I tend to cook with whatever I have in my pantry or fridge. So if friends drop by I will just do a quick snack, and this is one of them.
Tasty, easy and savoury!
If there are some vegetarians in the group, then I omit all meat/egg etc and make it totally vegetarian for all to enjoy.
I vaguely remember my mum making these but she had chopped long beans and some salted whitebaits in her paniyaaram. Her vegetarian ones had cooked dhall (lentils) and vegetables.
If you are wondering what paniyaaram is, this is a tamil word for a food made of small balls of batter either fried or steamed.
Again there are so many versions, variations, sweet and savoury and all equally delicious.
My favourite is the Milk paniyaaram which I ate for the first time in a remote village in South India when I visited India as a tourist some 20 years ago.
The lady villager was so hospitable and refused to let me go until I ate her milk paniyaaram and drank a cup of Indian coffee. I remember her serving me with a baby on her hips and with a wide smile on her face. This meal has been very memorable for me, sometimes when I recollect, I think I can taste it again. It was so so delicious. So it only shows that a simple dish can be unforgettable till today. I will post her recipe sometime later.
Coming back to the paniyaaram, it is called thus because you need a paniyaaram pan, it is similar to the Japanese takoyaki pan. Or for Malaysians similar to the older version of the Kueh bahulu pan. The fried balls will retain a circular shape if using the paniyaaram pan.
Japanese Takoyoki pan
Indian paniyaaram pan
If this pan is unavailable, don’t worry too much, just use any pan that you have which can be used to fry small balls of dough. Use 2 spoons to form a ball and put it into the hot oil gently to fry.
Enjoy this simple recipe, my dear friends. Do comment and subscribe so that you can receive all my recipes.
1 large piece of tofu
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup chopped onions
1 green chilli – chopped
2 cm piece of ginger
½ cup plain flour
2 sprigs spring onions
1 tsp cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala or 5 spice powder Tofu
Salt to taste
Clean all the vegetables.
Leave the bean sprouts whole after removing the roots.
Chop onions, green chilli, ginger and spring onions.
Put all the ingredients in a large bowl. Add 1 tbsp of oil, salt and some water to combine well.
Heat up a paniyaaram pan with drops of oil in each hole.
Using a spoon or an ice cream scoop, drop a spoonful of batter into the paniyaram pan.
Turnover and cook on the other side. Should be crisp on the outside and soft inside.
Drain and serve hot with any chilli or tomato sauce.
These are tasty teatime snacks or can be an appetiser at a party.
You may tweak by using your favourite vegetable or replace more of each.
You may also omit the garam masala and cumin powder and just use any meat curry powder.
When you need a dish in a hurry you can count on this fast and easy recipe.
As it is vegetarian – so it is suitable for all palates. You may substitute the tofu with crumbled paneer.
You can form each ball into patties, shallow fry and use it as a filling for burgers. Add cheese and lettuce and it becomes your vege burger!
If you do not have a paniyaaram pan, you can shallow or deep fry in a pot or wok depending on your preference.
You may add chopped prawns or cooked chicken and combine well before frying specially if you want to make it meaty.