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