Punugulu Recipe (Punukulu with Idli Dosa Batter)
Punugulu also known as Punukulu is a traditional deep fried Snack from Andhra Pradesh. Crispy, crunchy and fluffy Punugulu are also a popular street food & you will find them made fresh on the streets of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. In this post I share how to make delicious punugulu at home from scratch. If you have premade Idli or dosa batter you can also use that following my recipe.
Punugulu originated in the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh and pretty much made in every Telugu speaking home. The traditional way is to soak and grind the lentils & rice to make a thick batter.
This is fermented and spiced with green chilies, cumin seeds and ginger to impart a bunch of flavors. To add flavor and texture fresh cut onions are also added.
Portions of the thick fluffy batter is then dropped gently to the hot oil. The batter fries up to round crispy balls that are extremely delicious and addictive. Punugulu are served with a chutney.
However these can be made instantly with leftover idli dosa batter. A lot of Telugu speaking people usually make these with leftover over-fermented idli-dosa batter as they taste tangy.
While Punugulu can be made with lentils & rice or with just white flour (refined flour), the traditional and the standard version is made with urad dal and raw rice. The maida version is similar to Karnataka Goli Baje & Mysore bonda with a few differences.
At home we also make these with green gram (mung beans) and also only with urad dal using the Medu vada batter. Each of these taste so much different.
If you are making these for the first time, read my pro tips below.
More similar recipes,
Mixed dal vada
How to make Punugulu (Stepwise Photos)
1. To make these you will need either 2 cups leftover thick idli or dosa batter or you have to make fresh batter. If you are using leftover batter, scroll down and start from step 4. If you want to make fresh batter, rinse & soak ¼ cup urad dal and ¾ cup raw rice for a minimum of 4 hrs.
2. Rinse the dal well and add it to a grinder jar. Also add half teaspoon cumin seeds and 1 to 2 green chilies. If you make these for small kids, you can also skip the chilies or add them chopped later. Pour 3 tablespoons water. Grind this to a smooth thick batter. Transfer this to a bowl.
3. Rinse the soaked rice and drain the water. Add the rice to the same grinder. Grind to a slightly coarse batter. Mix it with the urad dal batter thoroughly. Add salt as required to taste. If you want you may ferment this batter for 4 to 6 hours.
4. Check the consistency now, the batter should be thicker & of dropping consistency. Refer the pic below. This is the right consistency.
OPTIONAL STEP : If you feel the batter is runny, powder 2 tbsps of poha / attukulu and mix well with the batter to make a lump-free batter. Set side for 10 mins. Alternately you can add 2 tablespoons of semolina or rice flour to thicken the batter. But the ones made with poha are really light and crunchy. Now adjust the consistency of batter, if required add very little water. Check by making 1 to 2 punugulu, if they are hard need to add little water.
Fry the Punugulu
5. To the batter, add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds (skip if you added to the batter while grinding). If you want add half cup chopped onions, chopped green chillies and ¾ teaspoon ginger to the batter. Mix and taste test for salt.
6. On a medium flame, heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a quarter teaspoon batter. It should sizzle and come up to the surface. This is the right temperature. Shape the batter to round balls with your fingers and drop them gently in the hot oil. Do not disturb them for a few minutes. Then later stir with a slotted spoon and fry them until golden and crisp.
Remove punugulu to a cooling rack or steel colander. Serve punugulu hot with chutney. We served it with Garlic chutney. Coconut chutney, Ginger chutney and Tomato chutney also go well.
There are no specific measurements followed to make the batter. But it must be thick and not runny. Punugulu can be made with fresh ground batter or with leftover fermented idli dosa batter.
Usually many people love them making with sour batter as the fritters taste slightly tangy. Most times I make them with the fresh batter.
They can be made plain just with some cumin and green chilies added. I prefer to add chopped onions, chilies, cumin and coriander leaves.
The right consistency of the batter is the key to making punukulu that are crispy and not oily. Not too thick and not too thin. Thick batter makes your fritters rock hard, while the thin runny batter, makes them oily and soggy too.
If the batter turns runny, many people add few spoons of rice flour or semolina. But my personal experience – they turn hard when additional rice flour is added.
With semolina the fritters turn flat and do not absorb the moisture in the batter. So I usually use poha or atukulu. Just powder and add a bit to the batter to bring it to consistency. They turn out super crunchy and light.
For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
- 2 cups idli dosa batter (thick or ¼ cup urad dal and ¾ cup raw rice)
- 2 tablespoons poha or semolina or rice flour (optional)
- Salt to taste , only if required
- oil to deep fry as needed
- 2 green chilies chopped
- ¼ cup onion chopped
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ¾ teaspoon ginger (grated, optional)
Make batter for Punugulu
- You can skip steps 1 to 5 if using idli dosa batter. Rinse urad dal and rice separately multiple times till the water looks clear.
- Soak them for at least 4 hrs separately. Later drain and rinse the dal and rice. Add dal to a grinder along with 3 to 4 tablespoons water. If you want you can also add green chilies and cumin to the grinder at this stage or add them chopped to the batter directly later before frying.
- Grind dal to a smooth thick batter. Do not make it runny. Transfer this to a mixing bowl.
- Grind rice to a thick and slightly coarse batter, adding water only as required. Mix it well with the dal batter. Check the consistency now, it has to be thick of dropping consistency.
- If you want you may ferment the batter for 4 to 6 hours. This is optional.
How to make Punugulu
- If the batter is runny, add powdered poha/ attukulu or rice flour or semolina. Set this side for 10 mins. It becomes thicker after it is soaked. Now adjust the consistency, if required, you may add very little water or can proceed as it is if the consistency is right. Check by making few fritters, if they are hard you need to add little water.
- Add cumin, chopped chilies, ginger and onions to the batter.
- Heat oil in a kadai on a medium flame.
- To test drop a small portion of batter to the hot oil, the batter has to sizzle and rise to the surface but not sink. This is the right temperature.
- Shape the batter to round balls with your fingers and drop them in the hot oil.
- Do not disturb them for a few minutes. Later using a slotted spoon, stir and fry till golden and crisp. Remove punugulu to a cooling rack or steel colander.
- serve them warm with your favorite chutney.
How to make maida punugulu
- Mix 3/4 cup maida, 3 tbsp rice flour, 3 tbsp curd, 1 green chili, 1 small onion, 1/2 tsp. chopped ginger, salt as needed and 1/4 tsp soda. Set this aside for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Heat oil and drop small portions of the batter in hot oil. Fry until golden.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
Follow Swasthi’s Recipes
Thanks very much! The pungulu are very tasty and my family liked it.
I have followed your other recipes too. All came out tasty and delicious. Thanks again.
Glad to know! Thank you
Hi Swasti, I tried punugulu today with left over dosa batter. I followed your suggestion of powdered poha. It was a hit with family . Thank you very much.
You are welcome! Glad you all liked it.
Very clearly written step by step including tips it is praiseworthy. Thankful to you Swasthi
You are welcome!
Hi Swasthi u made my ocassions tastefull. I tried many of ur recipes and succeeded. Thanks a lot
Thanks for trying the recipes. Happy to know they are useful
Mam u have not mentioned the proportion for urad and rice
I have mentioned it in the recipe card. It is 1 : 3
1/4 cup cup dal and 3/4 cup rice
your recipes are simple and delicious. Thank you so much for sharing.
I really love u r recepies and most of them I had tried also.all are simply amazing.i had seen lots or sites for food recepies but I found ,ur way of making the dish look wonderful and it’s so clear n understanding I’m really the fan of yours…n now had recemmmoned many people also and I appreciate your efforts ☺️
Glad to know the recipes are useful. Thanks a lot for the comment it made me very very happy.
How is punugulu recipe different from mysore bonda recipe?
Punugulu uses rice while mysore bonda does not, punugulu can be made with varying proportions of rice and dal. I also use poha which gives that light and extra crunch like the ones made from stone ground batter.
Actually mysore bonda is made using maida and curd. But what I have shared is the tamil nadu version of mysore bonda where rice flour is optional and is used just in 1 to 2 tbsps qty. No rice is used
Punugulu is usually made with left over idli, dosa batter especially after it turns sour.
Wonderful recipe. i sometimes use MTR idli and dosa mixes (powdered and you just have to add water )…, Can i combine idli and dosa mixes to make punugulu?
I guess it should work. You can try by frying one to two of them first. If they dissolve in oil, Just put the batter in the mixer and blend for 1 to 2 mins. I have never used mtr mixes so unable to guide you.
Hi. Your chutney recipes are so simple and delicious. I have never made South Indian food on my life and thanks to your step by step guide, my kids and husband loves it. Thanks so much. You are an angel.
So glad you liked the recipes. Thanks for trying
hey..i ws surfng randomly..n m so happy 2 land here…
ur recipes are just WOW..
Nice receiptes Swathi, I will definitely try them.
Nice Receipes Swathi, I will definitely try them.
Hey swathi all ur recipes are mind blowing spl north Indian food n can u plz post samosa recipe so I can enjoy ur that recipe too….
Thanks for the feedback. Yes i will share the samosa recipe soon
its all recipe i tride its goos
i love bonda lot & lot
what an taste Chandra from Nellore
crispy bonda.. makes me hungry 🙂