Payatham Paniyaram

With Theepawali coming up this weekend, it’s time for some traditional snacks at home. My mother made a few quintessential Jaffna festival snacks so I will be sharing their recipes here.

Today’s recipe is my great grandmother’s recipe for ‘payatham paniyaram’ (a spiced green gram snack) which is a traditional Jaffna specialty made at all the festivals and celebrations in the peninsula. Plus, people tend to make this and send out to relatives in other cities or abroad as it keeps for a relatively long time.

Payatham Paniyaram

Time taken: 35 mins

Makes 20

Payatham paniyaaramIngredients:

  • Green gram – 1 cup, roasted flour
  • Red rice flour – 2 tbsp, roasted
  • Sugar – ½ cup
  • Cardamom – 6, crushed
  • White raw rice flour or wheat flour – ½ cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Cumin powder, pepper powder, toasted coconut flakes – optional


  1. Combine the roasted green gram flour and the roasted red rice flour and keep aside.
  2. Melt ½ cup sugar in ¼ cup of water in a saucepan over low heat.
  3. When the syrup starts bubbling in a couple of mins, add the crushed cardamoms.  The optional cumin, pepper and toasted coconut flakes can be added now, if required. I prefer not to have the cumin or pepper added.
  4. Quickly add in the roasted green gram and red rice flour mix into the sauce pan, continuously stirring for a few mins, until the mixture is well-combined and easy to form into balls.
  5. Remove from stove and make about 20 balls of the spiced mixture.
  6. Make the dipping batter by combining the white raw rice flour (the preferred flour) or wheat flour with a little salt and water. Coat the balls in the batter.
  7. Heat the oil for deep-frying. Fry the balls until golden-brown on all sides. Transfer the ‘payitram paniyaram’ to a tray lined with grease absorbing paper.
  8. Serve when cooled. If coconut flakes are not added, the ‘paniyaram’ can be stored for many days.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

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