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The Best Sweet and Savory Indian Pancakes to Try

The Best Sweet and Savory Indian Pancakes to Try

Maybe you have heard of the most popular Indian pancake variety, dosa, but that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to bread-like delights originating in the sub-continent. We wondered how different they are from the classic American pancake recipes we cover in rich syrups and sauces so we made a research.

Savory Indian Pancakes

 

  1. Dosa is a thin and crispy pancake originating in Southern India but is well-loved throughout the whole country. It is made by combining black gram and rice and then letting the batter ferment overnight. Dosa is served hot, with coconut chutney or sambhar on the side.

 

  1. Uttapam is very similar to dosa and also originates in South India. It is made from the same batter that is used to make dosa but is usually topped with tomatoes, onions, cabbage, capsicum, chilies.

 

  1. Besan Chilla is a crispy and healthy snack popular in the Northern parts of the country. It is very easy to make, rich in protein, and low in calories. Besan Chilla is made of chickpea flour (known as ‘besan’) and flavored with mild spices. Some varieties of the recipe also contain seasonal vegetables and are served with sweet chutneys.

 

  1. Appam is a white, flavorful flapjack made with coconut milk and fermented rice. It is crispy on the outside but soft and fluffy in the center. Appam is often served with chicken or veggie stew on the side.

 

  1. Sarvapindi is a crispy flapjacks made with rice flour and peanuts. The batter is often complemented with onions, chili powder, ginger, and sesame seeds.

 

  1. Thalipeeth is a healthy multigrain pancake made from roasted rice, tapioca, amaranth, wheat, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, as well as lots of spices. Thalipeeth is usually topped with ghee and served with pickles.

 

  1. Kholasapori Pitha is a flapjack from the Northeast of India, made with rice flour, carrots, onions, mustard oil, and water. This pancake is generally served at festivals.

 

  1. Pathiri is a recipe originating in Kerala. It is made with a dough based on crushed rice and then baked on special pans called ‘oadu’. After the pancake is prepared, it is soaked in coconut milk to maintain soft and become more flavorful. Pathiri is usually served with fish or various types of meat.

 

  1. Pesarattu is very similar to French crepes in texture. Its batter contains green gram and it is usually served with tamarind chutney and ginger. This pancake is usually complemented with onions, ginger, and chili.

 

Sweet Indian Pancakes

 

  1. Malpua is probably the most popular sweet Indian pancake. The batter is prepared differently depending on the region. In the Northern regions, malpua batter is made with Indian wheat flour called ‘maida’, semolina, yogurt, and milk. Other regions add mashed bananas into the batter.

 

  1. Meetha Pooda is a pancake recipe that makes use of wheat, fennel seeds, sugar, and water. It is generally very quick and simple to make and people in India usually enjoy it during rainy days, served with kheer pudding. This pudding is made with rice, tapioca, broken wheat, milk, and sugar, and then flavored with raisins, cardamom, saffron, pistachios, cashews, or almonds.

 

  1. Ale-Bele is a soft pancake originating in Goa. It is made with eggs and maida, then stuffed with coconut and palm jaggery. Ale-Bele is often served at teatime.

 

  1. Pati-Shapta is a sweet recipe originating in Bengal. It is usually served during festivals like Pati Shapta, the day that celebrates the rice harvest. Pati-Shapta pancakes are stuffed with jaggery and date palm and often topped with coconut.

 

  1. Bobbatlu is a sweet flapjacks filled with plain flour, yellow gram, ghee, sugar or jaggery, and cardamom powder.

 

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

Eat Pancakes to Fight Tiredness

Eat Pancakes to Fight Tiredness

A week ago, my doctor told me I was deficient in magnesium and recommended I either take supplements or increase the intake of magnesium-infused foods. To be honest, I am not very careful about what I eat but the recent fatigue and chronic tiredness I’ve been feeling made me think about changing that.

I started searching for magnesium foods and I was surprised to see that chocolate is one of the items on the list. This really inspired me. So, I set out to make healthy, magnesium-infused pancakes (they were the easiest thing I could think of at the moment 😊).

Why Should You Infuse Your Pancake Recipes with Magnesium?

If you search for magnesium online you’ll find that it is an amazing mineral – it regulates over 300 biochemical functions in the body.

It is credited for regulating blood pressure, blood sugar levels, metabolic and nerve functions, antioxidant production and more!

Magnesium deficiency can result in fatigue, depression, osteoporosis, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, heart issues. So, the real question is: why NOT infuse your favorite pancake recipes with magnesium?

Make the Pancake Batter Healthier

Before you start looking for magnesium-enriched additons, why not make some crucial changes in the pancake base? I have stopped using sugar and refined white flour over a year ago. Instead, I use stevia (which is a 100% natural sweetener) and whole wheat flour. I admit it was a bit strange at the beginning, but you can introduce the changes gradually to make it easier.

Plain yogurt is one of the top ten magnesium-rich foods and, luckily, it is commonly used in pancake recipes to contribute moistness, softness, and fluffiness. Besides magnesium, yogurt contains high levels of protein, calcium, and vitamin D.

Magnesium-Rich Pancakes

Here is what else you can add to your pancake recipes to strengthen boost your energy levels in the morning.

Almonds

Almonds are truly amazing! They are not only packed with healthy fats and magnesium, but they also come in different forms: chopped or ground, as flour, milk, or butter. Besides, these amazing nuts combine well with almost everything from chocolate to fruits.

Avocado

One mashed avocado into the batter will make your flapjacks extra rich, silky, and creamy. Combine it with raspberries and a cup of chocolate chips for a fresh and sweet breakfast, or add a poached egg on top for a savory twist.

Banana

Banana is the perfect ingredient for pancakes. Mashed banana is thick enough to replace the flour and add texture to your flapjacks. It is also sweet enough to replace sugar. Combine it with chocolate chips and/or natural peanut butter.

Dark Chocolate

We have finally arrived at my favorite magnesium-rich ingredient on the list. Whether in the form of chips, melted, or as cocoa powder, dark chocolate will make your flapjacks absolutely delicious. But that’s not all – dark chocolate is very rich in antioxidants that protect you from a number of chronic diseases, including cancer and heart disease.

Figs

I am not very big on figs (I actually hate them) but my friend insisted I tried them in a pancake recipe she’d made. It calls for a cup of chopped figs combined with nuts and cinnamon. Not bad at all!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

How to Substitute Milk in Your Pancake Recipes

How to Substitute Milk in Your Pancake Recipes

Who said vegans can’t enjoy fluffy and delicious pancakes? Or those who are lactose intolerant? Who said you can’t make your favorite pancake recipe just because you have run out of milk?

There is a number of milk substitutes you can use for cooking and baking.

Substituting Milk with Other Dairy Products in Pancake Recipes

 

The best choice is to replace milk with another dairy product. Wonder which one? There’s more than one option:

Evaporated milk is probably the best substitute. Mix one can of evaporated milk with water in 1:1 ratio, then replace the regular milk required in the recipe with this mixture in the same amount. Condensed milk can be used in the same way but in this case, bear in mind that it is sweetened and reduce the amount of sugar called for in the pancakes recipe.

Powdered milk will do the trick as well. Prepare it following the instructions on the package or, if you are like me, add 1-2 teaspoons more than the amount of powdered milk required in the instructions. I find prepared powdered milk rather bland.

Sour cream or yogurt can also replace milk in equal amounts. If you decide to go with yogurt, choose the plain, unsweetened version. If all you have is Green yogurt or sour cream, dilute them with water first. If you have only flavored yogurt versions, expect your dessert to obtain the same flavor note. This is not always a bad thing. For instance, vanilla-flavored yogurt will make your pancakes even better. However, I have tried mango-flavored yogurt in chocolate pancakes and I wasn’t thrilled with the result. As you might have guessed, this is also forbidden in case you’re making savory pancakes. So, before adding flavored yogurt, consider the recipe.

 

Plant-Based Milk Substitutes

 

Vegans love plant-based milk and for a good reason. They are great replacements for regular milk and work great in pancakes. Just replace the amount of milk required in the recipe with the same amount of plant-based milk of choice: soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, cashew milk… Different types of milk have different flavors that will also affect the flavor of your pancakes. I find these perfect for nutty pancakes – almond milk is ideal for pancakes that contain crushed almonds!

However, if you don’t want any extra flavors in your pancake recipes, the best option is rice milk since it is closest in taste to cow’s milk. Bear in mind that rice milk is thinner than cow’s milk so the texture of your flapjacks will probably be different than you’re used to.

To solve this problem, opt for unflavored soy milk. It is thicker and will contribute the necessary texture.

Another reason why soy is good is that it contains high levels of protein. Besides being important for health reasons, this is also important for fluffiness. To be more precise, milk and acid have the same effect of buttermilk in making the pancakes soft, tall, and fluffy. To replace buttermilk, combine a cup of soy milk with 1-2 teaspoons of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let the mixture stand for five minutes before adding it to the batter. Other suitable plant-based milk alternatives are oat and hemp milk (although the latter is a bit strong in flavor).

 

Can You Replace Milk with Water in Pancakes?

 

The answer is yes, water can be used instead of milk but there will be certain changes in taste and texture. Your flapjacks will probably not be as soft and fluffy and they’ll taste less creamy than those made with milk.

It is best to add one tablespoon of butter for each cup of water you use to make up for the fat lost with the exclusion of milk. If you’re vegan, you can use nut butter for this purpose. To add some extra flavor, consider adding chocolate chips, berries, or vanilla extract to the pancake batter.

 

Dairy-Free Pancake Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup whole wheat
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips

 

Method of preparation:

Preheat a frying pan to medium heat. Mash the banana with baking powder. Add the egg, almond milk, oil, butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir in the oats and whole wheat flour until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Scoop about 1/4 cup per pancake onto the greased pan. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

Crepes 101 – The Art of Making French Pancakes

Crepes 101 – The Art of Making French Pancakes

What’s the difference between fluffy American pancakes and e thin French crepes (besides the obvious difference in thickness, of course)?

Pancakes are familiar. You can make them with your eyes closed. They are quick and easy. They’re our regular weekend breakfast. Crepes are… well, fancy. When you eat them, you think of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, you imagine Versailles and Marie Antoinette. They’re French!

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Making Skinny French Pancakes

 

Being fancy doesn’t mean that crepes are not as easy to make as pancakes. In fact, they are even easier! Firstly, crepes are made with fewer ingredients than pancakes (for instance, they don’t need buttermilk). Hence, they require fewer kitchen tools and produce less mess in the kitchen. So far so good.

Secondly, crepes are more neutral in taste than American pancakes and allow you to combine them with both sweet and savory fillings. And the best of all, they won’t spoil or alter the taste if you make them ahead and keep them in the fridge. Well, what more could you wish for from your pancakes?

So, what’s the downside? It’s not a downside per se, let’s call it a skill that should be perfected. In order to make your crepes perfect (read: super-skinny), you need to spread the batter thin enough in the pan. For that, you’ll need some practice and lots of destroyed crepes at the beginning. But don’t worry. Even if your early crepes are not super-thin or contain strange-looking lumps, they’re still edible (just make sure they don’t tear).

 

Making the Batter for Your Skinny French Pancakes

 

Here is the list of basic ingredients needed to make crepes:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted melted butter

 

Simpler French pancake recipes are made of three ingredients only: flour, eggs, and milk. Sugar is left out in case you’re planning to fill them with savory ingredients.

I add butter to make the crepes a bit softer and some salt for flavoring (whether sugar is involved or not). In addition, when making savory crepes, I add some fresh herbs to the batter.

 

Mixing the batter

So, what’s the best way of mixing the ingredients together? If you follow the method used for American pancakes, i.e. whisking the ingredients by hand in a large bowl, you’ll get denser and smoother crepes.

This method is OK, but there is another, simpler way to mix the ingredients together – using a blender. Just throw all the ingredients together and mix for about 15 seconds, until everything is smooth and well combined. Crepes made in the blender have tiny bubbles throughout their surface. I love these bubbles. In fact, some crepe recipes (or Balkan-style palachinke pancakes) even call for soda water in order to get more of those tiny bubbles. Awesome!

 

Resting the batter

Should you let the crepe batter rest or not? Some cooks claim that resting the batter for at least 30 minutes (or better yet, overnight) can improve its taste and texture. But considering that crepes are cooked only for a short time and are served with flavorful fillings, resting is not of crucial importance, so feel free to skip this step if you’re in a rush.

 

Cooking Your Skinny French Pancakes

 

The pan

Which pan is best for cooking super-thin pancakes? There are two options to choose from:

–    Carbon steel crepe pan is shallow and has highly tapered edges, which facilitates flipping. However, if crepes are not something you make on a regular basis, I don’t recommend investing in such a pan.

–    Regular nonstick pan, the one used for standard pancake recipes is the next best thing. To make sure it heats evenly, try copper, aluminum, or a tri-ply clad pan.

 

Oil or butter for the pan?

I find butter to be better than vegetable oil because it produces golden-brown crepes with lacy surface. Be careful not to use too much, though – rub a thin layer of butter into the preheated pan, then wipe the excess out with a paper towel.

 

Pouring the batter onto the pan

As mentioned before, this is the trickiest part. How to pour and spread the batter perfectly? You surely can’t use the wooden spreader used in creperies.

Method 1

Try pouring batter directly from the blender onto the pan (an amount that equals a few tablespoons). Pour the batter in the center of the pan and immediately start swirling so that the batter covers the bottom evenly in a thin layer.

Method 2

Pour more batter than you actually need in the center of the pan, then swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly. Immediately tip the pan to remove the excess batter by pouring it back into the blender. I find this method easier than the first.

Cooking time and temperature & flipping

Heat the pan on high heat, then lower the temperature to medium heat after pouring the batter. Cook the crepe for about 15 seconds, until the top has set and looks dry.

Crepes are very thin and delicate so, using a spatula to flip them is not recommendable. Use the spatula only to release the edges of the pancake, then pick it up using your fingers and slowly turn it over. Cook until the other side is light brown, for about 15 seconds more.

Stack the cooked crepes on a plate and serve immediately or store covered with plastic wrap in the refrigerator for a few days.

Stuffing Your Skinny French Pancakes

 

Sweet crepes

There’s nothing easier than stuffing your crepes with a sweet filling – simply smear some Nutella and roll or fold. Other sweet fillings to consider sugar and lemon juice, jams, butter and maple syrup, fruit slices.

Savory crepes

Traditionally, classic stuffed crepes are folded into quarters. When it comes to savory fillings, think omelets. This means that anything that goes into omelets, works for crepes as well. For my favorite savory crepe filling, I combine sautéed spinach, cheese, and onions. Other savory fillings you can use are Gruyère cheese, ham, but again, bacon, sautéed peppers, sunny-side-up eggs, etc.

Spread the ingredients over half of the crepe, then fold it over twice. To take the taste to another level, heat the stuffed and filled crepes with a little butter in a pan/skillet. Cook them shortly, just until they become crispy and brown. Flip and cook the other side.

 

Eat crepes for breakfast, lunch, snack, dinner, or even in the middle of the night as a midnight snack! Bon Appetite!

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

The Ultimate Guide to Making Perfect Oatmeal Pancakes

The Ultimate Guide to Making Perfect Oatmeal Pancakes

The first association for oatmeal, at least for me, is ‘healthy’. I have read so many articles and recipes on pancakes that use oats instead of regular flour that I simply had to make one. I had no idea oatmeal pancakes tasted so good!

To be fair, the ones I made were not plain regular oatmeal flapjacks. I spiced things up a little bit by toasting the oats and browning the butter (oh, yeah!). One might assume that oatmeal pancakes are not as soft and fluffy as the classic American pancakes we all adore. Well, one might be wrong! With a few tips and tricks up the sleeve, you can make the best oatmeal pancakes ever!

Oatmeal Pancakes Recipe

Wanna make light and fluffy pancakes with nutty flavor?  Try toasted oats,

tangy buttermilk, and browned butter all in one amazing recipe. Toasting the oats make the most of the oats’ flavor, whereas browning the butter will add even more nuttiness and depth to the recipe. The perfect combination of wet and dry ingredients results in the fluffiest and softest pancakes you’ve ever seen.

Let’s start with the ingredients and move step by step.

Dry ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:

  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • vegetable oil (or butter) for cooking
  • maple syrup, for topping

The Oats

The first question to answer is ‘How much oats are enough’? I replace part of the regular flour with oats ground in a blender or coffee machine. Use a scale to make sure you substitute the right amount of all-purpose flour with oats. If you don’t own one, consider buying it because that is one of the most useful kitchen gadgets you’ll ever have.

Next question is ‘What type of oats are the best?’ There are three main varieties sold in grocery stores:

–    Rolled oats that have been processed through steel rollers in order to flatten them and turn them into flakes;

–    Steel cut oats that have been cut without flattening and take the longest to cook;

–    Instant oats that have been partially cooked and then dehydrated again.

I vote for the steel cut oats because, even though they take more time to cook than the other two types, taste the best. However, all oat types have a mild taste. If you really want to feel their taste in the pancakes, adding more oats to the batter is not the solution. On the contrary, it will result in denser and chewier flapjacks. In addition, unlike regular flour, oats have no ability to form gluten; hence too much oats can ruin your pancake’s structure, i.e. you’ll end up with flapjacks that fall apart.

So, how do you enhance the oats’ flavor? By toasting them before grinding! Just place the oats in a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning. This should take about five minutes until the oats become flavorful and nutty.

Due to the fact that oats have no gluten, you might want to increase the amount of baking powder in the pancake recipe. This will ensure the pancakes have structure but will also help them rise and become fluffy. To be more precise, add half a teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of baking powder.

Other Ingredients

To balance the sweet and savory flavor, add ½ teaspoon of table salt (or a teaspoon of kosher salt) in addition to the 3 tablespoons of sugar.

As for the wet ingredients, combine two large eggs with two cups of buttermilk. This will yield a rather thick batter which results in extra-light flapjacks. If you don’t have buttermilk, make it at home by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice into a cup of regular milk. Leave it for five minutes and voila! your homemade buttermilk is ready!

There are a few more secrets to make your pancakes super-fluffy. Besides using buttermilk, whose acidity is the first step towards fluffiness, you should take care not to overmix the batter.

Overmixing will encourage the development of gluten which can make the griddlecakes dense and tough. Mix until the ingredients are just combined. A few lumps here and there are not only acceptable but highly desirable!

 

Cooking Oatmeal Pancakes – Pro Tips

To cook your oatmeal pancakes, choose a steel griddle or a heavy pan.

To make your flapjacks are evenly golden brown, without any spots and splotches, make sure you use the right amount of oil or butter to grease the pan.

If you use very small amount of oil, the batter will stick to the pan’s bottom and possibly burn before you have a chance to release it. On the other hand, if you add too much oil or butter, the pancake batter will not stick at all causing bubbles to for at the bottom of the flapjacks. These bubbles will lift parts of the pancake and result in those unwanted spots.

The best way to grease the pan is by using a paper towel dipped in oil. Or, pour the oil and then wipe the excess before you start adding the batter.

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipes

Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipes

Can pancakes be good for your heart? They can if you think outside the box. Stop regarding pancakes as sugar-loaded sweet treats. The era of ignorance is behind us – today we know how to adjust each and every meal we consume so that it fits our needs.

When it comes to pancakes, in order to make them better for you, start by replacing sugar with a natural sweetener like stevia or pure honey. Also, get rid of the white refined flour and switch to whole wheat. And finally, stop using refined vegetable oils and opt for healthier, cold-pressed varieties like coconut and olive oil.

Pack Your Pancakes with Potassium

The heart-healthy ingredient to include in your quick and easy pancake recipes is potassium.

Besides being very important for normal functioning of the heart by lowering high blood pressure, this essential mineral helps maintain electrolyte and fluid balance in the body. Moreover, it keeps kidneys, brain, and muscles in good shape!

One potassium-rich ingredient found in almost all pancake recipes is yogurt. Plain yogurt is often added to the batter to make the flapjacks softer, moister, and fluffier (3/4 cup). Besides potassium, it also contributes extra calcium and vitamin D.

Sweet Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipes

Avocado

Avocado is considered a superfruit for a reason. On top of all the nutrients, it also contains high levels of potassium. In fact, there is no food richer in potassium than avocado! Adding a mashed avocado into the batter will not only make the flapjacks healthier but will also contribute silky and creamy texture!

Banana

You will find banana is almost all healthy pancake recipes. Due to its dense texture, mashed banana is often used as a flour substitute in the batter (often combined with oatmeal or egg whites to boost the protein content). This yellow fruit also acts as a natural sweetener.

Apricot

You can use fresh or dried apricots in the batter (1/3 cup should suffice). They work very well when paired with nuts (especially almonds) and spices like cinnamon or cardamom.

Apricots, similar to peaches, also pair great with booze, bourbon and rum in particular. You can make this pairing by adding a ¼ cup of alcohol into the batter or soaking the fruits in it beforehand (for about half an hour). Most of the alcohol will evaporate during cooking so don’t worry, your kids can safely devour these flapjacks.

Savory Heart-Healthy Pancake Recipes

Spinach

We all know how healthy spinach is. And what better way to sneak spinach into your kids than flapjacks? Make a stack of savory flapjacks for a change by mixing this leafy green with potatoes and onion, then top with crispy bacon slices.

Sweet Potato

Add some color to your flapjacks! Mashed sweet potatoes can serve as a base for both sweet and savory pancakes – add some spices and sweetener to satisfy your sweet tooth or mix them with onions and serve with sour cream on top for a light lunch.

I believe that food should not only taste good, but make you feel good as well and that is why I am so interested in exploring ingredients, preparing meals, and finding ways to make the whole cooking experience fun and exciting! Being a blogger for MyGreatRecipes unites my two passions – food and writing, and I am enjoying every second of it!

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