Afew years ago,while still in college,my friends and I moved in as paying guests to a nearby home. They provided us with all the facilities one could wish for, which for me, was a well lit kitchen!We made plans of cooking all our meals there and once in a while dining out or buying 'tiffins' from the neighbour Aunty. Little did we know what was in store for us :-)
We cooked very very little and ate almost everyday from outside. The tiffin boy used to come by every morning to drop our 'dhabba' filled with food. I was raised in a very Malayali home in Kerala and was so not used to having a rice dish for breakfast. The tiffin aunty used to send us some sort of coloured rice dish (not idli/dosa) for breakfast. All those days, I would just eat a spoonful and then ask my friends if they wanted it. Everybody found it difficult to have rice the first thing in the morning!
Once in a while, she used to send us these round little balls with coconut chutney that we all adored! We used to do the guess work of what it was made off till we ate up the last one. I knew it was made using dosa batter but wasn't sure as I've never had that before. We used to wait for that day, not knowing which day, to have it again!
Later, I moved out from there because of various reasons and then moved in with my aunt and family and I must say, that was one of the smart moves that I made, in Bangalore! :-) They were living in my dad's apartment on Church Street, which is in the heart of the city! Everything was accessible except for auto's since they are not allowed on that street :-) More on my life in Church Street, for another yummy day!
My own recipe
2 1/2 c dosa batter
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp whole urad
1/4 onion, diced (If you are living in India, please use 1/2 onion)
3 green chilies, chopped fine
A few tbsps of oil
Method: Thaw your dosa batter, if it was kept in fridge.Add the chopped cilantro &salt to taste. In a small tempering pan, heat the oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add the whole urad and wait for it to turn golden brown, in colour. Add onions and saute till they are soft. Add the green chilies and saute for 30 secs. Add these to the dosa batter and mix well.
Take a paniyaram pan/unniappachatty and heat it on medium-high. Add a few drops of oil in each depression (I used the same oil which I used for tempering) and pour a tablespoon full of batter into each. Wait till the top is almost cooked and the sides turn golden brown. Turn them over with the help of a spoon or the wooden stick which came with the pan.Cook for another minute. Transfer the paniyarams to a casserole to keep them warm.
For the coconut chutney
1 c grated coconut
3 dry red chilies
1/2 c water
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chilies
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
3 tbsp oil
Method: Grind together the coconut, dry red chilies and water. In a pan,heat 3 tbsp oil on medium. Add the mustard seeds and let it crackle. Add the dry chilies and curry leaves.Immediately add the ground coconut paste to it.Add more water ,if needed. The chutney should never boil. So take it off the flame as soon as you see the vapor coming from it. Add salt to taste. Serve with Paniyarams/Dosa/Idli.
It was Ash Wednesday for us, yesterday,therefore we thought of having a light meal for dinner. So when Jobin left for his guitar classes, I was at home crocheting a new border and was wondering what to have for that 'light' dinner. I was not in a mood to cook so thought of doing something with the dosa batter I had and that's how these Paniyarams were born plus there were so many good memories associated with those little round balls. When he got back from his classes, he said our house smelt really good. He really didn't know what was in store for him, to eat :-) As soon as he opened the casserole, he tilted his head , raised his eyebrows and stared at it. That's it...I started blabbering about my days as a paying guest and how we loved it. The dinner was over in a flash because these were supremely delicious! Guess what I did right after...I went and soaked the rice and dal to make another batch of dosa batter, not to make dosas but Paniyarams!