The Better Bite


Chickpeas & Oats Paniyarams with Rasam spiced Queso

South Indian food is so underrated. If I had a dollar (who counts pennies?) for each and every time someone asked me if I was from India, followed immediately by the words palak paneer  (with an accent I find very amusing) or chicken tikka masala (now that’s not even Indian food), I could probably go into early retirement. (Again) 

Regional Indian recipes could definitely use some more FaceTime. Well, here’s me doing my bit, although this one is far from the authentic Paniyarams. But I got you to google them didn’t I? As delicious & flawless the original recipe is, mine is a bit more protein packed and whole grain forward. And the spiced queso is a result of my obsessive fusion compulsion. 


Ingredients (paniyaram)

  • 1 can drained chickpeas 
  • 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (soaked for about a minute & drained)
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro 
  • 1 tbsp ginger and garlic paste 
  • 1 tsp  cumin powder 
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • Salt to taste 

Preparation (paniyaram)

  1. Blend the first 2 ingredients in a grinder until smooth. (Using the minimal amount of water required) 
  2. The batter needs to be fairly thick and not runny. Add in the onions, cilantro, ginger & garlic paste and the rest of the seasonings & spices and mix. 
  3. Heat the paniyaram pan (yes, you will need one for this) 
  4. Grease the pan with oil/ghee 
  5. Add about a tablespoon of batter in each cavity and let it cook. 
  6. Once the bottom starts to get crusty, using a toothpick/ butter knife, flip these over. (Not as difficult as it sounds though 1st timers should YouTube it)
  7. FYI, these will take slightly longer than your regular dosa/idli batter paniyarams even though they might look like they’re cooked through. 
  8. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.


Ingredients (for rasam queso)

  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour 
  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 1 cup milk 
  • 1 cup grated pepperjack cheese/ cheddar cheese 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 2 tbsp rasam powder 

Preparation (for rasam queso)

  1. In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour on low flame.
  2. Keep stirring and cooking till the roux turns slightly golden brown.
  3. Whisk in the milk and make sure you get rid off those lumps.
  4. Add the cheese and keep whisking.
  5. Add the seasonings & the spices, keeping it on a low flame the whole time.

 Note 1 : If you don’t have a paniyaram maker, you could always make mini dollar pancakes. Or up some fritters. 

Note 2 : queso needs to be served immediately. It will lose the gooey consistency very quickly once off the flame and turn into a solid mass. 

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