I’m always tempted to prepare snacks in the non-stick kuzhippaniaram mould to reduce the consumption of oil. March is when we get good quality tomatoes in Chennai, especially the country variety – these are very sour and quite popular in Tamil cuisine. I decided to use pulsed tomato to prepare the batter. Needless to say the tomato flavour invites a lot of spice in the preparation, so I used chilli, garlic, mint, curry leaves, and onion (of course!). I chose maida and rice flour which give a mild/neutral flavour so that the tomato and the spices will not be smothered. This dish makes an excellent spicy snack that can be served without an accompaniment, and it can also be served as an intriguing side dish to the typical Tamil festive meal.
- Kala’s Tomato Flavoured Kuzhippaniaram
Deep frying is quicker than using a kuzhippaniaram mould (and I use a non-stick one) as only a small amount of oil is used in the mould which lengthens cooking time. Of course, this also makes the kuzhippaniaram economical and good for health as very little oil is required, and you don’t have a lot of leftover used oil.
This kuzhippaniaram can be considered a low fat snack. The added bonus is the antioxidants provided by the tomatoes and mint and curry leaves. This is an easy-to-make side dish which can be consumed by weight watchers without feeling guilty.
- 1 ½ C Maida (Refined Wheat Flour)
- ¾ C Raw Rice Flour
- 3 large Country Tomatoes (Nattu Thakkali)
- ¼ tsp Baking Soda
- 1 ½ tsp Salt, or to taste
- ¼ C Vegetable Oil, for frying
- 3 Green Chillies, deseeded and diced
- ¼ C diced Garlic
- 1 C diced Onion
- ½ C diced Mint Leaves
- ¼ C diced Curry Leaves
- Sift the maida, rice flour, and baking soda together in a medium bowl.
- Dice the tomatoes. Pulse in a mixie/blender till smooth and liquidy.
- Add the diced ingredients and salt, to the flour. Blend lightly using a wire whisk.
- Add the tomato slurry and blend well. The mixture should have a thick batter consistency.
- Heat a non-stick kuzhippaniaram mould. Add ¼ teaspoon of oil to each depression.
- Add batter to fill three-fourths of the depressions.
- Cook till the batter is risen, and the oil moves to the surface.
- Turnover the kuzhippaniarams. Lower heat and cook till the other side is brown.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter.
- I use sunflower oil supplemented with rice bran oil for its neutral flavour and cholesterol lowering properties.
- You can increase all the diced ingredients if you want more (spicy) heat.
- If you are using a regular cast iron kuzhippaniaram mould, you will have to use a lot more oil.
- If the batter is too thick like a push batter, or if you are in a hurry, deep fry the paniarams.