Crisp & Fluffy Gunta Ponganalu recipe with Dosa batter | Paniyaram recipe
Gunta Ponganalu recipe is a popular snack or breakfast recipe in South Indian cuisine made with fresh or leftover idli/dosa batter. Serve these with chutney or sambar for a delicious treat.
What is Gunta Ponganalu?
Gunta Ponganalu is South Indian fluffy and crisp pan-fried savory dumplings made with fermented lentils and rice batter cooked in a special pan known as paniyaram pan, unniyappam chatti, or kuzhi paniyaram kal.
This South Indian delicacy has many names – Gunta Ponganalu/Pongadalu in Telugu, Kuzhi Paniyaram in Tamil Nadu, and Paddu, Yeriyappa, and Guliyappa in Kannada. The recipe is almost the same, but the ingredients slightly vary depending on the region.
About Gunta Ponganalu Recipe
In this post, I share the easy way to make gunta ponganalu with dosa batter. They are made with idli batter too but the end result is dense compared to fluffy and crisp with dosa batter.
Traditionally the preparation starts by making dosa batter from the scratch. In this gunta ponganalu recipe, I made use of leftover dosa batter. At home, we make a lot of idli and dosa. So the batter is always made in large quantities and stored in the refrigerator.
I like to add various ingredients like chopped onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, and cumin seeds to flavor and spice the batter.
To prepare these dumplings, you will need a special pan called paniyaram pan or appe pan. It is much similar to the Aebleskiver pan used in European cooking. You can opt for a cast iron or non-stick pan. Cast iron pan gives a crispier texture compared to any other cookware.
For me, it is also a lifesaver for the times when there are surprise guests or relatives. You can easily double or triple this gunta ponganalu recipe for a large crowd.
Reasons to make
Breeze to make with leftover batter.
The dish gets ready in 20 minutes.
Crisp from the outside, soft and fluffy inside.
A great way to use one or two days old dosa batter.
Serve it for breakfast, as an evening snack, or as an after-school snack for kids.
A great option to pack for lunch boxes (school or office).
A change when bored of making dosa again and again.
Vegan and Gluten-free.
I added raw vegetables to the batter. Alternately, you can saute them in little oil and add them to the batter.
The dosa batter should be semi-thick, but flowing consistency. If the batter consistency is thick, ponganalu will be dense and if the consistency is thin, the result will be soft ponganalu.
Do not use cold batter, they will cook unevenly. Always take out the batter from the fridge ahead of time and let it come to room temperature.
Make sure the appe pan is hot before pouring the batter.
Adding soda will aerate your paniyarams and make them soft and spongy. It is added in very less quantity which does not cause any harm to the body. However, it is optional.
Cook the paniyarams on medium to low flame so that they cook well from the inside and also impart their characteristic golden color. Regulate the heat as needed.
Do not cook them on high flame. While the outer layer will get color soon, it will be uncooked from the inside.
Cover and cook only one side. Not necessary to close the lid while cooking on the other side.
When packing paniyarams for lunch boxes, cool them. Else the steam will make them soggy.
Dosa batter: I prefer homemade dosa batter and it is always stocked up in the fridge. Sometimes, I also mix leftover idli batter with fresh dosa batter, the mix of the two gives a crispier texture. I have shared recipes for both on the blog.
In case you are short on time or do not have batter, you can use store-bought dosa batter.
I will recommend keeping the store-bought dosa batter on the kitchen counter for a few hours or until it comes to room temperature. You can even keep the batter for 4-5 hours as the slightly sour batter tastes the best.
Cooking Soda: I prefer to add soda as it lightens and softens the fermented batter further.
Semolina: It enhances the texture of pongadalu. You can use fine rava or Bombay rava (sooji, upma rava). If you mix idli batter, there is no need to add semolina.
Veggies: This recipe uses only onions, green chilies, and coriander leaves. I also add cumin seeds for extra flavor.
Other ingredients: Oil and salt.
How to make Gunta Ponganalu
Pour the dosa batter into a wide bowl.
Add the veggies – chopped onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, semolina, and salt. Mix well. Check for salt and add if needed.
Lastly, add the cooking soda, give a good mix, and keep aside for 5 minutes.
Heat paniyaram pan over medium flame. Pour 1/2 tsp of oil into each of the cavities of paniyaram pan.
Turn the flame to low and drop a spoonful of batter in each cavity.
Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes.
Remove the lid and check once if the edges look cooked. If the edges are dark in color, it is time to flip the ponganalu around. Note: because of soda, they will puff a little.
Use a paniyaram skewer or a spoon and press on the edges to loosen the paniyarams.
Gently turn all the paniyarams around. Pour 2-3 drops of oil near the sides of each cavity such that the oil seeps to the bottom. Cook without covering the pan for 3-4 minutes.
Flip again. To check if they are cooked from the inside, poke with a skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are cooked. If it has sticky batter, cook for a few minutes more.
Remove them onto a plate. Repeat the same with the next batch.
Serve Masala Paniyarams with your favorite chutney or sambar.
Serve this delicious paniyaram along with your favorite chutney for breakfast or evening snacks. I’ve shared a few chutney recipes in the blog. Sometimes, I dip them in tiffin sambar for a comforting meal.
Gunta Pongamalu tastes the best when served right out of the pan. They lose crispiness as they cool.
My gunta ponganalu recipe is a spiced (masala) version. Try this recipe once. Also, they don’t have to be the same every time. There are many variations in making ponganalu. You can try any of these creative variations:
Plain: The plain version tastes almost the same as idli with a crisp outer layer and soft inside.
Vegetable Kuzhi Paniyaram: Can add grated or finely chopped like french beans, sweet corn, beetroot, or finely chopped greens like spinach, fenugreek leaves, amaranth leaves to make them healthier and wholesome.
Oil temper the batter to infuse South Indian flavors: Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, split lentils, and curry leaves. Let the seeds crackle and lentils turn a light golden color. Let the mixture cool down slightly and add them to the dosa batter. You can also add the veggies and saute for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
No onion version: skip adding onions to the batter.
If you’ve tried this Andhra-style Gunta Ponganalu recipe, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! Feedback and suggestions are highly appreciated. Also, please share the recipes with your friends and family members.
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Gunta Ponganalu recipe with Dosa batter | Paniyaram recipe
- 2 cups Dosa batter
- 1 tbsp Semolina
- 1 small Onions (finely chopped)
- 2-3 numbers Green Chilies (finely chopped)
- 2-3 tbsps Carrot (grated)
- 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds (jeera)
- 2 tbsps Coriander leaves (chopped)
- 1/4 tsp Cooking soda
- Salt to taste
- Oil to cook
- Pour the dosa batter into a wide bowl.
- Add the veggies – chopped onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, cumin seeds, semolina, and salt. Mix well. Check for salt and add if needed.
- Lastly, add the cooking soda, give a good mix, and keep aside for 5 minutes.
- Heat paniyaram pan over medium flame. Pour 1/2 tsp of oil into each of the cavities of paniyaram pan.
- Turn the flame to low and drop a spoonful of batter in each cavity.
- Cover the pan and cook on low flame for 3-4 minutes.
- Remove the lid and check once if the edges look cooked. If the edges are dark in color, it is time to flip the ponganalu around.
- Use a paniyaram skewer or a spoon and press on the edges to loosen the paniyarams.
- Gently turn all the paniyarams around. Pour 2-3 drops of oil near the sides of each cavity such that the oil seeps to the bottom. Cook without covering the pan for 3-4 minutes.
- Flip again. To check if they are cooked from inside, poke with a skewer or toothpick. If it comes out clean, they are cooked. If it has sticky batter, cook for a few minutes more.
- Remove them onto a plate. Repeat the same with the next batch.
- Serve Masala Paniyaram with your favorite chutney or sambar.