Kara Kuzhipaniharam is a well known South Indian, savoury Chettinad dish made for breakfast and tiffin. This interesting offshoot of the Idli batter is tasty, vegan, gluten free, fermented, healthy and easy to prepare.
It is prepared on a traditional Kuzhipaniharam kalu chetty made of cast iron for heat retention, with several hemispherical indentations, placed directly on a stove top. Similar types of pan used in other cusines are Appam pan – Kerala, Æbleskiver pan – Danish, Poffertjes – Dutch, Gai dan jaan pan – Chinese, Takoyaki pan – Japanese.
Kuzhipaniharam’s distinctive sphere shape, makes it an inviting pick me up delight, fun and appealing to all, especially children.
Prep time : 2 – 3 hrs; Cooking time : 20 mins; Serves : 4-6
- 3 cups of fermented Idli Batter (rice | millet)
- 1 tbsp Channa Dal | Bengal Gram lentils
- 2 – 3 green chilies
- 1/2 cup Sambhar onions | shallots or 2 onions
- 3 stems of curry leaves
- 3 sprigs of coriander leaves
- Rock salt to taste
- 2 tbsp Coconut oil or any cooking oil
1. Finely chop the onions, green chilies, curry leaves and coriander leaves. To the fermented Idli batter add all of these, bengal gram dal and salt, keeping in mind the already salted fermented Idli batter. Mix well. Set aside for 2 – 3 hours which helps to soften the bengal gram dal and makes it a chewy bite.
2. Heat up the Paniyaram | kallu chetty | pan on the gas stove, pour 1/2 tsp oil into each of the pits and then pour a spoonful of the prepared batter till each pit is about 3/4 full. Cover and let it cook on low flame for 10 mins. Uncover and with a stick, a skewer or back of a spoon, upturn the kuzhipaniyarams and let it cook on this side too, for about 5 mins. Make sure to cook till no raw batter is inside the kuzhipaniyarams.
1. Grated coconut, grated carrot – either or both can be added to the batter.
2. Pour the batter upto 1/4 into the pit then add 1/2 tsp of green chutney / tomato onion chutney / any chutney of choice. Nowadays restaurants have come up with grated paneer / tofu / cheese additions too. Then pour over, some more batter such that the stuffing is sandwiched in the center and prepare stuffed Kuzhipaniharams.