October 20, 2009

Masala Paniyaram Recipe - Chettinad Masala Paniyaram Recipe

Masala Paniyaram is a Chettinad recipe that starts off with an idli dosa batter as base. I usually make paniyaram at home for a quick breakfast or have slightly sour leftover dosa batter that needs to get used up. I have tried a few different variations of paniyaram by adding coconut, more chillies, no tempering, etc and this paniyaram recipe I am sharing today is my absolute favourite.

masala paniyaram recipe, kuzhi paniyaram recipe

To get started making your own paniyaram, you need a paniyaram pan which is very easily available in India and, of course, Amazon. While doing my own search to buy a paniyaram pan, I was quite intrigued by the fact that a few different cultures have snacks similar to paniyaram in their cuisine too - the popular aebleskiver from Denmark and Takoyaki from Japan. Takayoki usually has a filling but the concept of cooking or frying them is the same as making paniyaram.

masala paniyaram recipe, kuzhi paniyaram recipe

Anyway, on to our recipe now. Masala paniyaram is the simplest evening snack for me and I hope you get to make this soon and share with your loved ones too.

Check out recipe for dosa batter, Mysore vada, jowar dosa, and masala dosa too, if you are looking for some more recipe ideas and inspiration.


Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes 14 paniyaram

2.5 cups of dosa or idli batter
1.5 tsp of oil
1/4 tsp of mustard seeds
A generous pinch of hing (asafoetida)
2 tbsp of chopped onions or shallots (chinna vengayam)
2 tbsp of grated coconut (optional)
2 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves or curry leaves
4-5 tbsp of Indian sesame oil, for cooking
Salt to taste


Heat the 1.5 tsp oil and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the hing and chopped onions or shallots. Fry until light golden brown.
masala paniyaram recipe, kuzhi paniyaram recipe

Turn off heat and add the coconut, if using.
masala paniyaram recipe, kuzhi paniyaram recipe-2

Let the coconut get lightly toasted in the remaining heat and add to the dosa batter along with the chopped coriander leaves and salt to taste.
masala paniyaram recipe, kuzhi paniyaram recipe-3

Mix well and set aside. The batter shouldn't be too runny, the consistency of batter for making idli is perfect.
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Heat the paniyaram pan and fill the each hole up to 1/3 with oil. You can add a bit less if using a non-stick pan.
masala paniyaram recipe, kuzhi paniyaram recipe-5

Once the oil is heated, pour enough batter into each hole to fill it. The oil will float to the top and spill over to the other holes. This is fine, paniyara pan is a way of deep frying the items and yet retaining the shape perfectly.
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Patience is required at this stage. On medium-low heat, cook the paniyaram for a good 3-4 mins until the bottom is nicely browned. Take care to regulate the heat properly otherwise the inside will not cook properly.
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Once the top of the paniyaram has risen a bit and is no longer too runny, gently flip them with a skewer. Take care while doing this. Once all are flipped over, let the other side cook for 2-3 mins.
masala paniyaram recipe, kuzhi paniyaram recipe-9

Once both sides are golden brown, gently remove using the skewer on to serving plates.

Serve paniyaram hot or warm with coconut chutney, tomato thokku (like I did), onion thokku, dosa podi, or even sugar. It's very versatile!

- Add a pinch or two of chilli powder if you want some heat in your paniyaram. I sometimes do this and sometimes don't
- This recipe was updated and re-posted on December 3, 2014. I also added step by step pictures. Drop me a note if you try to make masala paniyaram at home
- For paniyaram recipe in Tamil, please use the Google translate button in the sidebar

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