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Here comes my 200th post, with the chettinad special dish vellai paniyaram. In any chettinad house this dish is inevitable. This is served in all of the chettinad functions. You will find this as one of the breakfast items in marriages.

It is a very simple recipe, but needs some practice. I have tried it a few times and never got it right. Finally I could nail it 🙂 It is always accompanied with the spicy millagai chutney (Red Chili Chutney) , recipe in the next post.

Vellai_Paniyaram Vellai_Paniyaram_1 Vellai_Paniyaram_2 Vellai_Paniyaram_4



Raw Rice/Pachai arisi : 1 cup ( measure exactly up to rim)

Urad Dal/Ulunthu : 1 1/2 tablespoon/make a gopuram over rice ( urad dal, we get in US is poor in quality, so I use 1/4 cup which gives better result)

Water : as needed to grind

Salt : as needed

Milk : 1 tablespoon( optional)

Oil : to deep fry


  • Soak rice and urad dal in water for 2 hours.
  • Grind it to a smooth batter with salt, just like dosa batter.
  • This batter needs to be a little extra watery than dosa batter. So you can add extra milk and bring it to that consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • Take a ladle which is not at all deep.( In Tamil we say kuli illatha karandi)
  • When the oil is hot enough, in the ladle take the batter and make sure the bottom of the ladle doe not have any batter. And pour it in one place.
  • With another ladle, pour oil on the top of the paniyaram.
  • Let it get cooked for a minute. Now turn the sides and cook around 30 sec.
  • Drain oil and place it in a paper towel to drain extra oil.


  • This paniayaram should be thin and not thick, you can see the last picture on how it looks when cooked. Once the first is cooked , tear it and see if the center is cooked well, if not then cook for some more time.
  • This paniyaram has to be cooked one at a time and not more than one.
  • Do not over cook once the side is turned. They must look white and not brown, hence the name vellai paniyaram.
  • This batter can be prepared and stored for later in fridge. Make sure to have a little watery consistency than dosa batter.
  • In case urad dal is very good quality, these paniyaram might come out very thick and like a ball.
  • In this case adding little milk or water helps(I have tried this option). You can also add rice flour and adjust( I haven’t tried this)
  • In case Urad dal is too less, then paniyaram becomes very thin and rubbery. In this case you can add some urad dal flour and adjust.
  • The sides of this paniayaram will form a flower shape which is the exact shape of this paniyaram.
  • Final tip my grandma gives me is, when you don’t get it right make uthappam with this batter 🙂