February 15, 2021

Kunukku Paniyaram | Dal Appe | Lentil Dumplings - Vegan Snack

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Kuzhi Paniyarams , Appe, Paddu, Ponganalu are different names for a very tasty shallow fried snack made in India.  This snack is made in a special vessel called as "Paniyarakal" , " Appe Patra"  or "Aebelskeiwer Pan" .  It is also known as "Appakaaral" in Tamil.

Kunukku paniyaram is a protein rich appe made using various lentils. The lentils are soaked and ground to a fine batter along with chillies and curry  leaves,later fried in the appe pan. We can call this a no fried version of Kunukku, dal appe , lentil dumplings using Aebelskeiwer pan , how to make dal appam , kunukku paniyaram

The pan is traditionally a very heavy one made out of cast iron with small fissures or moulds. 
Over the long time usage ,the pan gets seasoned very well and acts almost like a nonstick pan . When cooked on slow fire , the paniyarams or appams turn out crispy from the outside and soft from inside . Modern kitchens make use of Nonstick appe pans too for ease of handling ,cleaning and maintainence.

This time for the 285th week of Foodie Monday blog hop , it was my turn to suggest the theme , and the Paniyram Pan won over hands down against Welcome drinks which was another option I had suggested for voting.  
Come back to my Facebook space and check out the various innovative and lipsmacking recipes dished out by my co bloggers using the paniyram pan .

Traditionally the kuzhi paniyarams or uppu appams are made using fermented batter prepared  with soaked udad dhall and rice or even left over idli batter .  I frequently make paddus with left over idli  batter by adding some vegetables and freshly prepared tempering.  The recipe can be accessed by clicking here .

The sweet variety is  known as Nei Appam or unni appam and is made using rice flour or wheat flour  and jaggery is used for sweetening. 
You must definitely try out Watermelon Nei Appam which I have on my blog . It can be served as a dessert during any special occasion. 

Now a days , lot of varieties are being made using millets , oats , quinoa as well .
We can also  make vadas , sabudana vadas,kothimbir vadis etc to avoid deep frying keep up with healthy lifestyle and relish some guilt free indulgence.   I have tried to make kothimbir vadis too using the appe pan and it was a super hit. The recipe will be posted soon on my blog .

Today's recipe is a protein rich appe made using various lentils. The lentils are soaked and ground to a fine batter along with chillies and curry  leaves,later fried in the appe pan. We can call this a no fried version of Kunukku - a traditional deep fried  South Indian snack ,the recipe which is already on my blog .

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Kunukku paniyaram is a protein rich appe made using various lentils. The lentils are soaked and ground to a fine batter along with chillies and curry  leaves,later fried in the appe pan. We can call this a no fried version of Kunukku

Soaking Time - 45 mins to 1  hr 
Preparation Time - 20mins
Cooking time - 20 min per batch 
Complexity - easy 

3/4 cup channa dhall /bengal gram dhall /kadalai paruppu
1/4 cup thoor dhall /pigeon peas /thuvaram paruppu 
1/3 cup moong dhall/split yellow lentil
2 tablespoon rice 
2 tablespoon  udad dhall /ulutham paruppu (for softness)
3 to 4 dried red chillies
2 green chillies
1 tablespoon grated fresh coconut 
Salt as needed
Pinch of hing/asafoetida  (skip for gluten free)
10 to 15 curry leaves /kadipatha 
Handful of finely chopped corriander
Oil as needed 

  • Wash the dals and rice multiple times and soak it for 45mins to 1 hr . The water used for soaking should be 1 inch above the dhalls and rice after washing. Soak the dried red chillies also along with the dhalls. This will make the chillies soft and will grind easily. 
  • After 45mins, drain the water and add it to a blender along with salt , grated coconut, asafoetida and few curry leaves.  Reserve the balance for adding to the batter .
  • Add water little by little and grind to a semi thick batter . The batter has to be smooth and of dosa batter consistency. Only then it will be easy to pour in the appe pan.
  • Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl, add in the chopped corriander and curry leaves and mix well . You can add some finely chopped cabbage ,mint leaves or chopped onions also if you like . I have not added. 
  • Heat the paniyaram pan and pour tsp of oil in each of the holders and let it heat well 
  • Once , the oil is heated slowly pour a small amount of batter into each kuzhi/holder carefully and let it cook nicely from the downside .
  • Now with a spoon carefully flip it over and let the other side also turn crispy and golden brown.
  • Drain it carefully and repeat another batch until all the batter is over . Serve hot with some chutney or it can be had as is with some piping hot filter coffee or masala tea.
  1. Incase you are unable to prepare paniyaram after soaking, drain the water and keep it in the fridge and you can grind it the next day and make it.
  2. Never leave the soaked dals outside as it will ferment and give out a foul smell .
  3. You can also grind the batter and keep it in the fridge and use it later for frying . Try to consume within 24hrs as the batter will begin to turn sour and the sour taste may not be liked by all .


  1. Mixed dal paniyaram looks absolutely delicious. Coconut curry leaves and hing definitely made it more tasty and flavorful. Next time I will try your recipe.

  2. Kunukku paniyaram is loaded with the goodness of mixed dals. Absolutely delicious and irresistible recipe.I do make it sometime for breakfast. It is bursting with flavors. Paniyaram pans are such a blessing.

  3. I love Kunukku, and I think it's a great idea to cook them in a paniyaram pan. Filled with the goodness of mixed lentils, what's to not love about these delicious little bites?!

  4. Love these protein rich healthy bites with mixed dal and rice. Sounds delicious amd filling snacks for all ages.

  5. Dal appe looks crispy and colorful, loved the way you used mixed lentils to prepare these appe. Like to have these appe with some coconut chutney.

  6. Loved this mixed dal fritters low oil version in appe pan.. healthy and delicious snack not only for breakfast but can be served to guests for tea time..

  7. This is super tempting and looks so delicious, crispy and healthy. I always make my last batch of adai batter as paniyaram and one of most favorite in your home. This tempts me to make it tomorrow itself.

  8. ahaaa super tempting !! love these protein rich healthy appes of mixed dal with rice. Sounds delicious and with little oil these are loved by any age group...


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