Kitchen Fun - Multi-Millets Gunta Ponganaalu / Paniyaram

One of the side-affects we get when undergoing cancer treatments is loss of taste leading to being unable to eat certain foods. For me it was Dosas and Mexica Food. I would throw up even if my mom was making Dosas for my dad or if I was passing by a Mexican Restaurant. My oncologist said that in some patients they never go back to eat those items again. That's why they advise the patients not to eat any food that they love during chemotherapy, lest you hate it for life.

My mom tried varieties of Dosas to see if I could eat. But all those efforts were wasted. But if she used the same batter and made them into idlis or gunta ponganalu I could eat them without qualm. The same batter but different way of cooking perhaps made them edible for me. The traditional way of doing Dosas somehow caused me nausea and hence throwing up.

Now that I am cancer-free and getting back to my life as normal as possible, I am venturing into trying Dosas again, but not Mexican food yet. Although not successful with Dosas either that much, at least I stopped throwing up. I just have an aversion now and nothing more towards Dosas.

However, I am able to eat the Gunta Ponganalu / Paniyaram, made from the same batter. So I started adding twists to the batter, to make them more interesting. Thus, my Multi-Millet Gunta Ponganaalu. 

And now the recipe.


For the Batter:

1) Red Barnyard Millets / Kodi Millets - 1/2 Cup

2) Proso Millets / Varigalu - 1/2 Cup

3) Little Millets / Samalu - 1/2 Cup

4) Small Barnyard Millets / Chinna Kodi Millets - 1/2 Cup

5) Split Black Gram / Urad Daal / Minapappu - 1/2 Cup

6) Split Chick Pea / Chana Daal / Chanagapappu - 1/2 Cup

7) Split Green Gram / Moong Daal / Pesarapappu - 1/2 Cup

8) Water as needed

9) Salt per taste

Spice Mixture into the Batter:

1) Onion - 1 medium

2) Green Chilis - 4 medium

3) Cilantro - 1/2 Cup

4) Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Teaspoon

5) Baking Soda - a Pinch

6) Salt per taste

Preparation Steps:

1) Batter Prep:

a. Soak all the ingredients listed under "For the Batter" above, except salt, in enough water. Leave it for 4 to 5 hours.

b. In a blender, grind the soaked Millets and Daals into a thick batter. 

c. Pour the batter into a large bowl. Cover it and leave it in a warm place overnight to ferment.

2) Spice Mixture into the Batter:

a. Finely chop Onions into small pieces.

b. Chop Green Chilis and Cilantro as well into very small pieces.

c. Mix the chopped Onions, Green Chilis and Cilantro into the fermented batter.

d. Add he Baking Soda, Salt and Ginger Garlic Paste to the batter. Mix well.

To make Gunta Ponganalu, we use the traditional Gunta Ponganalu Pan which is usually made of cast iron, just like how I have below. But, I have seen them come in Non-Stick, Steel based with non-stick interior and Ceramic as well. However, nothing beats Cast Iron made one in my experience.

3) Heat the Gunta Ponganalu Pan. Smear the molds with oil.

4) Pour a dollop of batter into each molding.

5) Close the pan with a large lid.

6) Let them cook for approx 5 minutes. Remove the lid.

7) Turn them around. Cover again with the lid and leave it for 5 minutes.

8) Turn off the flame. Remove the lid. Gently remove the Gunta Ponganalu from the pan.

9) Serve with Coconut Chutney, Sambar, Pickle or simply eat as is. Cold or hot they make an excellent snack.


With the left-over Gunta Ponganalu I made a version of Dahi Wada, only I did that with these Gunta Ponganalu. In a small bowl, add 4 to 5 Gunta Ponganalu. Pour Yogurt over them liberally. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of Chaat Masala, 1/4 teaspoon of Black Salt, Sugar per taste, Salt per taste and 1/4 teaspoon of Ground Pepper. Fold all of the lightly. Leave to marinate for at least 3 to 4 hours. Voila! Dahi Gunta Ponganalu ready!


1) Batter should be the consistency of a pancake batter.

2) In cold places like where I leave, I usually warm the oven to 150F. Switch it off. Leave the batter in the oven closer to the oven light with the light on overnight. This helps in fermenting of batter even when temperatures go negative.

3) My Gunta Ponganalu Pan didn’t come with a lid. But the recent ones are coming with a glass lid.

4) If you are using store bought yogurt, go for non-flavored. I prefer home-made yogurt.

5) I like to put Sugar in my Dahi Gunta Ponganalu as I like the sweet and spicy flavor. However, you don’t have to if you want to make it a spicy only version.

6) Instead of Ground Pepper, you can also add Red Chili Powder.


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