Category Archives: Paniyaram/Aebleskiver

Savoury Aebleskiver of Split Chickpea, Cauliflower & Green Pea

Chana Dal Paniyaram with Cauliflower & Green Pea/Non-fried Dal Vada

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Savoury Aebleskiver of Split Chickpea, Cauliflower & Green Pea








“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

This conversation between Alice and the Cat from Mr. Carroll’s ingenious book is my favourite.

When standing at a crossroad, it is best to let go, to just go with the flow and see how things pan out.

Today’s recipe is a result of this proverbial crossroad I reached while planning for it.

I had some cauliflower and green pea remaining after making the pohe. I had also not made use of my paniyaram pan for a while so thought of experimenting with non-fried pakoras using the remaining vegetables and split chickpea.

Had no idea what the end result would be like so imagine my surprise when the destination turned out to be familiar tasting dal vada (lentil pakora).

Paniyaram PanFor those who are not familiar with paniyaram or aebleskiver, here is some explanation. These are small, round balls made in a special pan which has holes.  These balls can be sweet or savoury.

The Dutch have a similar dish, Poffertjes and the Japanese have something called Takoyaki.

In all these, the concept is the same – batter poured in the holes of the pan and cooked over a stove. If you would like to try today’s recipe and don’t have a paniyaram pan, you can use an aebleskiver, a poffertjes or a takoyaki pan.

My kooky version of these savoury balls involve split chickpea, cauliflower, green pea and onions. So you are getting your 4 out of 5 of the day from these healthy, non-fried “pakoras” :-).

Savoury Aebleskiver of Split Chickpea, Cauliflower & Green Peadelicious with some hot sauce


1 Cup split chickpea (chana dal)

1 Tablespoon rice (optional)

1 Cup cauliflower

1 Cup green pea

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds

1 Tablespoon whole coriander seeds

1-2 Teaspoons whole black peppercorns

1 Teaspoon turmeric

10-15 Curry leaves (optional)

3-4 Green chilli

Fresh ginger, the size of your thumb

1-2 Teaspoons oil

Salt to taste


  1. Wash and soak the split chickpea (and rice, if using) for 10 hours.
  2. Once the soaking time is up, peel, wash and chop the onion.
  3. Wash and chop the green chilli.
  4. Peel and chop the ginger.
  5. Chop and wash the cauliflower.
  6. Wash the green pea.
  7. Wash the curry leaves (if using).
  8. Drain the split chickpea. Reserve water.
  9. In a food processor, put the drained split chickpea, onion, green chilli, ginger, cauliflower, green pea, curry leaves, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, turmeric, black peppercorns and salt to taste.
  10. Using the pulse function, break up all the ingredients.
  11. Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved water to make a batter. Add more water if needed but cautiously. You want a thick (not watery) batter.
  12. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and check for salt.
  13. At this stage, you can leave the batter for a couple of hours or start making the savoury balls straight away.
  14. Heat the pan, lower the heat and add a drop of oil in each mould followed by a spoonful of batter.
  15. Again put a drop of oil on the top side of each ball.
  16. Cover and let the batter cook for 10 minutes.
  17. After 10 minutes, uncover and flip over the balls.
  18. Cook the other side, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes.
  19. Remove to a plate and serve hot.


Mixed Cereal and Cauliflower Paniyaram/Mixed Cereal and Cauliflower Aebleskiver

Cooked Paniyaram

Paniyaram is a type of dumpling popular in South India. It is usually made with idli or dosa batter of lentils and rice and can be made savoury or sweet.

Paniyaram is made in a special paniyaram pan with holes in which the batter is poured.

Paniyaram Cooking

Interestingly, the Danes also have a similar dish called aebleskiver, a type of sweet pancake made in a special pan with round dents.

English: This is the top side of my Griswold A...
English: This is the top side of my Griswold Aebleskiver pan (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

These cute dumplings are a recent discovery of mine after I was given a paniyaram pan by my beloved members on our annual meetup in scenic Kerala. I have had lots of fun experimenting with conventional and unconventional recipes.

most of my recipes have been savoury although I did try the sweet Danish version by adapting this recipe

In this post, I want to share with you one of my more unconventional paniyaram recipes. You can also think of them as savoury aebleskiver!


1 cup mixed cereal of your choice (I used a combination of black eyed beans, chickpeas, black bengal gram/desi chana, fenugreek, whole wheat, brown rice and pearl millet/bajra)


2-3 tablespoons chickpea flour and/or rice flour and/or semolina (optional but I find that it gives some texture)

Half head of cauliflower

2 tomatoes

2 onions

A spoonful of minced ginger and green chillies (or according to taste)

1 teaspoon turmeric

Salt to taste

1 tablspoon oil


  1. Soak the mixed cereal for 10-12 hours.
  2. Grind the cereal with water very finely, making sure it is of pouring consistency.
  3. Leave the batter to ferment in a warm place for 8-10 hours. (If you want to skip this step, please see Tips below.)
  4. Finely chop the cauliflower, tomatoes and onions. Holes in the paniyaram pan are small so you want to make sure that the vegetables are very finely chopped. If you have a manual or an electric chopper, you can use that instead of a knife.
  5. When ready to cook, put the paniyaram pan on high heat.
  6. Mix the batter with the remaining ingredients.
  7. Reduce the heat to minimum and pour the batter in the holes using a spoon.
  8. Add a drop of oil on each paniyaram.
  9. Cover and cook on minimum heat for 10 minutes.
  10. Flip over, leave it open and cook for further 10 minutes.
  11. Once cooked, they will come out loosely from the holes. Serve with some hot sauce like the extra hot Tobasco.


  1. If you don’t have time or the right climate to ferment the batter, use it as is. Just add a pinch of bicarbonate of soda (Eno).
  2. Fenugreek seeds are optional. I add them since, apart from being good for health, they aid the fermentation process.
  3. Please don’t use kidney beans as part of your mixed cereal combination since they contain a toxic agent called lectin. As a result, they have to be cooked before being used in any recipe.
  4. Even if you don’t have paniyaram pan, you can try out this recipe. Simply make pancakes instead

paniyaram batter is very forgiving; if it is too thin or insufficient you can add semolina or any other flour like ragi flour

in case you have left over batter, refrigerate it and use it the next day to make more paniyarams or dosa like pancakes