Paniyaram can be sweet or savoury but the main feature is that they are made in a special vessel with hemispherical indentations like a Danish Æbleskiver pan. This recipe, with a healthy dose of jaggery and banana is definitely in the sweet category. We call the delightful little popovers that result from cooking the dough in their special pan (which depending on where you are in South India can be called a paddu, appe, guliappa, gulittu, yeriyappa, gundponglu, or ponganalu) Tamil bits or Tambits because they reminded us so much of Canada’s famous “Timbit” donut holes.
Kuzhi Paniyaram – Sweet Tamil banana bits Recipe
20 - 30 minutes
1 cup rice flour
1 cup all purpose white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups of packed powdered jaggery (500 grams)
¼ cup water
1 cup diced banana or banana flowers
½ chopped and fried cashews
¼ cup golden raisins
Sift the flours into a big bowl and stir in the baking powder. Set aside.
Place the jaggery and water in a large saucepan on medium heat and stir until the jaggery is melted into a thick syrup.
Add the jaggery to the flour mixture and stir until smooth and the consistency of pancake batter.
Stir in the banana, cashews and raisins and let the batter rest for at least 15 minutes before cooking.
Heat a well-oiled paniyaram pan over medium-high heat until hot and then fill each sphere with batter.
Use a toothpick to flip the dough balls when the underside is browned and it moves with ease.
Lift the cooked balls to a paper towel-lined plate.
Re-grease the pan in between cooking each batch.
Enjoy with chai or coffee.