Sunday, July 15, 2012

Recipe of the month: Guliappa

Guliappa (also called Appe, Paddu, Paniyaram or Gundponglu) is a dish originating from South India. It is goes by different names and I reckon it has subtle variations from region to region. This dish is essentially made for breakfast and goes well with a variety of accompaniments. I frequently make the masala variation of guliappa by adding chillies, ginger, curry leaves, coriander and onion and serve it with coconut chutney and/or tomato-onion chutney or else sometimes even just pickle and spiced chutney powder. A lot of people also make the sweet version of it with jaggery.

These bite-sized rice and lentil balls are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. They are naturally gluten-free and can be made vegan if you substitute the ghee with vegetable oil. Leftover idli or dosa batter can be used to make guliappa but I always grind from scratch because I use slightly different ratios of rice to urad dal and I also add in poha (beaten rice flakes) for this dish which is not the case when I make idli or dosa. This recipe works well for guliappa and if you end up with leftover batter, it makes for fabulous onion uthappams (scroll down to the notes section for more details).

You know those irksome kids who are picky eaters and make faces at almost every plate of food you put in front of them? Well, I used to be one of them! When I was a child, I didn't like guliappa and would kick up a fuss until my mum would get exasperated with me (heartfelt apologies Amma). I guess I never gave it a chance. Growing up brought me to my senses and I do like it now  it features as a regular on our weekend breakfast menu at home. It is easy to make and since the batter is a slight variation from the regular dosa batter, one round of grinding (of the urad dal and rice) can yield two different dishes. The only unusual aspect of this dish is that you need a special pan with several hemispherical indentations called as the Appe pan (may also be known in the Western world as an Ebleskiver pan - Ebelskivers are Danish pancakes in a distinctive shape of a sphere). You can get a pan made of cast iron or non-stick material.

This is what my pan looks like...

Sometimes if I have leftover uppu-huli-khara dosa batter (you can refer to my Methi Dosa recipe here), I used this pan to make guliappa with the same batter. Buying this pan is totally worth it because it serves a dual purpose - you can use it to make savoury South-Indian dishes as well a sweet Scandinavian dish. How's that for variety? 😊

You can check out my super simple recipe for Ebleskivers here

Getting back to this recipe, I hope you try my version of guliappa and enjoy it.


Preparation time: 12-16 hours (including soaking time & overnight fermentation time)
Cooking time: 5-6 mins per batch
Serves: 4-6
Recipe category: Breakfast/South Indian
Recipe level: Intermediate
Recipe source: Amma (Mom) + Atthe (MIL)

Measuring cup used: 1 cup = 260ml


1.5 cups dosa rice
1/2 cup urad dal (preferably whole)
1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek) seeds
1/2 cup beaten rice flakes (avalakki/poha)
3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger,  grated or minced
a few curry leaves, finely chopped
1 small bunch coriander leaves, finely chopped
2 medium red onions, finely chopped 
Salt to taste
Ghee/oil for greasing


1. Wash and separately soak urad dal in a bowl and rice along with methi seeds in another bowl for about 4-5 hours.

2. After soaking, drain the urad dal and grind in a blender or wet grinder until smooth and fluffy. Now drain the rice and methi seeds and add to the urad dal mixture until it becomes a uniform smooth thick paste. Meanwhile, wash the beaten rice well, soak in water for 10-15 mins until soft and mushy, drain and mix into the batter. and continue to grind for another few minutes. Do not add extra water. The batter should have the consistency of milkshake.

3. Place the batter in a large container. Add salt to taste and mix well. Leave the batter for at least 8 hours or overnight in a warm place to ferment.

3. The next day the batter should have risen. Add finely minced green chilies and ginger, chopped onions, curry leaves, and coriander leaves. Mix gently.

4. Like I said before, in order to make this dish, you need a specially designed pan (preferably non-stick) containing 8-12 round wells for the batter. Heat the pan, grease the wells generously with ghee and add in approximately 2-3 tbsp of batter into each well.

5. Close the lid and cook on low flame so the insides get cooked all the way through. Once the guliappas turn golden brown, turn them upside down and cook for a few mins with the addition of a little more ghee. 

6. Serve hot with coconut chutney and/or sambar/stew. You could also just serve them with pickle and spiced powder (chutney pudi). 

  • You can make guliappa with left over dosa batter even if your recipe is different from mine.
  • Vegans can substitute the ghee with vegetable oil
  • A cast-iron pan produces better guliappas than the non-stick one
  • If you have a non-stick guliappa pan, use a wooden spatula (see picture above) to overturn the guliappas 
  • Serve the guliappas immediately while they are still hot and crisp because that's when they taste the best
  • For tips with batter fermentation tips, you may refer to my Mysore Masala Dosa post
  • Leftover batter? No sweat, I've got you covered. Just thin out the batter with a little water, spread a ladleful on a hot tawa, sprinkle with sliced red onion and chopped fresh coriander and TADA! Delicious Onion Uthappams are ready to serve 


1 comment:

  1. My mom's signature dish, havent prepared since a long, yours makes me drool and pulling me to try soon..
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