditional kuzhi paniyaram pan has 7 or 11 holes/indents. The pan itself can be of aluminium/hindolium, cast iron or non-stick. The latter required minimum conditioning while the first two need to be seasoned and conditioned well.

This dish will take a bit of oil and even if you are a serious health freak, it is hard to say no to a plate of steaming paniyarams with spicy coconut chutney.There are so many variations to the paniyaram. It can be sweet, or made with grated veggies or if you are adventurous , then with stuffings as well.


The recipe below is for the basic paniyaram made with an onion and green chilly seasoning.

It goes well with any type of chutney, but the best match is coconut chutney or peanut chutney.



KUZHI PANIYARAM
Recipe Source: My Mother in Law
Makes 21 paniyarams

Ingredients

Dosa Batter - 3 cups (refer notes)
Onions -2, finely chopped
Green Chillies - 4, finely chopped
Mustard seeds - 1t
Broken urad dal - 1t
Channa dal - 1/2t
Curry leaf - 1 sprig finely chopped
Coriander leaf - 1 sprig finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch, minced finely
Oil - 1T + 1/2 cup
Grated carrot - 1/4 cup, optional


Method

Heat oil in a kadai. Splutter mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, ginger and curry leaves. Add green chillies and onion and fry till onion turns pink.

Mix the seasoned onions and coriander leaves and grated carrot with the dosa batter and allow it to rest for 15 mins.

Meanwhile, heat the paniyaram pan. Add about 1/2 spoon of oil in each of the holes. (I used a nonstick paniyaram pan. Cast iron/aluminium pans would require more oil.)




Mix the batter and pour a small ladle full of batter into each of the holes. Close with the lid and wait for 3 mins. Open the lid and using a skewer or the stick that comes with the pan, turn each paniyaram gently without making any obvious damage to the paniyaram. Cook without the lid for another 3 mins. When both sides are evenly browned, remove them using the skewers. (To check if the paniyaram is done on the inside - a skewer inserted should come out clean).



Repeat the steps till you finish the batter. Any leftover batter can be stored in the fridge for 24 hours.

Serve hot with spicy coconut chutney.





NOTES
  • Use sour dosa batter for the best results. I normally use batter that is atleast 5 days old.
  • Batter should be in the same consistency as used for dosa.
  • Grated veggies like carrots, beetroot, zucchini add color, flavor and nutrition.
  • You can also use Ebelskiver or poffertjes pan if you cannot get a paniyaram pan.



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