Paniyaram (Ponganaala Pennam in Telugu) - Ask any tamilian to list out his or her's top 3 favourite tiffin items and you would defintely find 'Paniyaram' in most of the lists. It is not a surprise as these small pieces of rice cakes made out of dough are my favourites too. Paniayaram resemble closely to mini idli's in terms of the dimensions but taste like dosas.
Though many in our family loved to have this as their tiffin, somehow it cant be seen that often in the kitchen. Whenever the dosa batter gets sour over the days, we all eagerly wait to the see the birth of paniyaram.
Being in United States it always was either a special day when we chose to make paniyram or should I rephrase and say whenever we made paniayram the day became special?
Life has become much more easier once we got the non stick 'paniayara kal', rather than the old heavy weight iron pans my grandother or mother would use. Though the paniyarams made out of the iron skillet taste good, ones made in non-stick pan definitely need very less of oil.
Try substituing oil with ghee to get mouth watering paniyarams.
Between Sweet and Kuhzi Paniyaram, I love to have Kuzhi Paniyarams on any day and especially with coconut chutney or tomato chutney it tastes heavenly.
You can learn how to make Paniyaram by visiting Manpasand.
If you know tamil, here is an excellent video demonstration.