Paniyaram known as Kuzhi Paniyaram or Gunta Ponganalu are savory, spiced, crisp and soft dumplings made from leftover idli batter. Easy to make this paniyaramsnack is vegan and can be made gluten-free by skipping asafoetida in the recipe.
Add the chopped onions, green chilies, grated coconut, spices, herbs everything to the idli batter. Mix very well with a spoon.
Add salt if the idli batter does not have salt previously added to it. Combine well.
If the batter looks thick, you can add some water. If the batter is thin, you can add some rice flour.
Heat the paniyaram chatti or Aebleskiver pan. Add a few drops of oil or as required.
Pour spoonfuls of the batter upto ¾ of the mould.
Allow the batter to cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a low or medium heat.
Turn each kuzhi paniyaram with the help of a wooden skewer or spoon.
Now allow the other side to get cooked and crisp. If needed you can add some more oil.
Turn once or twice for uniform cooking. Repeat cooking with the remaining batter.
Remove them and keep in a casserole so that they stay warm.
These kuzhi paniyaram are also good as tiffin box snack or picnic snack.
Serve paniyaram with coconut chutney or sambar or any chutney variety of your choice.
Batter consistency: The batter has to be medium-thick to medium consistency. If your idli batter is thick, add some water. If it is thin or runny, add some rice flour or sooji (rava, semolina). But keep in mind not to add too much of semolina which can make these dumplings hard.
Add-ins and customizations: Include your favorite herbs, veggies, spices and customize this recipe easily. You can add veggies like grated carrots or beets, finely chopped bell pepper or cabbage and finely chopped greens like spinach or fenugreek (methi). For small kids omit the green chillies, red chilli powder and black pepper.
Curry leaves: Curry leaves impart a distinct flavor in these dumplings. You can skip them due to availability, but do add the coriander leaves.
Coconut: You can use ¼ cup of unsweetened desiccated coconut (finer or smaller flakes) in place of fresh grated coconut. For frozen fresh coconut, thaw before adding to batter.
No paniyaram chaati, no problem: If you do not have this special pan, then not to worry. You can deep fry these dumplings in hot oil until golden and crisp.
Gluten free: To make a gluten-free recipe, either use gluten-free asafoetida or omit adding it. I have not used asafoetida in the recipe.