Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram is a popular breakfast food in south India that is also eaten as snack. They are soft, bite-sized. Prepared from fermented batter of rice and lentil. In different regions it is called by different names. For example in Karnataka it is called ‘Paddu’ and in Andhra ‘Gunta Ponganalu’ and in Tamil Nadu ‘Paniyaram’.
Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram is prepared in a special pan called ‘paniyaram chatti’ or ‘paniyarkkal’ that has small cavities. The paniyaram batter is poured into these cavities and cooked.
I have named this Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram to distinguish it as there is also a sweet variety of paniyaram. First you need idli or dosa batter for preparing the paniyarams. Usually the paniyaram is made with leftover dosa batter or when the dosa batter is about two days old. Alternately they can also be made with freshly batter after it is fermented.
To make the kara kuzhi paniyaram, some ingredients like onions, chillies, curry leaves, coriander leaves are added to the idli batter. This then is poured into a greased paniyaram pan. This is such an easy dish which can be prepared in a jiffy. Very ideal for packing into tiffin boxes for children. These paniyarams are small in size, almost bite-sized, soft, and very subtly spiced. This is an age old south Indian recipe – as old as the idli or the dosa.
This simple paniyaram becomes even more tasty when served with spicy tomato chutney, or coconut chutney. Some like to eat this with sambar too.
We had this with tomato chutney today. Other days it may be different accompaniments.
PS: The paniyaram batter can also be tempered with mustard seeds and the onions sauteed before adding but I have added the onions directly and have not used mustard seeds tempering.