Thinai paniyaram is a South Indian dumpling that can be made sweet or savory, depending on ingredients. This version introduces beets for a slightly sweet, earthy flavor and a gorgeous dark pink color. They're spongy when served hot, with a slightly crispy outer layer. These dumplings are the perfect thing to take to school or work as a snack, or they can be enjoyed with a warm cup of tea.

Beet Thinai Paniyaram: Indian Sweet Dumplings [Vegan]



  • 2 1/2 ounces beets, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup thinai/foxtail millet
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oats
  • 1 tablespoon rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons powdered palm jaggery/karupati
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Oil, for frying


  1. Soak millet in water for 2-3 hours. Now, drain water completely and blend millet in a mixer/grinder to smooth batter without adding water. Add chopped beets to this and blend again.
  2. Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl. Add oats, rice flour, baking powder, powdered jaggery, and cardamom powder. Mix everything well. Add 1 tablespoon water or more if needed and make the consistency similar to pancake batter.
  3. Heat paniyaram pan on low-medium flame. Pour 1 teaspoon oil into each cavity of the pan. Now, put 1 tablespoon of batter into each cavity till it is half filled. If you don't have a paniyaram pan, this step can be completed using a muffin pan.
  4. Close the pan with a lid and cook on low-medium flame. After 2 or 3 minutes, open the lid and turn over each paniyaram to allow it to cook. Once each paniyaram is cooked, remove from the pan and pour another batch of batter. Serve.