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Brown plate with a stack of palakura punukulu

Palakura Punukulu

These spinach fritters are made with leftover idli batter and spinach. Crispy on the outside, airy and fluffy on the inside, these are great for breakfast or snack or a light meal.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 20 mins
Soaking Time:: 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: andhra, south indian
Servings: 6 Servings


  • 1 cup Leftover Idli Batter
  • 2 tablespoons Fine semolina (sooji)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds
  • To taste Salt
  • 1 Small Onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Green Chilies, finely chopped
  • 4~6 Curry leaves, chopped
  • ½" Ginger piece, finely grated
  • 1~1½ cups Spinach, finely chopped
  • As needed Oil, for deep frying


  • In a medium size mixing bowl, combine idli batter, semolina, salt and cumin seeds. Mix well. Set aside for about 20-30 minutes for sooji to absorb liquid. Add onion, green chilies curry leaves, ginger and spinach. Mix well. If the mixture looks too thick, then add some water. It should be thick but still easily pourable.
  • Heat oil for deep frying in a medium wok or pan on medium flame. Add the batter by the spoonful into the hot oil. Alternately, use 2 spoons for ease. Scoop the batter with one spoon and push it gently into the oil with the other one. Depending on the size of the pan, you can cook may be 4~5 punukulu at a time.
  • Cook till the fritters are golden brown all over. Using a slotted spoon, remove them onto a paper towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve hot with your favorite chutney or chutney powder. Enjoy!!



  • Make idli batter either with idli rava or with parboiled idli rice. Or use your favorite idli batter recipe.
  • You can make punugulu with dosa batter as well. Just make sure that the batter is thick enough to make fritters.
  • You can make punukulu plain with no veggies. Use just onions, green chilies and curry leaves.
  • Substitute spinach with finely chopped cabbage or grated carrot etc.
  • Instead of sooji (semolina), you can also use either rice flour or all purpose flour (maida). The texture may not be as crispy but they will still be delicious.
  • Make sure that the oil for deep frying is hot enough before adding the batter. Add a drop of batter into the oil and if it starts to sizzle and brown, then it is ready. If not wait for a few minutes.
  • Make sure that the heat is on medium ~ medium-high while deep frying. Frying at low temperature oil will make the fritters absorb more oil.
  • Drain the fried fritters on paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil.
  • Store leftover palakura punukulu in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day. Serve them slightly warmed in the microwave.


Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 57mg | Potassium: 76mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 733IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg
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