Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spicy Lentil Ball Pancakes/South-Indian Aebleskiver "Kaara Paniyaram"

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Day4 of BM9: So many lentil recipes in a row, right? But what can I say, I am big on Lentils, Legumes and such. I did tell you I was raised a Vegetarian till I was 17-ish.. So I am used to eating greens and lentils on a daily basis. And old habits die hard. The fact that its the holy "vegetarian food only" month(Protaasi Maatham) according to the Tamil Calendar doesn't help either. I am beginning to crave for meat and poultry but its bad manners to give-up "the fast" and give-in to temptation when my in-laws are steadfastly sticking to it. Hubby sneaked in chicken pot-pie for my son. MIL was okay with it cause Lil A is too young to start fasting and such. He constantly asks for chicken nugget and chicken pot-pie.Now to be young and care-free...I wanna be in his shoes!

Anyways, back to the main topic which is the "Spicy Spherical Pancakes".This is a very popular breakfast or snack item in rural TamilNadu. The batter is versatile and allows one to make it into a crepe if one desires it.Batches and batches of these yummy, spicy spherical darlings straight from the pan to plate to mouth is pure bliss, especially on a rainy, gloomy and windy day. These ball pancakes/paniyaram don't need a thing besides a healthy appetite.
  • Olive Oil for cooking 
For the Basic Batter
  • 2-1/2 Cups "Ponni" Raw Rice
  • 1-1/2 Cups Split Pigeon Peas "Tuvar Dhal"
  • 5 Dry Red chilies or less/more
  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds (Whole)
  • 1" Ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 8 Small cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 Tsp Fennel seeds,optional
Additions to the batter:
  • 1 Cup Chopped Cilantro, packed
  • 4-5 Stalks Curry Leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 large Onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • Soak the Rice and Tuvar dhal for 2-3 hours. Grind it along with all other ingredients under the "The Basic Batter". The batter should not be ground into a smooth paste. It should be 90% ground and 10% gritty.
  • Add the ingredients from under "the additions to a batter" and mix it with enough water. The consistency of the batter should be "runny". Comparatively speaking, it should be runnier than that of the Dosa batter.
  • Stir in the salt and keep it ready. If you feel that salt is less, it can be added at any point in time.
  • Heat the Aebleskiver/Paniyaram Pan and pour little oil into the well of the pan.
  • Once the pan is hot and the oil is warm, ladle in the batter. Let it cook for a minute.
  • Using the "wooden tool that comes with the pan" flip the little darlings and let it cook for a minute or so.The wooden tool looks like a dagger that narrows from a spatula to a sharp point!
  • The ball pancakes are ready to be removed from the pan if they are evenly browned and crispy on all sides.
  • Move it to a hot pack and repeat the above 3 steps for the remaining batter.Enjoy it as is. Since there is so much going for them already they can be eaten as is. Yes, yes,these darlings are a standalone snack or breakfast/brunch item.
  • The pancakes lose the crunch if they cool down. So they taste best when they are hot and crispy in texture.FYI, they taste like lentils too.
  • The texture of the batter is important. It has to be 90% ground and 10% gritty. If you rub the batter between your thumb and forefinger you should be able to feel the granular texture.
  • The batter cannot be thick. It will have to be runny...much runnier than a dosa batter. Else when you flip the pancakes to cook on the other side, it will leave hollow spots on one side of the spheres, like in the picture. If you see a batch of these ugly hollow spheres add slightly more water to the batter and try it again.
Makes nearly 80 "Ball Pancakes"

A similar recipe, but made with entirely Rice Batter and with peanut a side.:
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  1. Wow! kara paniyaram looks yummy and tempting feel like having the plate with the tasty chutney.
    Actually I moved to Allentown recently(3months back)the community where I stay now has lots of Indians,so far I didn't meet any one named Shanthi.If I get a chance to get meet that person,will let you know.

  2. i really love this....less oil vadas / bajjis...too much too good! yum!

  3. Delicious and yummy looking recipe.Excellent preparation.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  4. very tempting paniyarams!! I haven't tried with the addition of toor dal. Next time ..

  5. I make vellai appam but haven't tried kara appam. this looks very inviting. will try it out and keep u updated

  6. yummy... This combination of rice and thuvar dhal is new to me. BTW Iam back in Rhode Island and in settling down mode.

  7. I can't wait to make these . Finally a use for the apelskiver pan my cousin gave me for my wedding eons ago!

  8. This is our favorite snack. Yours looks absolutely delicious...

  9. I made appe (as we call it ) only once with a basic combination, was keen for newer combinations, thanks for sharing

  10. Seriously i can have some rite now,love this paniyarams..

  11. CL, I'm falling in love with your Clicks..Beautiful and inviting. Paniyaram look delish.

  12. Yum those paniyarams look amazing, love them :)

  13. Stunning paniyaram CL. You have made lots of them, did n't you feel exhausted? Iam drooling here on seeing them :)

  14. I am making your wonderful lentil pancake balls..can't wait to serve them!


Thanks a bunch for your valuable comments and continued support.They are very much appreciated. Yes,like "Rain on Dry Land" and like "Oasis in Desert Sand".
XoXo, Cool Lassi(e)