Paniyaram is a sphere-shaped dish commonly served for breakfast in South India. It is known by various names in different states, including “appa”, “guliappa” and “paddu”. You will need a special pan, known as paniyaram pan, to make this. It is typically a griddle made of cast iron with several hemispherical indentations all around it.
This savoury paniyaram is made with a fermented batter consisting of split husked black gram and cracked wheat. It is crisp on the outside but soft and fluffy within. Serve it right out of the pan with your favourite chutney.
Makes 35 to 40 paniyarams
½ cup/110g urad dal
1 cup/215g cracked wheat
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup/50g fine semolina
Vegetable oil for frying the paniyarams
1. Wash the urad dal and cracked wheat. Soak them separately in enough water for 3 hours.
2. Drain the urad dal and cracked wheat and then, using a wet grinder or an electric blender, make a thick, pouring batter, adding water as needed. Add the cumin seeds and process for another 2-3 minutes until the seeds are crushed. Transfer the batter to a large bowl and stir in the salt. Cover the bowl and set aside to ferment for 8 hours or overnight.
3. Add the semolina to the fermented batter and mix well.
4. Heat the paniyaram pan over low heat.Pour a few drops of oil into each indentation of the pan and when the oil gets hot, spoon some batter into each indentation until it is full.
5. Cover the pan and cook until the underside of the paniyaram is golden. Flip over and repeat. Remove and serve.
6. Repeat with the remaining batter.