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Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyaram

 Published 2008-May-22   Updated 2018-Mar-26

-Submitted by Eliza

(Kuzhipaniyaram, Masala Paniyaaram, Gunta Ponganalu , Pongadalu, Appe, Paddu, Guliappa, Ponganalu, Idli Batter Fritters, Puffed Rice Cakes)

Kuzhi Paniyaram (also called Masala Paniyaram) is a very tasty snack made throughout South India. Its other names are appe in Konkani, paddu in kannada, ponganalu in telugu. Paniyaram has a sweet variation which is also known inippu paniyaram or unniappam in Malayalam. 

Today I am sharing the spicy masala paniyaram recipe. To make this, you need a special paniyaram pan which has small moulds. I have seen similar pan in US called the puffed pancake griddle which can also be used for the same. I prefer using a pan with non stick coating since it requires much less oil as compared to the traditional cast iron pan. Since it is made in small moulds (kuzhi), it is known as Kuzhi Paniyaram. It is usually served as an evening snack with a cup of tea or it can be served for breakfast or dinner. Traditionally a separate batter is prepared for making paniyaram which I have shared below. These days however it is more commonly made with left over idli/dosa batter. The sour fermented batter is seasoned with spices and onions and then fried in the paniyaram pan. You get fried balls which are crispy on the outside and spongy on the inside.  

Recipe For Chettinad Kuzhi Paniyaram

Preparation Time : 10 minutes

Cooking Time : 20-30 minutes

Serves : 4


For Batter

Use 2 cups of idli/dosa batter to make paniyarams or make this batter the traditional way.

  • Parboiled Rice/Idli Rice - 1/2 cup
  • Raw Rice (or Rice flakes) - 1/2 cup
  • Urad dal - 1/4 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste

For Seasoning

  • Onions - 2 or 15 shallots (chopped)
  • Green Chilies - 4 (chopped)
  • Curry Leaves -1 string (chopped)
  • Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
  • Urad Dal-1 tbsp
  • Chana Dal -1 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds-1 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tbsp


For Making Batter

If you do not want to make a separate batter for make paniyarams, you can use idli/dosa batter too.

  1. Wash and soak the rice together and the urad dal with the fenugreek seeds in a separate bowl for about 4 hours.
  2. Grind it to a smooth paste. Mix salt.
  3. Ferment the batter for about 10 hours (or overnight) till the batter doubles in volume. Now the batter is ready to make paniyarams. You can store it in the refrigerator and make it later too.

For Making Paniyarams

  1. Add oil to a kadai and temper the mustard seeds, chana dal and urad dal.
  2. Add the chopped onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Sauté for just couple of minutes till it becomes transparent . You can make it more healthier by adding grated vegetables to the paniyaram. In case you decide to add, you can saute it along with this.
  3. Add the seasoned mixture and grated coconut to the batter and mix well. 
  4. Heat the kuzhi paniyaram pan (puffed pancake griddle). Drizzle few drops (about 1/2 tsp) of oil in each mould.

    Kuzhi Paniyaram Steps

  5. Pour a spoonful of the batter, let it cook for just a minute. Using a wooden stick that comes with it or with a fork, gently flip each paniyaram so that it will cook on the other side. It will automatically form a ball shape. You can cover with a lid to ensure faster cooking.

    Kuzhi Paniyaram Steps Kuzhi Paniyaram Steps

  6. Cook till both sides are cooked and small brown spots appear. Cooking on medium low flame gives the best results. Tasty kuzhi paniyaram is ready to be served.

    Kuzhi Paniyaram Steps

Kuzhi Paniyaram

Serving Suggestion


  • If you are making for kids, then remove the chili pieces after sautéing.
  • I often like to add grated (or finely chopped) vegetables like carrot, capsicum, cabbage, tomato etc. to the batter to make it colorful and healthy. You can also add leftover vegetable poriyals directly to the batter. Kids will love this vegetable kizhipaniyaram.

Other Chettinad Recipes

Pal Paniyaram Pal Paniyaram Kadalai Kuzhambu Kadalai Kuzhambu Kozhi Biriyani Kozhi Biriyani Poondu Vengaya Kulambu Poondu Vengaya Kulambu
See more...

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Comments (14)

Person   ()
its good with coffee. Try kumbakonam filter coffee with paniyarum. really good combination.
Person   ()
Person   ()
Great effort you are a cooking encyclopedia
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
wow gr8 i love this its yum i added grated capsicum too its gr8 this sit rocks thnx
Person   ()
Thanks. Good that you liked it.
Person   ()
i didnt understood ye round shape mai kaise hue
Person   ()
Hi Ruby, When you add the better to the kuzhi paniyaram griddle or puffed pancake griddle, it automatically becomes round in shape. Here's a picture of the griddle in the method section.
Person   ()
Hi I have a fresh idly batter which not fermented is it ok to use for making paniyaram?
Person   ()
Hi Charumathi, Kuzhipaniyaram tastes good only with fermented batter.
Person   ()
hi, l love this recipe but would hope you could post more varieties. l find this is only one recipe.
thank you.
Person   ()
Sure, will add more. I have a kerala variation called Unniappam .
Person   ()
this is a lovely stuff for evening snacks. garma garam with tea. i love it.
Person   ()
Yes. We even enjoy as a light meal with some coconut chutney.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2018-03-26.