ಗುಂಡಪೊಂಗಲು – GundaPongalu

I am not really sure why they are called GundaPongalu. Gunda means round, that is self explanatory. What does Pongalu mean here? Is it Tamil or Telugu word?

Anyway, my Mom prepares these almost every week. I had eaten these several times during my September visit to India. I also brought the nonstick pan or skillet which is used to make these as well. However, when I weighed my luggage at the airport, it was 10 kilos overweight and the airline asked me to pay a ridiculous amount of money. Since my parents were waiting outside the airport, I took a plastic bag and transferred most heavy weight items.

All those items made a journey back to the US when my Husband made a trip to India in March.

I had read in many blogs that gundapongalu can be made with dosa batter also. So, the next day I got hold of the pan, I had dosa batter and tried doing the same. In no time, the whole batter was all over the pan, and it made a huge mess. So, I thought better luck next time and washed and there it went to the basement.

Last week, my Sister told me she was preparing gundapongalu for breakfast. I immediately ran to the pantry, and started soaking all the ingredients.

Sneha loves these tiny round ones, and eats them happily with chutney. I have prepared this thrice over the past 2 months. Will have to see how to ship these to Chapel Hill from August.

So, here are the items required for the same:


  1. 1 cup urad dal
  2. 1/4 cup channa dal
  3. 2 cups idli rava
  4. salt to taste


  1. Soak both the dals in water for at least 4-5 hours.
  2. Drain the water, and grind with just enough water.
  3. Wash the idli rava and mix with the ground dals.
  4. Keep overnight such that the batter ferments.
  5. Next day, add salt and mix the batter thoroughly.
  6. Place the pan  or skillet on the gas stove, and grease the same.
  7. Now, add spoonful of the batter and let them cook on both sides.
  8. Should take around 5-6 minutes on each side.
  9. Serve hot with Coconut Chutney.

P.S: As you can see no onion or garlic in this recipe as well. So, another dish to prepare during Thursday’s. There is a slight variation in the recipe for the coconut chutney also. It tasted just so delicious. I will post that as well soon.


19 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Gayatri on May 9, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Meera, I always prepare this with a dosa batter. However, the consistency for this should be like Idli batter. It comes out same as yours. I will now try it out with the ingredients mentioned in this post.


    • Posted by meeraghu on May 9, 2010 at 7:57 am

      I guess the batter was definitely not that thick. However, I did add some rice flour to make it thick.

      Thanks for sharing.


    • Posted by raghu on March 15, 2011 at 1:10 pm

      Yes, gunda means round, and I suspect that the word Pongalu is borrowed from tamil where I am told it means “to rise”!!!So, the batter rises round in shape!!!


  2. Posted by Ritha on May 9, 2010 at 11:54 am

    In Telugu they call it Guntha Ponganalu, which means round balls and I know growing up my mom used to make these with onions, green chilies and fresh coriander. Adding a few jeera seeds also gives it a wonderful taste. Here in US whenever I make dosa batter I make a big batch, so it lasts for atleast one week and I make dosa one day and other days I make uthappam and guntha ponganalu. Personally, I like ponganalu better than dosa, because they stay warm for a longer time and you can make a couple of them beforehand when you have a couple of people waiting on the dining table.


  3. Posted by meeraghu on May 9, 2010 at 12:46 pm

    Thanks for the update, Ritha. So, it is a telugu word. The dosa batter as I said didn’t work for me. I will try next time.


  4. my wife prepares these with dosa batter as well. we recenly bought this kind of skillet over here. yes, ponganalu is from telugu, and i heard it is called “paddu” in kannada – http://twitpic.com/s2j7w – my daughter loves these and yes, i swallow several more compared to regular dosa 🙂


  5. Posted by meeraghu on May 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

    I had heard the name paddu. So, it is not pongalu, but ponganalu. Not sure why everyone in our family says “Gundapongalu”. Maybe they just eat out the na.


  6. Posted by C.N.Sanjeevi on June 9, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Our ladies in U.S. appear to be very clever at trying out indigenous dishes. We at home also learn some nice things from them.


  7. Posted by Pradeep on June 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    we call this paddu.
    mom makes many varieties of this.
    – adding onions, chillies.
    – adding vegetables inside.
    – from left overs cutting these into 4 pieces and making a pan fry of these.

    pics look yummy. will ask mom to make them 2mrw


  8. Posted by meeraghu on June 17, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for sharing the many varieties. In my house, no onions are added.


  9. Posted by Durgapriye on August 27, 2010 at 7:43 am

    One more update we in Bellary call this as ಗುಂಡು ಪಂಗಳ, yes it is derived from telugu at my in-laws place Bijapur it is referred as ಪಡ್ . There is sweet version where in we add jaggery some dessicated coconut if you want then dry fruits of your choice lastly cardamom for flavour. This is sihi paddu.


  10. As a “Tamil-Nadu” Maadhwa brought up in B’lore … I think we call this as “Kuli Appam”.. in South Karnataka it’s called “Udupi Guliappa”..


  11. Posted by Anupama on December 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm


    we are madhwas from kurnool…… rayalaseema. At my mom’s place we call this guntha ponganalu……. and I have loved this from my childhood. Thanks for reminding me this receipe here on this blog.

    I have eaten the sweet version of this too……




  12. Posted by vijayalakshmi on December 31, 2010 at 2:02 am

    guntha in telugu means depressed or sunken down,its the special pan to make , pongulu is the dish.
    Its called Kuzhi paniyaazham in Tamil ,its both sweet and hot dish depending on your tastes.Sweet guntha pongulu is made with dosa batter without adding salt and boiled in milk and sugar is added later when the milk is condensed to half.


  13. In DK Dt., this is called Guliappa.
    Many types of batter are used.
    one prepared with rava, onions,curds,etc is almost instant guliappa
    another, with dosa batter ,but filled with potato/onion palya is also quite delicious.
    A different type of coconut chutney is prepared by finely grinding coconut ,add salt to taste,fry whole green chillies in ghee till quite dark,add this to the ground coconut,then add enough quantity of fresh curds and mix well,


    • Posted by vijayalakshmi ravindran on October 7, 2011 at 1:13 am

      In Telugu its gunta pongulu, guntalu are the small pits in the special pan ,and pongulu is the puffed round balls which are the end product after cooking it on both sides.
      Kannada -gunda is again round balls.


  14. Posted by smitha on April 1, 2013 at 8:14 am

    hiiiiii thanku for posting the reciepeeeeee……..


  15. Posted by Padma Guruprasad on July 18, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    Does anyone know where we can buy the skillet to make paddu in US?? Is it available in Indian stores or any other store? Thanks !


    • Posted by meeraghu on July 18, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      You can find it in Target. Search for Nordic Ware Ebleskiver Pan on google. Quite expensive. Cheaper in India.
      Also found a cheaper one called Bethany Aebleskiver Pan. Both can be found in Target.


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