One of South India’s most popular dishes is Paniyaram. Not too many people make it at home because of the special pan needed, but now we make this great Soapstone Paniyaram Maker so you too can make these delicacies at home.
For those unfamiliar with it, Paniyaram is a spiced or sweetened dumpling that is made in this special pan. Batter is mix then, poured into the pits in the pan. It is cooked over heat which make them puff up, and after flipping them around produce the beautiful round Paniyaram that you and your kids will love!
It is very important to properly cure a soapstone following the instructions carefully. If not properly cured, the stone may crack during use. See the tab on curing for instructions..
How we measure
In their natural state, they are light in color, however they need to be cured before its first use which will cause it to turn a darker shade of grey, but still maintain their beautiful stone pattern resembling granite.
Pots can vary in color and hue from each other depending to the exact composition of the minerals in the stone therefore making each piece unique.
As with most handmade products by artisans around the world, the pieces may have slight imperfections in the form or finish of the materials, however, these imperfection do not compromise the aesthetics or functionality of the pieces and are considered normal and to be expected.
Before an Indian Soapstone Paniyaram Maker can be used for cooking the first time; it should be “cured”. The curing process not only seals the pores of the stone, but it also further hardens the soapstone and makes it last longer. It also makes the pot more resistant to sticking. Since it the color becomes more intense and a darker shade of grey, some people feel they are even more beautiful after the curing process.
To begin the process, rinse the Paniyaram Maker well under running water to remove any dirt left over from the manufacturing or shipping process, and let completely dry.
After the Paniyaram Maker is completely dry, coat the Paniyaram Maker on both sides with a generous amount of castor oil. Then sprinkle tumeric powder on the entire surface and make sure to rub the powder evenly over the Paniyaram Maker. You might want to use protective gloves to make sure not to stain you skin or nails. Place the Paniyaram Maker in cool dry place and let it rest overnight.
The following day, wash the Paniyaram Maker with plain hot water and repeat the process for fours (4) days in a row. You will be tempted to use your Paniyaram Maker, but finish the process to ensure it does not break.
On the fifth day, dry the Paniyaram Maker and immerse it completely in hot rice stock water, or kanji vellam (the water left over from cooking rice) and again let it rest overnight. The following day, wash the Paniyaram Maker with plain hot water and repeat the process for three (3) days in a row.
On the eight (8) day, immerse the Paniyaram Maker in a pot filled with plain water and bring it slowly to a boil, after which you can rinse the Paniyaram Maker well under running water, and begin enjoying your Indian Soapstone Paniyaram Maker.
Soapstone Paniyaram Maker can be used on a stovetop or grill, and can go directly to the table for a sophisticated presentation. The pieces can be used directly on a gas or electric range, however, it is recommended to use a heat diffuser on electric ranges. The heat diffuser (which can be used with gas stove as well) has the added benefit of distributing the heat slowly to prevent foods from burning. The Paniyaram Maker can also be used on induction cooktops with the use of an induction cookware interface disk.
To use a Soapstone Paniyaram Maker, first it must be cured. Follow the instructions under the curing tab. After cured, place the Paniyaram Maker on a low flame (low heat) for 5 minutes to begin to use it. Pour 1 tsp oil into each pit of the pan.
Once the pan is hot, to make a Paniyaram, take a ladleful of batter and pour it into each pit.
Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Once browned on one side, turnover each Paniyaram with the help of a needle like stick and cook until a toothpick inserted at the center of Paniyaram comes out clean.
Remove Paniyaram with the help of needle like stick and proceed with the remaining batter. Serve Paniyaram hot with mint or onion chutney.
A Soapstone Paniyaram Maker must not be submitted to drastic changes in temperature and should be allowed to adjust slowly to heat, letting them slowly heat up until they are hot, either on the stove or in the oven. Likewise, you should also allow the Soapstone Paniyaram Maker to adjust to room temperature before washing or storing them, and never sit a hot Soapstone Paniyaram Maker on a cold surface such as granite or tile.
The Soapstone Paniyaram Maker retains heat for a long period of time, so be careful in handling a hot Soapstone Paniyaram Maker.
For cleaning, avoid using the dishwasher, hand washing is recommended. After each use scrub the Soapstone Paniyaram Maker lightly with a sponge or soft cloth. It is a good idea to reapply some oil before storing the Soapstone Paniyaram Maker.
Do not use metal or abrasive pads as they may scratch the surface and avoid strongly scented soaps which can flavor the Soapstone Paniyaram Maker. Use wooden utensils with the pieces as metal utensils can scratch and damage the inside.
Carrot Kara Paniyaram
The famous south Indian breakfast or evening snacks made using fermented rice batter and served with mint or onion chutney.