Payatram Paniyaram


Today is Sri Lankan New Year.  Happy New Year to all my friends.  New Year means sweet milk rice, payasam, sweets, spicy snacks and lots of traditional processes.  One of the most common sweet-snack made is Payatram Paniyaram. These are also traditionally made for special occasions such as weddings, Tamil New Year and any other auspicious events.  In different parts of Jaffna, the name slightly differs.  Where I am from, my parents and family calls these “payatram paniyaram”.  In other areas or places these are called “payatram urundai”, “thoippan” etc.

I have always wanted to make this since I left Sri Lanka.  But every time I tried, it did not taste the way my mother makes.  So after a while I thought to give it a try and focus on the measurements.  For the hard work, these came out absolutely delicious.


Some Tips:

  1. Traditionally we use red rice flour.  But it may be replaced with white rice flour since red rice flour is quite expensive outside of Sri Lanka (it depends on where you live).
  2. When you make the dough, make sure that you do not add a lot of water.  The less water these has will enhance the taste and flavor.  Also these will stay longer compared to those that have more water added
  3. When you fry these drop one at a time into the hot oil.  In this way they won’t stick together and come out as a big batch.  It is alright if 2 or 3 stick together in a batch in the oil.
  4. The real secret of making the outside crispy depends on what flour you use.  Traditionally all purpose flour is used.  But for some reason, it becomes soft after a day or two and loses the taste.  So I mixed in all purpose flour and rice flour with coconut milk.


  • ½ cup unroasted mung bean flour (payatram ma)
  • ½ cup roasted red rice flour
  • ½ cup castror sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • About 3 tablespoons Hot water
  • Oil to deep fry

Dipping batter:

  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon steamed all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon roasted white rice flour
  • 2 tablespoon coconut milk
  • Water
  • Pinch of salt


  • Mix together all the dry ingredients
  • Add 1 tablespoon water at a time and mix with your hand. You have to continue to mix so that the sugar will melt into the flour.  The dough should be loose and not sticky.  Once you reach the consistency where when you able to make a ball of the size of marble, you have reached the right consistency.
  • Take a small amount and with your fist tightly squeeze to clump the loose dough. Once you have clumped, just squeeze them into a ball with one hand.  If you try to use both hands to roll, it will fall apart.
  • To make the batter mix the batter ingredients with water until the batter has the consistency of think pancake batter.
  • Heat oil in a large wok. Once hot, dip each ball in the batter and drop in the hot oil.  Depending on the size of your pan, you can add any number at a time.
  • Once lightly golden drain on paper towel. Let cool completely
  • Store in an air tight container. This will keep for about a week or 2.

5 thoughts on “Payatram Paniyaram

  1. Hi Chelvi,

    This is a wonderful recipe.

    Can you please send me another e-mail address if you have as I would like to

    contact you.

    My name is Pushpa. I am also from Colombo, now living in Scarborough, Toronto.

    Best regards, Pushpa


  2. They look so beautiful, delicious & healthy too! Love the addition of red rice !!
    We do make something similar during Deepavali, but yours look so beautiful and I like to adapt this recipe ! 🙂

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