Paniyaram is a dish that has a unique meaning to people in my family. It is almost always associated with memories of my aunt whose favorite dish it was and she being unable to talk, there is a sign she used for paniyaram, asking my grandma to make it for her. I dedicate this post to her as she is no more, but every time we talk or eat of paniyaram, we definitely remember her. There are several recipes for paniyaram, and although the one below is not an authentic one, it is fairly healthier than the original with the use of whole wheat flour. Plus, it is easy to make since it doesn’t involve grinding/fermenting the batter.
In case you don’t know what a paniyaram is, it is a little dumpling created in a special pan, sold here in the US as an abelskiever pan. In Kerala, it is called unniyappam – miniature appam: unni meaning small. It is also called Appe and is a favorite dish among kids especially.
1 cup whole wheat flour(atta)
1 tbsp rava
2 tbsp rice flour/one small ladleful of idly batter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup jaggery, grated
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp chopped cashews
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
1 tsp ghee
pinch of salt
oil+ghee mixture for frying the paniyaram
Heat 1 tsp ghee in a small pan. Add the chopped cashews and fry until golden brown. Add the dessicated coconut and switch off the stove. The residual heat in the pan is enough to toast the coconut slightly. Set aside to cool.
In another pan place the grated jaggery and 1/2 cup water. Bring this to a boil. Stir until the jaggery dissolves. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, place the ripe banana and mash it with a fork. Add the fried coconut and cashews. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the jaggery syrup to remove any impurities and add it to the banana mixture. Add the whole wheat flour, rava, rice flour or idly batter, baking soda and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine, adding water as needed to make a thick batter like for bajji/bonda. Sprinkle in the cardamom powder and set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the paniyaram pan over medium heat. Maintaining the heat level at medium is important to ensure the paniyrams dont get too dark and the insides are cooked as well as the outside. Pour about 1/2 tsp of the ghee oil mixture in each depression. Add a small ladleful of batter in each depression. Cover the paniyaram pan until the under side is cooked, about 2 minutes. Flip the paniyarams using a skewer and cook until golden brown on the other side. Serve while hot!
Verdict: The paniyarams were super delicious and crispy on the outside and soft and spongy on the inside. Mildly sweet and fragrant from the addition of cardamom and coconut. A perfect snack with a cup of tea.Pin It