In a wide bowl, measure the rava and add the yogurt in it. Use sour yogurt if you have it available as it helps making it more flavorful.
Mix the rava well without any lumps. Now add just enough water to make a thick batter. The batter should be in the consistency of idli batter. Add the salt needed for the batter and mix well.
Keep this batter aside for 10 to 15 minutes, so the rava / semolina could absorb as much as liquid and soften a bit.
In the meantime, heat a pan and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
Once the oil heats up, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal and fry until the chana dal becomes golden brown.
Now add the chopped onions, green chilies and ginger and let it fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are slightly soft. Add just enough salt for the onion mixture when cooking as we have already added salt to the rava batter.
Once the onion mixture cools down slightly, add it to the rava / semolina batter and mix well.
Check the consistency of the batter and add more water if needed.
Heat the appe pan on medium heat and add a little oil in each of the tiny hole. You can even use a pastry brush and brush the oil evenly.
Pour that batter in each hole and cover the pan for the paniyaram / appe to cook evenly.
Flip the paniyaram once the bottom starts to become golden brown and flip it over. Let the other side cook for about 30 seconds and then remove them from the pan.
Serve it with some spicy chutney or with ketchup. My boys take it to school with ketchup and I packed it with Masoor Dal Chutney for my husband.