Sunday, 26 January 2014

Brunch: Indian Carrot and Spinach Pancakes

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

BBC Radio 2 Desert Island Discs Podcast ~ Paul Weller 

Do you believe cookbooks have magic? I do. I am a self confessed cookbook junkie and my collection is vast. When in receipt of a new it shiny and new, gifted or a second hand bargain..I make time to sit with it quietly. Dare anyone disturb I read them from cover to cover including all the recipes, ingredients and instructions. I smile and often recoil in horror at some of the I have my favourite cookbook authors but I am I don't believe there is a completely perfect cookbook with all great recipes. Some recipes just don't work as the author had hoped. My mind is filled with the recipes on the pages of these books...and I don't think i'll ever live long enough to cook them all...but I will give it a damn good try! lol. And I love it when cruising an old faithful cookbook and if put there by magic because magic knows, you know!..there is the perfect recipe for what I was needing in that moment. But I frown with confusion..was it always there? Nope..its that cooking magic at work again...yep. lol.

I was in search of a breakfast recipe and I as I am trying to keep things simple, full of flavour and as savoury as possible..well lets just say it's been interesting. lol. There have been some When this recipe suddenly appeared before me I knew it would be perfect. A chickpea pancake stuffed with carrots and spinach. Now it is the work of one of my favourite cookbook authors Mridula Baljekar. Her cookbook The Low Fat Indian Vegetarian Cookbook is one of my treasured items and lately I've been using it a lot. Now the original recipe serves six so I halved the recipe for myself and I had three 7" three breakfasts to go..Woo! lol. Below is the original recipe...

The hardest part of making these pancakes is grating the carrots at the beginning. Once you have prepped the veggies, you mix in the dry ingredients and then the wet and before you know it pancakes are sizzling in your skillet. Mridula instructions ask for them to be shallow fried in the pan but I didn't do this. I want to keep the oils to a minimum so I simply wiped oil over the base of the skillet and then almost dry fried my pancakes. I measured out my half mix by 1/2 cup measures and then flattened them out over the base of the skillet. The smell of the spices and fennel as they cooked was sublime. The results were great. The pancakes are slightly dense and the spices and fennel mix beautifully with the veggies. You get a hit of heat from the chilli and the slight sweetness from the blend of carrot and fennel. A delight to get your day started...

Indian Carrot & Spinach Pancakes

Indian Carrot & Spinach Pancakes   Makes six 7" pancakes
(Recipe from The Low Fat Indian Vegetarian Cookbook/Baljekar)

125g/4oz/2 cups chopped spinach 
125g/40z/ 3/4 cups grated carrot 
125g/4oz/ 1 cup finely chopped onion
2 green chilli pepper, seeded and chopped (I used red)
1 tsp aniseed or fennel seeds 
1 tbsp ground coriander 
1/2 tsp chilli powder 
1 tsp ground turmeric 
3/4 tsp salt or to taste (I omitted this)
125g/4oz/1 cup chickpea flour (besan), sieved
50g/2oz/1/3 cup semolina or fine polenta (I used polenta) 
1 tsp baking powder 
Oil for shallow frying 

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients, up to and including the salt. 

Mix together the chickpea flour, semolina or polenta and baking powder and add to the above mixture. Gradually add 300ml/10 fl oz/1 1/3 cups cold water while you stir and mix with a wooden spoon. Mix until you have a thick batter of spreading consistency. 

Heat a tablespoon of oil over a medium heat in an iron griddle or skillet. Add 2 tbsp of the pancake mixture. Spread it so that a thin pancake is approx 7" in diameter. cover with a lid and cook for a minute or two or until the pancake is set and the underside is lightly browned. Brush the uncooked side with oil and turn it over. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes or until browned. 

Fold the pancake into a triangular shape and serve garnished with a little salad and a chutney. (Or as they are for breakfast lol) 

To keep the pancakes warm whilst you cook the others Mridula suggests you heat the oven and place them onto a large baking sheet. But don't pile them on top of each other as they will go soggy. Her 


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your Sunday has been a great one...


NB: This is not my recipe and therefore I take no credit for its creation. That is the hard work and talent of Mridula Baljekar. And I thank her for the great cookbook.