Sunday, January 25, 2015

Masala Cheeyam | Masala Seeyam | Chettinadu Masala Paniyaram

Masala Cheeyam | Masala Seeyam | Chettinadu Masala Paniyaram is one of the traditional Chettinad dishes made by Chettiars on all auspicious days, marriage functions etc. It is a tasty replacement for our regular  Ulundu Vada (Urad dhal fritter) in the  breakfast | dinner menus  in marriage functions. It can also be had as a tea time snack.  It is prepared by deep frying the seasoned batter in oil.  

The masala seeyams, with crispy  outer layer & porous, soft, spongy inner,  taste great when  eat them hot with  any dip  like sambar | chutney. You can  try this Cheetinad special delicacy  for a change on festival days instead of urad dhal vada. It can be served hot with any chutney of your choice but I like it with coconut chutney | mint chutney. Here we go for the recipe.
For the seeyam batter:
  • Ponni Raw Rice – 1 cup
  • Whole Urad Dhal – 1 cup
  • Salt to taste

For seasoning:
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard – 1 tsp
  • Shallots ( Finely chopped) – 3 tbsp
  • Green chillies (Finely chopped) – 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves (Finely chopped) – 3 tbsp
  • Coconut gratings – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – For deep frying

  1. Wash rice & urad dhal together and soak with enough water for 2 hours.
  2. After 2 hours, grind into a smooth, fluffy batter by adding little water now & then. When the batter is done, add the required salt and grind with the batter and take out in a vessel. The consistency of the batter should be like thick idli batter.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard seeds, add the finely chopped green chillies, curry leaves  & shallots and sauté for 2 minutes till the onion becomes translucent & release a nice aroma. Finally add coconut gratings, sauté for a while  and switch off.
  4. Allow the seasonings to cool. Then add the seasonings to the seeyam batter and mix everything well.
  5. Heat the required oil for deep frying in a broad kadai. Keep a bowl with water ready nearby.
  6. When the oil is ready, dip your hands in water, take out a small lemon sized batter, roughly roll the batter into round ball and drop into the oil. Do the same for the rest of the batter and drop them scattered in the oil one by one without touching each other.
  7. Keep the flame in medium. Turn the seeyams now & then so that they get cooked evenly on all sides. When they reach golden brown colour,  take them out and drain in a tissue paper | paper towel.

Hot, crunchy, spongy Masala Cheeyams are ready to eat  with tea | coffee.
  • The batter consistency is very much important for seeyams. Be very careful when you add water while grinding the batter. If the batter is runny, the seeyam cannot be formed into shape, will be difficult to drop in oil & will drink more oil too.
  • By any chance, if your batter is runny, add 1-2 tbsp of rice flour and mix well.
  • Always grinder makes the perfect  seeyam batter but if you are using mixer grinder, use 1 tbsp of urad dhal extra and for grinding, use ice cold water.
  • Small onions | shallots will give a good taste & flavour for seeyams but you can add finely chopped big onion too instead of shallots.

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