This is a popular tiffin / snack / breakfast in chettinadu region of Tamilnadu. The batter is similar to idly batter with slight variation in proportion. The urad dhal should be much lesser for the paniyaram, so that the paniyaram comes off the hole easily.
Ingredients:Idly rice (parboiled rice / puzhungal arisi) - 1 cup
black gram lentil (ulunthu paruppu) - 2 tbsp
channa dhal (kadala paruppu) - 1 tbsp
salt - to taste ( 1tsp)
baking soda - 1/8 tsp
ghee /butter/ sesame oil - as per need
To temper:mustard seed - 1/2 tsp
urad dhal - 1 tsp
sesame oil - 1 tsp
onion - 1/4 (small)
green chilly - 2
cilantro - few leaves.
asafoetida (hing) - a pinch
Method:Rinse and soak the rice, urad dhal and channa dhal together for 6 hours.
Grind it to a fine to medium coarse batter with very little water.
The batter should be thick like a pancake batter / idly batter.
Mix salt and keep it to ferment overnight (cold weather) or 6 hours (in hotter weather).
The batter will ferment well only if the room temperature is above 85 deg F. Otherwise maintain the temperature using an oven.
10 minutes before starting to prepare the paniyaram, add the baking soda and mix well.
In the mean time prepare the tempering.
Heat 1 tsp oil in a small wok and add mustard seeds. Once they start splutter, add the urad dhal, asafoetida and finely chopped onion, cilantro, curry leaf, chilly and let it get slightly tender. Add it to the batter and mix well.
Now heat a paniyaram pan and brush some oil in all the holes. Then add 1 tsp sesame oil / butter in each hole. Reduce the flame to minimum and pour the batter to halfway in each hole. Click to see the picture. Cook covered or in open. (I prefer putting a lid to ensure uniform cooking). We can see the paniyaram getting cooked. Flip using a skewer or fork. Take out once done.
Makes almost 21 paniyaram .
Serve with coconut chutney.
Do everything in low heat. It may take a little while but that is the only way to get whole fluffy paniyaram.
Non stick pans work the best. But I have used a pan similar to traditional thick paniyaram pan.
For the first round it may require more oil to fry, but it will take very lesser in the following.