Thursday, July 28, 2022


These vellayappams are soft, fluffy, deep-fried, cloud-like puffs that are a delicacy of the popular Chettinad cuisine. These are made with rice and urad dal and are gluten-free too! These vellayappams are a great snack perfect for any day or for any festivals too.

This is a classic fried snack that is great for a relaxed weekend snack. This is perfect with a cup of filter coffee. These are ultra soft and cloud-like. To achieve this the consistency of the batter is very important. It should neither be thick nor runny. The perfect consistency should be like dosa batter. Grinding the dal and rice in a grinder aerates the batter and adds to the fluffiness. Well, that's what my mom said and taught me. I strictly follow her recipe and every time it is a winner!  

As the name suggests, these vellayappams (translates to appams that are white in color) should be light in color. It is important to heat the oil on medium flame and carefully fry the appams. To achieve this color, raw rice is used instead of parboiled or idli rice. The raw rice and urad dal combination gives the cloud like white appams that just slips down in your mouth to your tummy.

The fluffy and soft vellayappams are deep fried. This recipe uses a tablespoon to drop the batter into oil. The size of the appams can vary and the count of them too, based on the quantity of batter taken for each appam. The tablespoon of batter just swells up when it fries in oil. Adjust the cooking time if you are using a bigger spoon, make sure that it is not too big, else may not be cooked completely with the lighter color exterior. 

The best accompaniment to this vellayappam is this green chilli chutney. Basically it is green chilies ground with salt and asafetida. Though Chettinad cuisine is well known for spicy food, this vellayappam is not very spicy. So it is always served with a spicy green chili chutney. Red chili kara chutney would also pair well. Coconut chutney is also a great chutney to serve with vellayappam.

These vellayappams are delicious snacks for any day. But they can also be made for any festivals or feasts. These are good for gettogethers. Though Medhu Vadas are great for any occasion, these vellayappams are equally good in flavor and texture and will give a different flair to the platter. For sure guests will be wowed! This measurement also makes enough to feed a crowd. But your family also could gobble it up. The best thing is that you can save some portion of the batter for the next day and then add the seasonings and make wonderful vellayappams. The batter stays great for one to two days in the refrigerator, beyond that I haven't tried. These vellayappams are amazing hot-hot right out of the fryer and as well as at room temperature.

This vellayappam is from the Chettinad Cuisine. Chettinad is a region in the interiors of Tamil Nadu, India. This cuisine is rich in flavors and very popular for its spices and fresh ground masalas. This vellayappam, a deep fried snack, is not very spicy. A tasty snack along with a cup of coffee. Both paternal and maternal grandparents lived their entire life and our parents too grew up there, my early childhood too! Though our grandparents followed our traditional cuisine, a couple of Chettinad favorites surfaced often, mostly the no onion no garlic ones. This is one such recipe. My mom makes this often and is requested by most of our family members. Her recipe is awesome!  Kuzhipaniyaram is another popular one from this region.

This month we are featuring Chettinad recipes in our SHHH Cooking Secretly. Yes! cooking secretly! We are a group of like minded food bloggers. We pair up with a partner, and give secret ingredients to each other. Using the secret ingredients we cook yummy food and share a picture of the food to the group to guess the secret ingredients. The fun starts there and there is no words to describe it.

Priya is my partner for the theme Chettinad Cuisine suggested by Kalyani. Who doesn't love fried foods? I love Priya's Chawal Ke Pakore and Vegetable Bonda. She suggested ginger and black pepper as secret ingredients and I made these vellayappams from the Chettinad cuisine. I gave her fenugreek and coconut bits as the secret ingredients and she made these delicious kuzhipaniyarams and these are loved in our home!

Makes about 60-70

Raw rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp, chopped
Green chilies - 2, chopped
Whole black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Sour yogurt - 1/4 cups
Asafetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves - 1
Oil - 4 cups, to fry


Soak the rice and dal for 2 hours separately.

Drain all the water from the dal. Add it to the grinder, sprinkle water and grind to a smooth paste. About one-third cup of water may be used and it may take about 12-15 minutes to grind. Set the dal batter aside.

Drain the water from rice and grind to a smooth batter using about quarter to one third cup of water. Transfer this to the dal batter.

Both the rice and dal batter can be mixed thoroughly and a portion can be set aside in refrigerator if preferring to use it the next day. Add the asafetida, black pepper, ginger, green chilies, sour yogurt, and salt to the batter and mix thoroughly. The batter should resemble dosa batter. If not, adjust with a little water or yogurt. Do this just before frying.

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat. Dip a spoon in water (keep a cup of water nearby), scoop the batter and drop carefully into oil. For every couple of times of scooping batter, dip the spoon in batter to help with the easiness of dropping the batter and to get a good shape. Fry on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, flip and cook for a minute and remove from the oil. The color should be very light in color, more towards whitish color (as the name implies). Drain the excess oil. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Serve with green chili chutney and/or coconut chutney and of course coffee!


  1. These are indeed cloud like, Radha. Good to know you have your grandparents from that region. must make it more special - Kalyani

  2. Radha, from the time you posted the photo on FB I was impatiently waiting for the recipe for these pillowy soft and tempting snack. Vellayappams have turned out so good. This is a must try recipe.

  3. I had the pleasure of trying out these Vellai Appam while in Madurai, and absolutely loved them! You have prepared them so beautifully.. they do look cloud-like, fat and fluffy and delicious. Thank you so much for the authentic recipe from your grandparents - would love to try this out. 🙂

  4. That looks delicious and so tempting. Perfectly cooked up and so light and fluffy with airy texture.

  5. This picture sums it all, the filter coffee, the chutney and the vellaiappam combo! it is a experience you have captured here and love it/

  6. You have achieved the perfect texture of vellayappam. So soft, fluffy and looks too good and tempting

  7. Vellayappams have turned out just perfect as the name ..white and fluffy . I had tasted these in karaikudi - hub of chettinaad cuisine. as a child i loved them so much that I can still recollect the taste and texture . Am bookmarking your recipe to try it

  8. Vellia appam looks so tempting with that soft fluffy cloud like texture..would love giving it a try.