One of my favorite takeout-Chinese food items is scallion pancakes.  I know they’re loaded with salt and fat and have very little nutritional value, but they’re so tasty.  Not like I eat a ton of Chinese food or anything, but I’m sure one order of them is enough to clog at least one-tenth of my arteries.  (But they’re so tasty.)

So I was most gleeful to discover the Indian version, called “pudla” in Gujarati.  They’re made with chickpea flour and are ridiculously good.  I found this version on Nourish Me — the original is from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian — and, having all the ingredients on hand, couldn’t wait to make them.  I actually made these for dinner, rolled like a dosa, stuffed with my coriander-ified version of Manjula Jain’s Aloo Masala.  Nom nom nom.

This recipe made 8 pudlas.

Ingredients:

  • 1 C frozen peas, cooked and mashed lightly with a fork
  • 2 C besan (chickpea/garbanzo flour)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 C water
  • large thumb of ginger
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • olive oil for frying

Instructions:

  • Sift besan, spices, and salt into a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the center and slowly trickle in water, mixing well until there are no lumps – it’s important that there aren’t any lumps.  (I ended up having to strain out some lumps via a mesh sieve.)
  • Grate the ginger and squeeze the juice out of it, and add to the mixture, whisking well.
  • Stir in the peas and scallions.
  • Let the batter rest, at room temperature, for 30-60 minutes (I let it rest for 60 minutes).
  • Heat a skillet with about a teaspoon of oil over medium-high heat, moving the oil around so you get it all around the bottom of the pan.
  • Ladle some mixture into the center of the pan.  (If you want to thin it out to use as a substitute for dosa, like I did, use the back of a ladle or spoon in an outward-spiraling motion to spread the batter in the pan.)
  • Cook until, like a pancake, the edges are dry and they’re golden underneath.  Unlike a pancake, before you flip it, spoon on a bit of olive oil and use the back of a spoon to spread it around, then flip.
  • Serve with any variety of accompaniments: chutney, raita, whatever you like.
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