Kuzhi Paniaram

Both my mother and my mother-in-law had a kuzhi paniaram chatti (griddle), but I had never seen them use it, and I had not tasted kuzhi paniaram till I saw it being made at a South Indian delicatessen, The Grand Sweets and Snacks. I was not impressed by the taste of it or the accompaniments (chutney and sambar) served with it. I believe that the main item should have its own distinctive flavour, and the accompaniments should enhance rather than clash with it.

Kuzhi Paniaram

Kuzhi Paniaram

Moreover, I was also shocked by the amount of oil poured into each depression of the griddle to fry the paniarams. I decided that the paniarams that I make will have less oil, and I managed to buy a non-stick griddle and prepare low fat kuzhi paniaram.

Kuzhi Paniaram – Rising Batter in a non-stick griddle

Kuzhi Paniaram – Rising Batter in a non-stick griddle

I could not find a kuzhi paniaram recipe in my mother’s collection, and therefore the search began. Different communities in Tamil Nadu use different combinations of spices, but they all use dosai batter. I have created a recipe using commercially available dosai batter, which allows you to prepare a quick and tasty snack. I love the taste of cumin along with onion and chillies. It gives a unique twist to the flavour.

Kuzhi Paniaram – Turned Over

Kuzhi Paniaram – Turned Over

Ingredients

  • 2 C Dosai batter
  • 1 large Onion
  • 2 green Chillies
  • 2 tsp Ginger, grated
  • ¼ bunch Coriander leaves
  • 3 sprigs Curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp Mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp Cumin seeds
  • ⅛ tsp Asafetida
  • ¼ tsp Baking soda
  • Salt, to taste
  • Water

Oil for frying

  • 3 tsp for sautéing the diced ingredients
  • for frying the kuzhi paniarams, as needed

Method

  1. Dice the onion, green chillies (deseeded), coriander, and curry leaves.
  2. Heat oil in a small kadai or wok. Add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the cumin seeds. Do not allow the cumin to brown.
  3. Add the diced ingredients and the ginger, salt, and asafetida, and fry till the onions become translucent.
  4. Transfer to the dosai batter. Mix. Add soda and enough water to make a pour batter. Stir.
  5. Heat a non-stick kuzhi paniaram griddle. Add ¼ teaspoon of oil to each depression. Add a spoonful of batter to fill three-fourths of each depression.
  6. When the sides are cooked and the top begins to dry, turn the paniarams over. Lower heat. Cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove and serve hot.

Notes

Homemade dosai batter: Soak 3 C idly rice and one 1 C black gram dhal separately for 3 hours. Grind to make pour batter. Add 2 tsp salt and mix well. Cover the vessel and allow it to stand for a minimum of 10 hours to get optimum results.

Options: Instead of ginger, mangai inji (mango-flavoured ginger) could be used when in season.

Accompaniments: It is traditional to serve kuzhi paniaram with chutney or sambar, but this recipe is delicious on its own. Though it’s a snack, at home I serve it for breakfast without any accompaniment.

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