Kuzhi Paniyaram

5 from 1 vote

Kuzhi Paniyaram is a delicious South Indian breakfast or snack recipe that comes together in under 20 minutes. Serve these with coconut chutney for a yummy treat.

Here are some more South Indian breakfast recipes: Oats Idli, Ven Pongal, Ragi Idli, Rava Ponga, and Rava Appe.

Kuzhi paniyaram served on a plate.
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About Kuzhi Paniyaram

“Kuzhi” means pit in Tamil, and Paniyaram is a cooked rice ball.

Kuzhi Paniyaram is a South Indian snack or breakfast recipe made with idli batter, fresh coconut, and other simple ingredients. It is especially popular in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu.

Paniyaram are also known as appe, gunta ponganalu, kara paniyaram, kulu paniyaram, gundu pongala, paddu, or guliyappa in different South Indian languages.

These taste best when made using slightly sour day-old idli dosa batter and are a great recipe to use the leftover batter.

Crispy from the outside and soft from the inside, they are shaped like small balls and cooked in a special pan called paniyaram chatti, paniyara kal, or appe pan. This pan is easily available in Indian grocery stores or online portals like Amazon.

If paniyaram pan is not available, then you can also use an Aebleskiver pan, which is used to cook Danish pancake balls.

For the crispiest paniyarams, try to get a cast iron pan. If not, a non-stick-coated pan will also work.

Kuzhi Paniyaram can be made savory or sweet. I am sharing the savory recipe in this post, and you can check the sweet recipe here.

These are best served with coconut or tomato onion chutney for breakfast or as a tea-time snack. It can also be dipped in rasam or sambar for a comforting meal. Gunta Ponganalu is also a great option for packing lunch and picnic boxes.

Ingredients

Idli Batter – I prefer Homemade idli batter for making paniyaram, and I always have the batter in my fridge. However, you can use store-bought packaged idli or dosa batter if you are short on time.

These taste best with slightly sour idli batter.

Veggies – Traditionally, this recipe uses only onions, tomatoes, green chilies, carrots, and cilantro (fresh coriander leaves). Still, you can experiment and add more veggies, such as grated beetroot, green beans, etc.

Coconut – The addition of freshly grated coconut gives it a unique taste.

Oil – I use canola oil, but you can replace it with ghee, olive oil, or butter.

Others – You will also need brown mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafetida (hing), and salt.

Variations

To make masala paniyaram, add spices like coriander powder, garam masala powder, and turmeric powder to the batter.

Skip adding asafetida to make these gluten-free.

Add chana dal and white urad dal in the tempering for a nice crunch in the paniyaram. Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) can also be added to the tempering.

Add some grated cheese to the batter to make cheesy paniyaram.

How To Make Kuzhi Paniyaram

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan over medium heat.

Oil heating in a pan.

Once the oil is hot, add 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, and 6-8 curry leaves, and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.

Mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves added to hot oil.

Add the following ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.

  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoon grated fresh coconut
Onions, carrots, coconut and green chilies added to the pan.

Remove the pan from heat and add the mixture to 3 cups of idli or dosa batter.

Cooked ingredients added to dosa batter.

Add 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro, ¼ teaspoon asafetida, and 1 teaspoon salt, and mix well to combine.

Cilantro, hing and salt added to the bowl.
Batter ready.

Heat a paniyaram chatti or Aebleskiver pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add ¼ teaspoon oil to each cavity.

Oil added to paniyaram pan.

Pour spoonfuls of the paniyaram batter into the cavities until they are almost full.

Batter poured in the cavities.

Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes until the paniyaram are golden brown and crispy from the bottom.

Pan covered with a lid.

Turn each paniyaram with a wooden skewer or a spoon and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.

Paniyaram flipped.

Remove the paniyaram on a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Keep the ready paniyaram in a hot case to stay warm until you serve them.

Ready kuzhi paniyaram.

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Neer Dosa

Chettinad style Instant Kuzhi Paniyaram (Gunta Ponganalu) is a delicious South Indian breakfast or snack recipe that comes together in under 20 minutes. Serve these with coconut chutney for a yummy treat.
5 from 1 vote

Kuzhi Paniyaram Recipe

Chettinad style Instant Kuzhi Paniyaram (Gunta Ponganalu) is a delicious South Indian breakfast or snack recipe that comes together in under 20 minutes. Serve these with coconut chutney for a yummy treat.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspon cumin seeds
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • ½ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped green chilies
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • 2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut
  • 3 cups idli or dosa batter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (fresh coriander leaves)
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida (hing) (skip for gluten-free)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • oil for cooking
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Instructions 

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves and let them crackle for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add onions, green chilies, carrot, and fresh coconut and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Remove the pan from heat and add the mixture to idli or dosa batter.
  • Add cilantro, asafetida, and salt and mix well to combine.
  • Heat a paniyaram chatti or Aebleskiver pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add ¼ teaspoon of oil to each cavity.
  • Pour spoonfuls of the batter into the cavities until they are almost full.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 3-4 minutes until the paniyaram are brown and crispy from the bottom.
  • Turn each paniyaram with the help of a wooden skewer or a spoon and cook on the other side for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Remove the paniyaram on a plate. Repeat the process with the remaining batter. Keep the ready paniyaram in a hot case so that they stay warm until you serve them.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

To make masala paniyaram, you can add spices like coriander powder, garam masala powder, and turmeric powder to the batter.
Skip adding asafetida to make these gluten-free.
Add chana dal and urad dal in the tempering for a nice crunch in the paniyaram. Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) can also be added to the tempering.

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal, Carbohydrates: 52g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 539mg, Potassium: 32mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 40IU, Vitamin C: 21mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg
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