August 02, 2022

Chettinaad Kuzhipaniyaram - savory snack

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 Kuzhipaniyaram is a very tasty and delightful savory snack which takes a very important place either for breakfast or evening snacks  in Tamil Nadu.

Kuzhi in Tamil means cavity/depression and paniyaram means snack in general . So Kuzhi paniyaram means a snack with a depression..sounds funny right ? Basically kuzhi refers to the cavity in the mould of the pan which is used to prepare this snack. 

Kuzhipaniyaram is made in a special vessel called as paniyarakal . It is the same pan which is used to make Sweet Appams ,paddu or gunthaponganalu .

I have already shared the other variant of Paniyaram made from regular Idli batter ,but this chettinaad Kuzhipaniyaram is a special recipe where the batter is ground solely for the purpose of making paniyarams.

Some classic recipes using the Paniyaram Kal / Aebelskeiwer Pan 

Jackfruit Nei Appam

Watermelon Nei Appam


Kunukku Paniyaram

Chettinaad is a region in the Sivagangai district in Tamil Nadu (Southern India) . Chettinaad is known for amazing cotton sarees,Athangudi tiles and lipsmacking food with bold flavor profile especially non veg .

Chettinaad cuisine is known for its pungent and spicy flavor and variety of food ranging from main course , snacks to sweets and savories . As much as they are famous for non veg ,there are a lot of vegetarian options as well .

 Kuzhi paniyaram is served with coconut chutney and /or thakali(Tomato) chutney and some piping hot filter coffee. 

Kuzhipaniyaram also known as uppu appam should not be confused with the other chettinaad special known as Vellayappam .

Vellayappam is a totally different recipe and it has been very well explained by my co blogger Radha on her blog who is my partner this month for the Shh secretly cooking challenge ..we are celebrating Chettinaad cuisine suggested by Kalyani of Sizzling Tastebuds. Kalyani has shared a classic recipe Kaigari Mandi which is very delicious and a perfect accompaniment for main course or idli/dosas .

Soaking Time - 6 to 7 hrs
Fermentation Time - 8 hrs
Preparation Time - 30 mins
Cooking Time - 20 mins
Serves - 5 to 6


1 cup raw rice (strictly no basmati rice)
1 cup idli rice 
1/4 cup whole udad dal (udad gota)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds 
Salt as needed 

For tempering 
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 to 3 green chillies finely  chopped 
Handful of curry leaves
2 tbsp grated coconut
1/4 cup oil
Fresh chopped corriander 
1/2 onion finely chopped (optional - I haven't used )


  • Wash multiple times until the water is clear. Soak the rice and lentils with fenugreek in water for 5 to 6 hrs.
  • Grind the soaked rice and lentils in a blender or grinder to a fine smooth paste .Batter should be of idli batter consistency not a very runny batter . Let the batter ferment overnight or for 8 hrs . 
  • Before making the kuzhi paniyarams , we need to prepare a tempering that will be added to the batter. 
  • To prepare the tempering, heat about 2 tbsp oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds, followed by the green chillies,  curry leaves and fry the onions if using until they turn pink and soft . Lastly add in the coconut and give a quick stir .Add this tempering along with finely chopped corriander to the batter and mix well . 
  • Heat the paniyaram pan and add a few drops of oil in each cavity . 

  • Once the pan is well heated ,add the batter to each cavity and remember to fill only 3/4th of the cavity . The batter on cooking will raise and it needs space to swell . So if you fill it to the brim,the batter will overflow making it a mess .
  • The paniyarams will develop lot of pores as they are cooking, these pores are perfect indicator of a well fermented batter . Once the batter appears cooked on top ,carefully flip it over and cook the underside until it turns brown and crisp .Cooking has to be on medium flame throughout. 
  • Remove the appams /paniyarams from the pan and serve hot with chutney of your choice. 

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  1. Crispy paniyarams are always welcome at home - I usually use leftover idli / dosa batter too, but nothing compares making it from scratch - Kalyani

  2. This reminds me of my aunt who always does the paniyarams this way. Lazy me always prepare using idli dosa batter. looks so delicious and I need to try them soon.

  3. All this time I've been making paniyaram from idli batter. This Chettinad one is different. One question, why we can't used basmati? Yours have turned out so spongy. Absolutely mouthwatering.

    1. Basmati rice has its own fragrance due to which the idli/dosa /paniyarams batter get a different taste compared to the normal and usual taste. This is my personal experience

  4. Kuzhi Paniyaram is always welcome at our place! However, we always make it using idli batter. My aunt makes it your way, with a separately ground batter. They look super crispy and delicious!

  5. Always made this with left over batter or with rava, never tried an authentic recipe. Thanks for the share would love to try it.

  6. These paniyarams remind me of my first trip to Singapore. from then on it has been my favorite with some chutney and coffee.

  7. Kuzhipaniyaram is a loved breakfast here for the weekends and this recipe is a keeper! You have captured the flavors perfectly! YUM!

  8. This reminds me of my aunt who always makes paniyaram from the fresh batter. Nothing can beat this taste and it looks so crispy and delicious.

  9. I often make kuzhi paniyaram with veggies like grated carrots, green peas and onions..I like your version with added grated time I am going to try that way.


If you feel your search for the recipe ends here and this blog has helped you with that,please do drop in a word / suggestion ,which will motivate me further to help you guys !!