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.
Advertisements

I’ll fess up right now:  before this morning, I’d never made pancakes from scratch.  To me, “making pancakes” has always meant taking the box of Aunt Jemima Complete (“Just Add Water!”) out of the cabinet.  Making pancakes from scratch has always seemed appealing, but the kind of task undertaken by people with more culinary prowess than I.  Or people whose pantries routinely contain things like baking powder and flour.

Well, that’s changed, now that I’ve been cooking and actually have stuff in the pantry with which to make things like pancakes.  It’s also turned out to be really easy to make pancake batter from scratch; there’s an extra bowl and measuring cups to clean, but it doesn’t take that much more time to do.  No more instant boxed mix!

I came upon this Martha Stewart recipe for Pumpkin Pancakes after searching for something to make with the canned pumpkin we bought.  I made a slight alteration by using 1-1/2 teaspoons of Pumpkin Pie Spice instead of separately adding the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves (I make my own Pumpkin Pie Spice with those same spices).  I also only had Egg Beaters, not actual eggs, so I used 1/4 cup of that instead of 1 egg.  Make sure you use plain canned pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling.

Ingredients:

  • 1-1/4 C all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C milk
  • 6 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg

Instructions:

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour baking powder, sugar, and spices.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together milk, egg, pumpkin and butter.
  • Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients.
  • Use 1/4-cupfuls to drop batter onto griddle/pan.  Makes 8-10 pancakes.

I found it helpful, because the batter is so thick, to drop the batter and then use the back of a large spoon in a spiraling motion from the center to spread out the batter a bit, not *too* much like a crepe, but to get the pancake thinner.  This ensures the middle will be well-cooked by the time the outsides are golden brown.

We ate these with butter and maple syrup, but they’d probably be very awesome with applesauce, too, or some spiced simple syrup and whipped cream.