Spicy Indian pancakes

It only seems like a few weeks since I wrote my last pancake post for Shrove Tuesday, and yet here we are again. How time flies!

Last years post shared my top tips for achieving perfect plant-based pancakes – click here to check it out. This year I thought I’d give you something a little different, inspired by my time in India. They’re dairy-free, egg-free and gluten-free plus wonderfully tasty – suitable for everyone!

Super simple to make, these pancakes use gram flour (chickpea!) which can be found in most supermarkets now as well as Indian or specialist Asian food stores. Our local corner shop stocks it along with other Indian ingredients and the usual ‘open all hours’ essential items – and it’s cheaper than the supermarket.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you’ll know I’m a big fan of chickpea flour. It’s so versatile, makes a great egg replacement and is a great source of plant-based protein as well as healthy fibre and other nutrients. It doesn’t taste good uncooked though, so I recommend you always make sure it’s well cooked.

Whilst in India, I discovered that many ‘breads’ can be cooked like thick pancakes. Some incorporate chopped veggies, giving flavour, texture and some extra nutrients. Often they are eaten with spicy chutneys or dipped in a thin dal. These chickpea pancakes may not be an exact replica, but they taste mighty fine so I hope traditionalists will forgive me!

I’ve used chopped red chilli, curry leaves and spring onions as my veggies but you could use green chilli, red onion, fresh coriander, peas or even steamed chopped broccoli or sweetcorn. Chose what you have in the fridge or enjoy eating.

I cooked mine on my crepe pan as it produces the best results; if you don’t have one, use a thin-based pan rather than a thick, heavy one as it will distribute the heat better and cook it through more effectively. Once cooked, keep on a warmed plate in the oven until you’ve finished up the mix. Make sure they are served hot – they’re definitely best cooked and eaten at the same time. If you do have any left over, splash a little water over the top and warm through before eating, otherwise they might be a bit rubbery.

I will be tucking in to these for my Shrove Tuesday dinner with a little mango chutney and dairy-free raita. If you fancy a change and give these a go, don’t forget to let me know how you get on.

Spicy Indian pancakes

A tasty plant-based, gluten-free option to the normal pancakes served on Shrove Tuesday.
Prep Time4 mins
Cook Time16 mins
Total Time20 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 130 grams gram flour (chickpea flour) sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • pinch black pepper
  • 250 ml water
  • 1/2 red chilli finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions chopped
  • 6 curry leaves chopped

Instructions

  • Pour the gram flour into the jug of a blender along with the salt, turmeric, black pepper and water. Blend for 20 seconds to combine. 
  • Place the chopped veggies in a bowl and pour in the blended flour mix. Stir to combine.
  • Pre-heat a crepe pan on a medium heat – wipe a couple of drops of olive oil over the pan if needed. Ladle 1/4 of the mix into the centre of the pan, tilt the pan from side to side to spread it out and leave it to cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Loosen the base and carefully flip over. Cook the other side for a couple more minutes.
  • Transfer the pancake to a warm serving plate and place in the oven. Repeat the process until all the mix is used up than serve.

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