It is a customary thing at my place to make panineer petty during Eid. It would be a very unusual snack or dessert for someone who never had it before, but sure to surprise. This is quite a popular Malabar dish mostly made in muslim households during special ocassions. The soft pillowy dessert made of layers of pan cakes and sweet egg filling is served with aromatic sugar syrup. Filling is made of eggs and sugar jewelled with cashews nuts and raisins. It is also flavoured with cardamom, one of my favourite spices and you get the whiff of it throughout. This filling is used in many of Malabar snacks including Unnakkaya, pazham nirachathu etc.
Literally, panineer means rose water and petty means box. Even though rose water is not commonly used in the recipe, that it what it is called. I am not sure why though. A good panineer petty is made of very thin pancakes. While making these, it is very important to make very thin pancakes. The thinner, the better they are. So the batter should be quite watery. You may add few table spoons of water or egg to make the batter thin and add little flour if the batter goes too thin. Recipe is just straight forward and very easy, doeant really take any time. Sugar syrup can be made in advance.
For the egg filling:
6 large eggs
12 tbsp caster/ granulated sugar
¼ cup chopped cashew nuts
¼ cup raisins
1 ½ tbsp ghee
For the pancake:
1 cup plain flour
1 ½ cup plus couple of tablespoon more if needed
¼ tsp salt or as requied
For the Syrup:
1 cup caster/granulated sugar
1 cup water
¼ tsp lemon/lime juice
4-5 cardamom pods split open
1 tsp rose water (optional)
For the filling:
1. In a bowl, break in eggs and add in sugar. Using a hand whisk or fork break up the eggs and mix the mixture well.
2. Place a large non stick pan on medium heat, add ghee and add the chopped cashew nuts. Fry them until they start turning golden and then add raisins. Fry them until they puff up.
3. Add in the egg-sugar mixture and keep stirring to scramble the eggs until they are cooked.
4. Pound the cardamom to fine powder and add to the egg mixture. Stir well, take off the heat and keep aside.
For the pancakes:
1. Make a thin batter by mixing flour,egg, water and salt.
2. Place a small frying pan (6 inch or any size) on low-medium heat. Dip a kitchen towel in oil and rub the pan with it to avoid the batter sticking to the pan.
3. Pour a small ladleful (3 tbsp) of batter into the pan, swirl the pan to spread the batter to the edge. Cook the pancake only one side and then fish it out.
4. Place some egg filling in the centre of the pancake, fold two side of the pancake each over lapping the other and covering the filling and then fold the other two side, pressing gently to make a square shape pillow. Keep aside.
5. Pour another ladleful of batter and cook another pancake in the same manner.
6. Spread little of the filling in the centre on the uncooked side. Place the previously made filled pancake on top of the egg filling with folded side facing downwards.
7. Fold the pancake from both sides, pressing down gentle to stick the pancake on to the pancake underneath. Then fold the other two sides making to make a larger box.
8. Make one more pancake and repeat step 6 and 7. So you get a panineer petty made of three pancakes.
9. Make more panineer petty in similar way. You will get around 6 medium ones. The more layers you make, larger the panineer petty will be. I usually make it with 3-4 pancakes, but it is usually larger.
To make syrup:
Add sugar and water into a pan and bring to boil without stirring. Once it reaches boiling stage, reduce the heat, add lemon juice and simmer for about 8-10 minutes until it reaches medium thick syrup. Add crushed cardamom and rose water if using at the end and stir well.
Place each panineer petty on individual serving dish. Make a deep cross onto the panineer petty and pour couple of tablespoons of sugar syrup drenching the panineer petty.
1. Recipe can be halved to make half the quantity.
2. To powder cardamoms to fine powder, heat a frying pan on low-medium heat and throw in the cardamoms. Heat them until they puff up, stirring occasionally to stop burning. Grind them in a coffee grinder or heavy duty grinder.
3. Lemon/lime juice is added to the syrup to stop the syrup from crystallising. Plus, to avoid the sugar from crystallising, don’t stir sugar syrup until all sugar dissolves.
4. This can also be served without sugar syrup as an evening snack.