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Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Ponganalu for breakfast or brunch!!!

Ponganalu ~ telugu word for fried batter puffs on a special pan. This is very popular breakfast in Andhra, Southern India and in general served with a chutney, sambhar or any pickle. I brought a nonstick Ponganalu skillet from India recently and was very eager to make Ponganalu.

In this recipe I used the left over batter for Idli (steamed rice cakes), diluted a little bit and added chopped onions,cilantro and freshly ground black pepper. You can add different variety of veggies to make it more delicious and nutritional like grated carrots, zucchini, cucumber, chopped spinach etc. You can also manipulate with the batter by using chickpea flour or all purpose flour used for pancakes. Its totally up to your imagination!

I made "peanut-garlic-cilantro chutney" and "erra karam" to go with it.

Ponganalu batter poured into special pan and fried ~ Flipped Puff Ponganalu!

For Idli batter:

Soak overnight 3 cups of rice and 1 cup of urad dal/black lentil along with 1 t fenugreek seeds. In the morning thoroughly wash it and grind batch wise into a smooth paste by adding water, it should be of a smoothie consistency remember neither too runny nor too thick.

Ponganalu served with peanut-garlic-cilantro chutney
and erra karam

Source: My Mother
Cuisine: Andhra, South Indian
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 4 people
4 C of Idli batter

1/2 C water
2 medium onion, chopped handful of cilantro,
1/2 t baking soda
freshly ground black pepper

salt as per taste

  • Mix all the above ingredients and keep aside for 30 mins so that all the flavors are incorporated in the batter.
  • Grease or oil spray the "Ponganalu pan" keep it on medium high flame.
  • Slowly spoon in the batter, cover and let it cook for 4-5 mins approx.
  • Once the batter is cooked, turn over the Ponganalu and cook for another 4 mins.
  • Remove and serve hot with your favorite chutney/pickle/sambhar.
  • Makes around 30 ponganalu

You can find Ponganalu skillet/pan in USA on Bed Bath and Beyond, check them out here and here.


Apple said...

Aaaaaawwwhhhh! They look so tempting..... :(( I shld get the skillet from India this time

Shreya said...

Hi Padma, I have heard so much about Punganalu from my husband. I even remember eating them at Shilparamam in Hyd. The skillet looks like the Appa Karam available in Kerala and used to make Unni Appam/ Neyyappam. Nice that it is made using idli batter! Yours look so delicious, and lovely brown colour:-)

Sree said...

jus like the ones I make.. yummy!!!!

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

We call this Uppappam. I usually make this with leftover idli batter.
True, its a great snack.

Lisa Turner said...

These look so good. I've been meaning to purchase one of those pans. I will try this when I do!

Apple Bee said...

Mannn! We call them faddus (or faddulu) or pulibongaraalu! I LOVE THEM :-)

I miss them :-(

Anonymous said...

I love eating breakfast and always try new recipes. I would love to try the Ponganalu for breakfast. that looks tasty. Ponganalu is also a healthy food option and can make a satisfying meal. The Photos are amazing... I am already feeling hungry.

Chaitali said...

Padma, they look awesome!!!! I have a quick question. You mentioned the batter as idli batter but have not used any idli ravva. This seems like dosa batter to me. So does it have to be dosa batter in idli batter consistency? Also, does the batter need to be fermented overnight?

Padma said...

Hey Chaitali... tx for dropping by. The batter used here is of leftover Idli batter, it has to be diluted with lil water but not as dosa consistency. And yes it is the fermented batter as it will lil sour by the end of 2-3 days...

Hope this helps... are u from TIA

Waseem M said...

Thank you. The best part was where I could find the pan that helped a lot.

travellerinme said...

hey padma... ponganalu can be made using dosa batter as well, i add everything you mentioned but the prev night and make them the following day :)
we call them as pongadalu in telangana... i am from TIA

Anonymous said...

Looks so yummy :)

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