Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Paniyaram and Ebleskiver- when cousins meet

Today two cousins met in my kitchen- Mr.Paniyaram from India and Mr.Ebleskiver from Denmark. I really enjoyed the meeting- the Indian I knew well; we've met often before. The Dane I got to know intimately and he will always be welcome in my home...

When I first came across the Ebleskiver online, I was struck by how similiar it looked to the savory South Indian paniyaram and how, if there ever were food cousins, these two would fit the bill so well. Both of them are cooked in a special pan with round wells. This cooking experience was particularly enjoyable- how often does one get to cook both the main course as well as the dessert in the same utensil at the same time?! Almost never I imagine.

So that was the plan- cook both the paniyaram as well as the ebleskiver simultaneously. Since I'm home alone, I needed to make only a few of each for myself. I chopped the recipes down to miniature amounts to achieve this.

I learnt two things-
1) How to reduce a recipe to 1/14th of its original measurements- Sheesh, all that math!
2) Don't be naive. Sure, in theory, 11 round pancakes sound filling. But in the real world, they disappear, even when its just you lurking around them. Make more. Much more.


1 cup Idli/Dosa batter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 inch green chilli, chopped fine
1 tbsp bengal gram/channa dal (which is not channa, i.e, garbanzo)
1 tbsp black gram/urad dal
2 pinches mustard seeds
2 pinches cumin seeds
2 tbsp oil
curry leaves, chopped
coriander leaves, chopped
salt, to taste

Idli/Dosa batter is a combination of wet ground rice and black gram. You can buy it readymade or make your own. Add the chopped onion and coriander leaves directly to the batter. In a small pan, heat the oil and add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they begin to splutter, add the bengal and black gram. Stir constantly till the grams start to change color (Do not allow it to burn). Remove from the stove and add the curry leaves. Stir this into the batter. If the batter is already salted, add just a bit. Otherwise include salt for the batter as well.

Some people like to add baking soda to the batter, but its not really neccessary.


(makes 5)

2 tbsp buttermilk
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp beaten egg
1 pinch baking powder
1 pinch salt
1/2 pinch baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp melted butter

Mix all the ingredients together. Ebleskivers are not very sweet by themselves- they are usually served with jam or dusted with sugar. So if you want to eat them as such, double the sugar.

Once both the batters are ready, gently heat the pan for a few minutes. Add oil to half the wells(paniyaram) and butter to the other half(ebleskiver). Scoop the batter into the wells till they just fill them. They cook fast, so with a skewer, gently flip the pancakes over. Some people follow a quarter turn technique where they turn the pancakes little by litttle to get perfect globes. If a skewer inserted into the center of the pancakes comes out clean, scoop them out and serve hot.


  1. Thanks for letting me know about your post -this is great! I'm determined to make all the different kinds of round cakes like aebleskiver, paniyaram and takoyaki. Thanks so much for this comparison and for the paniyaram recipe, although I may have to start off with a boxed idli/Dosa batter mix since I've never made it before. Can't wait to try it!