If you ask one of us where we want to go out for lunch or dinner, without fail our first pick will be a good south Indian restaurant. Family loves Upma, Idli, Dosai and Curd Rice among many savory dishes from southern part of India. These dishes are healthy and filling. And some of them are really quick to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Let’s make savory Paniyaram, a Tamil dish made with steaming the batter in special shaped mold. Traditionally, the batter is made same way as for Idli and Dosa and can be sweet or savory. Here I am trying an instant version using rolled oat and cream of wheat (rava/soji).
I make Oat Upma and have made Oat Idli using Sailaja Gudivada (aka Sailu)’s recipe, this dish is kind of cross between both. Let me say that Sailu’s Oat Idli taste so divine and soft, it just melts in the mouth. I highly recommend trying her recipe. For this dish however, I aim to get crunchy texture outside and soft almost Upma like texture inside. I have had many different version of Paniyaram at different places as they are so easy to make and adaptable to your pantry. During my last trip to India I had bought a special Paniyaram pan to add to my kitchen collection, which is similar to Ebelskiver Pan, Danish pancake pan sold in US.
Here some wiki-know for fun to check out on your leisure time.
Æbleskiver (Ebleskivers), is a similar Danish dish that is sweet
Poffertjes, is a similar Dutch dish that is sweet
Takoyaki, is a similar Japanese dish that is savory
Kuttappuchi, is a similar Thammamcity dish
Pinyaram, is a similar Indonesian dish
Getting back to Paniyaram, many variations can be made using seasonal vegetable and nuts. Our favorite is grated carrots and sprinkle with onion, tomato and green hot chilies.
Savory Oat Paniyaram
Oatmeal snack with vegetables and greek yogurt
Prep | Cook | Total Time
15 min 30 min 45 min
+allow time for soaking
Recipe type: Snack, breakfast, appetizer
Yield: 30 pieces
1 cup rolled oat (Old fashioned Quaker oats)
1 cup cream of wheat (Roasted Upma soji course)
2 tbsp oil for tempering + 2 tbsp oil for frying (canola oil)
1 tsp mustard seed
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
4-5 fresh curry leaves
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely grated carrots
3 tbsp finely chopped onion
3 tbsp finely chopped tomato
3-4 finely chopped small hot green chilly
1 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda (Eno)
1 cup water
Paniyaram or Ebleskiver pan
Soak soji in 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup yogurt mix for 2-3 hrs. If using regular soji soaking for 1-2 hrs will work just fine. While roasted course soji gives good texture and nutty flavor regular soji will work fine too.
Cut, Grate and prep all the vegetables, cilantro, carrots, tomato and green chilies. You can add vegetable of your choice, sweet corn or green peas goes well too.
Dry roast oat for 3-4 minutes and grind it in spice grinder
Prepare for tempering, heat 2 tbsp oil in pan and add mustard seed followed by asafetida and curry leaves when mustard seed starts to crackle.
Mix cilantro, carrots, ground oat and tempering in to soji mixture, add remaining 1/2 cup yogurt, stir and add water as needed to make smooth batter which is not to think or thin, should be pourable consistency but not runny.
Grease each indentation and heat the pan. Add baking soda to the prepared batter and stir well. Pour 1 tbsp batter in each mold, at this point you can add any vegetable topping you like. Good part of this dish is you can personalize according to your taste and depending upon available vegetable in the icebox. On some, sprinkle red chili powder, on few add onion and green chili and others tomato or choice of your vegetable. Or leave it plain.
Now cover and cook for 7-8 minutes on medium heat.
When ready turn them using wooden spatula and cook uncovered for another 7-8 minutes. Whoa done.
Serve warm with Thokku (Shredded mango and garlic pickle), Green chutney, or plain yogurt. It goes well with Tomato chutney, coconut chutney or plain old ketchup too. Works well as lunch box recipe or even an appetizer. Or simply make it ahead and take it along on your next road trip.