I’ve had some besan flour sitting about for a while now and finally got around to trying Indian pancakes yesterday.
Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe from World Vegetarian Cooking was my first reference, but it is quickly obvious that one doesn’t need a recipe.
Ingredients for 8 pancakes
- 2 cups of flour, sieved to remove lumps
- dry spices such as salt, pepper, tumeric, chilli, garam masala, cumin ground or whole
- 2 cups of water
- wet ingredients might include garlic, ginger, spring onions, finely chopped tomatoes, coriander, or spinach wilted in a little water, thoroughly drained and chopped.
Mix the dry spices into the flour and then the flour and water: it is suggested that this is done slowly, eradicating lumps being more easily done when the mixture is less runny. Mix in wet things.
I was cooking for two and used two pans at a time. Otherwise leave in a warm oven while you are making the rest. Heat non-stick pans (mine are about 6″ at the base circumference) with a teensy bit of oil at a medium high heat. Put into each in a few tablespoons of the mixture, mixing it just before as the solids sink. Swirl the mixture to the edges of the pan. The base will turn reddish brown in places and around the edges when ready to flip. It will be about a couple of minutes each side.
From the pan food: we ate these in the kitchen while waiting for the next ones to cook.
What you put in the basic mixture will depend on what you are doing with them. We had the pancakes quite plain yesterday, by way of wet ingredients only spring onion, because we were having them with a vegetable dahl and a chickpea dish with a chutney on the side.
Half the batter then sat overnight and we knocked off the rest for dinner. In this case I added spinach and spring onions to the mix. We had a simple yoghurt, tomato and mustard seed dish on the side.
You can stuff and fold them if you wish.
This is fabulously easy, lends itself to ‘what’s in the cupboard?’, cheap, uses very little oil.
I could easily imagine these for breakfast, if the mixture’s already prepared. One of MJ’s suggestions is sesame seeds, added to the top before flipping, they’ll get nicely toasted. She also points out that you can omit all the Indian spices and make these a more European thing, but I love the Indianness.