Punugulu recipe with idli batter or dosa batter with step by step photo and video recipe. Punugulu or punukkulu is a crispy deep-fried snack, street food in Andhra Pradesh is also called Maavu Bonda in Tamilnadu and served with an assortment of chutneys like spicy ginger chutney, tomato chutney, peanut chutney, coconut chutney, and sometimes the famous Karam podi (aka Andhra spicy gun powder). My favourite chutney is peanut and coconut. These are similar to goli bajje and Mysore Bonda but made with fermented lentil batter.
Traditionally these tasty fritters are prepared as street food especially in Andhra and Tamilnadu beaches. These crispy fritters are a wonderful evening snack recipe or tea time snack during the monsoon season and consumed as a side dish with a cup of masala chai or with a filter coffee. Sometimes as a side dish with sambar or rasam or Bisi Bele Bhath (a famous Karnataka recipe).
There are a number of variations to the punugulu recipe. You can make them with idli batter, dosa batter, or even Black gram (Urad dal) batter. Add-ons to the batter are totally up to one’s choice. You can just make them plain with cumin or pepper and salt or add chopped green chili, onions, cumin seeds, ginger, and coriander leaves. The choice of the batter is totally an individual’s choice and comfort as well. I prefer the sour version using a fermented batter. I sometimes add chopped spinach or fenugreek leaves to the batter and they taste simply great.
If you are looking for a healthier version of this snack, try making Kuzhi Paniyaram or Gunta punugulu with the same batter in paniyaram pan (also known as Takoyaki or Danish Aebleskiver pan). Before we jump into the preparation method, I want to share some tips so that you will taste the best Punugulu recipe every time.
Tips & Tricks to make best punugulu with Idli or dosa batter:
Use fermented dosa batter or idli batter to make soft inside and crispy outside punugulu as it gives a unique sourness to the recipe.
If the batter is runny, many try to add rice flour or maida or all-purpose flour and they usually tend to get hard and rubbery. Instead of adding maida or rice flour or any other flour add powdered flattened rice or atukulu or poha and mix with the batter to get the right consistency. Leave it aside for 10 minutes so that it becomes thick and you will get the right consistency.
The key to getting delicious deep-fried punugulu is making them less oily, yet crispy outside. Check by making few fritters first, if they are hard add very little water if they are not crispy or they turn out oily and soggy, the batter is runny, add little poha powder.
Similar to Poori (aka state fair fried dough), you can add little semolina or rava to the batter, which gives a crisp golden texture to the punugulu. If you want to add semolina leave the batter aside for about 30mins after mixing and make punugulu or fritters after that.
Use peanut oil or vegetable oil that has a high smoke point for frying. When the oil is nice and hot, dip your fingers in water and scoop out about a teaspoon of punugulu batter into your fingers and gently drop them into the hot oil. Use your thumb to slide the batter into the oil. Frying is not everyone’s game, if you are not comfortable using hand you can use a small spoon as well. Make sure the balls are small in size. If the bonda or fritters are big, the inside usually remains doughy and you don’t want to taste the raw dough/batter. So always take small lemon size balls for punugulu.
Once you drop punugulu to the hot oil, do not disturb them. Fry for a minute or two before turning them over. I prefer to use a fork or slotted spoon while turning the punugulu. Fry on medium flame to cook from inside and crisp from out.
Punugulu needs to be really golden brown in color. The crispy punugulu texture is what makes this dish irresistible. After a couple of minutes, the balls should be really golden in color. Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels or kitchen towels.
Delicious alternatives to the recipe are Pesara punukulu, Challa punugulu with mung dal batter (aka pesarattu batter). These are really nutritious and healthy. Other variations Aloo Bonda, similar to batata in the famous Mumbai street food vada pav, tapioca, or sago balls and a sweet version with whole wheat flour and jaggery.
How to make punugulu step by step video recipe:
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How to make punugulu with dosa batter with step by step :
1.In a large mixing bowl take 2 cups of leftover dosa batter .
2. Add 1/4 cup onion, 1 green chilli paste, 2 tbsp coriander, , few curry leaves, 1 tsp cumin powder and ½ tsp salt.
3. mix well making sure everything is combined well.
4. Add 1 tbsp rava and 1 tbsp rice flour. Mix well.
5. Add more rice flour if required to get thick batter.
6. Now dip your hand in water, and start make lemon sized vadas.
7. Drop them one by one to hot oil.
8.Keep the flame in lower to medium stir occasionally.
9. Fry the punugulu till they turn golden brown.
10. Drain off the punugulu on to kitchen towel to absorb oil.
11. Serve punugulu with coconut chutney or gun powder.