Kuzhi(ku-li) Paniyaram

The Grand Sweets & Snacks, Adyar, Chennai.
During the time when we were in Chennai, I used to make frequent visits to a place called The Grand Sweets & Snacks in Adyar. They had authentic and wonderful variety of sweets, savories, pickles and podi's. Run dominantly by women, their quality was very high. They would hand out complimentary food in "Donnai", leaves knit together like a cup, mostly a rice item which was no match for any home made food in its quality. I have become addicted to their podi's and other things it was difficult to make a change. After moving to US, I wait for my husband to make a business trip to Chennai to bring my favorite items from there. Here, I have to mention that I was introduced to kuzhi paniyaram. They would make fresh paniyaram and serve with sambar and tomato chutney. Kuzhi paniyaram chatti, a special tawa that has small holes is required to make these small balls that a soft and spongy on the inside and crispy on the outside called as paniyarams. Kuzli means "hole", referring to the tawa required for preparation. Idli batter can be used to make these paniyarams, but if want to make these specially, better to make the original batter.
1 cup Urad dal
2 cups boiled Rice
2 cups raw Rice
2 tsp Fenugreek seeds

Soak all in enough water and grind to a smooth batter. Add salt and set aside to ferment for 6 - 8 hrs. Yeast or cooking soda can be added for fermentation.
For the masala:
2 Onions
3 Green Chilies
1” Ginger
Few Curry leaves
1 cup cut peppers - optional
1 cup grated carrot - optional
½ cup grated coconut

In a kadai add 2 tsp of oil and make tadka with few mustard seeds, jeera, hing, a red chili, chopped green chilies and ginger, few curry leaves. Add chopped onions and fry for a few minutes, then add finely cut peppers (red, green), grated carrot and grated coconut. Add salt and fry for a few minutes, remove from the flame and let cool. Add chopped coriander.

Add to the batter and mix well. Add a few drops of oil in each hole to the paniyaram pan and gently drop spoonful batter into each hole. Let cook for a few minutes and turn the other side using a pointed stick (given with the tawa). Remove when nicely done. Cook on medium flame for crispiness.

Serve hot with sambar and tomato chutney or coconut chutney.


Ms.Chitchat said...

Mouth-watering kuzhi paniyaram. Me and my family frequents visits to GS, without which our trip to Chennai is incomplete.


Uma. said...

I can understand the feeling towards Grand Sweets.