Gunta ponganalu is a special dish unique to our region. A special skillet called “Ponganalu Penam” is used to prepare ponganalu. I usually prepare ponganalu with leftover dosa or idli batter. Ponganalu is rice – lentil batter seasoned with onions, green chilles, coriander leaves, curry leaves, cumin seeds and chana dal and cooked in ponganalu penam (skillet). Ponganalu are usually served with coconut chutney or peanut chutney.
Though non-stick skillets are available in market these days, nothing can beat the taste of ponganalu from a well seasoned iron skillet. I use the the skillet from Prestige company. This did not come with a lid (I use a plate to cover it while cooking). To ensure even cooking, buy a skillet with a well-fitting lid.
Raw Rice: 2 cup
Urad Dal: 1 cup
Chana Dal: 1 fistful; soak in water for 2 hours
Methi (Fenugreek) Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Salt: as per taste
Green Chilli: 5; finely chopped
Onion: 1 big; finely chopped
Coriander Leaves: few sprigs; finely choppped
Curry Leaves: 1 twig; finely chopped (Optional)
Cumin Seeds: 1 teaspoon
Oil: for frying ponganalu
1. Soak rice, urad dal and methi seeds for 6 hours. Drain and grind to a fine paste. Ferment overnight, add salt and combine well.
2. Add soaked and drained chana dal, finely chopped onions, green chillis, coriander leaves, curry leaves, cumin seeds and combine well.
3. Heat the skill on medium flame. Pour half teaspoon of oil into each depression of the skillet. Once hot, pour the batter into each depression.
4. Cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes in low flame. Flip ponganalu with a fork cook for 3 minutes without lid.
5. Remove from skillet and serve with chutney of your choice.