Happy almost-pancake Tuesday!
I must admit, I've never been a pancake/Shrove Tuesday gal (despite growing up in your typical modern Irish Catholic family) as eggs and I just don't get along. So that's partly why vegan pancakes are right up my street; there's no need for eggs but you can still enjoy a savoury or sweet pancake of your choice. (As an aside, if you do eat eggs, now is probably a good time to encourage you to please never buy eggs that come from battery/caged hens.)
Tonight I made an Indian pudla for the first time - it's a savoury pancake that's made with gram flour so is not only vegan but gluten-free. These are definitely going to become a regular meal around our house as they are incredibly simple to make. We served the pudlas with chana (chickpea) masala, which was probably chickpea overkill, so next time I might go with saag aloo or something similar.
Pudlas are doughy in texture but not stodgy, and with their yellow colour they are a little reminiscent of an omelette. They can be made with vegetables in the batter or left plain, and can be served with chutney, tamarind sauce, plain soy yogurt or even a big salad.
This recipe makes between 2 and 4 pancakes (depending on the size of pancake you make), and serves 2 people - but the recipe is easily doubled or even tripled depending on how many people you'd like to feed. If you don't have all of the spices or the same vegetables, don't panic. You definitely need a teaspoon of one or two spices like cumin or coriander, some salt and even a bit of basic curry powder if you have it, but don't feel you have to stick with exactly what I used.
1/2 very finely diced red pepper
Finely chopped spring onion - white part of about 5 or 6 of them
Large handful of frozen peas
1 cup (or mug) of gram flour (besan) [this is ground chickpeas]
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of asafoetida
1 cup (or mug, same as you used to measure flour) water
Olive oil for cooking the pudla
Prepare your vegetables, then cook your peas as directed on the packet.
While they are cooking, put a pan on medium-high heat and when hot, add a little water. Then add your pepper and lightly water sauté for about 3 minutes. Don't overcook.
Set vegetables (including spring onions) aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, spices and salt, and mix thoroughly.
Make a little 'well' in the centre of the flour mixture.
Take the water and pour slowly into the centre of the flour, whisking constantly to prevent any lumps.
Slowly add the water until the mixture is combined.
Add the vegetables and stir well.
Leave this mixture to sit for between 20 and 30 minutes to allow the spices to infuse.
I used this time to prepare chana masala.
Bring a large pan to a medium heat, then add a little olive oil and try to ensure as much of the pan surface is covered with oil as possible. If you have a non-stick pan you can probably cook this without any oil.
Ladle in the batter, (about 1/4 of a cup at a time) but take care not to put in too much. The mixture should be thin but will thicken up as it cooks.
After a few minutes, when bubbles start to form on the outside of the pancake, flip and cook the second side until lightly browned.
Hope you enjoy these tasty savoury pudlas!