I have to admit, I have limited South Indian food cooking skills.  I’ve turned on the waterworks plenty of times over or under fermented idli- dosa batters, burnt shapeless dosas, undercooked idlis, watery coconut chutney, lumpy upma ….enough to put me off trying to cook any dish from this beloved cuisine for a quite a while.

Recent years have seen me conquer a few recipes though. But making dosas still gives me nightmares! Here is my trusty quick Utthapam recipe converted into Masala Rava Paniyarams…

Masala Rava Paniyaram

I remember eating paniyarams/ appe/paddu many moons ago at a friend’s house.  I managed to wriggle the recipe out of her, only to forget about it promptly.  Then a couple weeks ago, I saw beautiful Instagram posts of the same and I just had to go buy the paniyaaram pan and I have used it every day since.  Thank you @Bina and @Asha for the inspiration!

This is such an easy recipe.  The batter comes together in 5 minutes and cooking it in the pan is a breeze.  I have a nonstick one, so there’s no requirement of greasing it, though I do give it the mandatory brush over.

Masala Rava Paniyaaram

You can add as many vegetables as you want or leave them out..entirely up to you.  While this does make a fantastic snack and is great for tiffin, we love to make a meal out of this with sambhar and coconut peanut chutney.  Crispy from outside, soft and fluffy from inside, paniyarams are such a hit in my family ( all of whom insist on calling them mini idlis!) Oh well, so long as they are happily tucking them in…!!

I hope you will give these a try! Happy eating!

Masala Rava Paniyaaram

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Masala Rava Paniyaram

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings: 30 Paniyaarams
Author: Natasha Minocha


  • 1 cup Semolina /Sooji
  • 1.5 cups Yogurt
  • 1 Onion, small finely chopped
  • 1-2 Green chillies finely chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp Roasted Peanuts roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 10-12 Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp oil


  • Whisk the semolina/ sooji and yogurt well. Keep aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • In the meanwhile, keep the paniyaram pan on medium gas for heating.
  • Add the chopped vegetables, peanuts, mustard seeds, curry leaves, turmeric, baking soda and salt. This should be a thick mixture, with a soft dropping consistency. You can add some water to loosen the batter, if its too thick.
  • Lightly brush the moulds with oil and spoon in the batter. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes before carefully flipping it. Let it cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Once done, take the paniyarams out and repeat till all the batter finishes.
  • Serve warm with coconut chutney or mint chutney and maybe some hot sambhar to dip them in. Enjoy!