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Five pancakes to start your day

Are pancakes one of the world’s oldest cereal foods? Many studies suggest so. Here are 5 simple pancakes to kickstart your day in a healthy way.

Written by Sanghamitra Mazumdar | Published:July 16, 2014 1:57 pm
pancake-main Dal Chilla (Source: Sanghamitra Mazumdar)

Are pancakes one of the world’s oldest cereal foods? Many studies suggest so. Though the recipes and ingredients vary, almost every country eats pancakes. While some have them sweet, many like them savoury. But they are all beautiful, mouthwatering and filling. Here are 5 simple pancakes to kickstart your day in a healthy way.

1. Daal chilla

Mixed pulses: 2 cups
Onion: 1 (medium)
Tomato: 1 (medium)
Green chillies: 2-3
Turmeric powder: Less than ½ teaspoon
Chilli powder: ½ teaspoon
Baking soda: ½ teaspoon
Salt: To taste
Dry mango powder: 1 teaspoon
Oil: To fry

Soak the mixed pulses for half an hour and grind them to a smooth paste.
Finely chop the onions, tomatoes and chillies and add them to the gound daal, along with the spices and baking soda and mix, adding water according to the desired consistency.
Now, heat a griddle (tawa) and grease it with oil.
Take one ladle full of the batter and spread it evenly on the griddle, giving it a round shape.
Turn it over after a while once the bottom in golden brown.
When the other side is cooked too, take it off the heat and repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
Serve hot with mint/coriander chutney or tomato ketchup.

Note: The consistency of the batter should be according to your taste. While half cup of water during grinding the pulses and 1 cup while mixing the other ingredients should be adequate, you can adjust the amount depending on the thickness of the pancakes you prefer.

2. Utthapam

uttapam Utthapam (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Rice: 3 cups
Whole urad daal (without skin): 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds: ½ teaspoon
Salt: To taste
Water: As required
Onion: 1 (medium)
Tomato: 1 (medium)
Capsicum: 1 (medium)

Soak the rice, daal and fenugreek seeds separately for 3-4 hours.
Now, grind the rice and the daal, separately again, using water to a smooth batter. You can add the fenugreek seeds either with the rice or the daal while grinding.
Keep the batter in a warm place overnight. Use a big tumbler as the batter will ferment and rise. Add salt to taste before using it.
Dice the vegetables and keep aside.
Now heat a griddle and grease it.
Spread the batter evenly and roundly on the griddle.
When the top is still raw, sprinkle the diced vegetables and cover it. After a minute or two, flip the utthapam and cook until the veggies are golden brown. Serve hot with coconut and onion chutneys.

Note: Use only parboiled rice. You can ask for ‘idli rice’ at your regular grocery shop. Make sure the consistency of the batter is not too watery. To save time, you can use the readymade idli/dosa batter available in the market. Traditionally, grinding stone (or electric stone grinder) is used to prepare the batter and normal grinders usually fail to churn out the exact structure required. Also, the griddle traditionally used is thicker than the ones we use to make chapatis. The batter may stick on the regular tawa. You can cook an egg yolk on it to make it usable for utthapam.

3. Okonomiyaki

okonomiyaki-story Okonomiyaki (Source: Sanghamitra Mazumdar)

Flour: 1 cup
Stock (chicken/veg): 2/3rd cup
Eggs: 2
Cabbage: 4 cups
Spring onions: 1 cup
Boneless chicken (boiled): 1 cup
Ginger: 1 tablespoon

Bacon: 2 strips
Prawns (small): 4-5 pieces
Sausage: 1-2 links

Tomato sauce

Cut the cabbage into thin slices and keep aside.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour and the stock until smooth.
Add eggs, onions, ginger, shrimp and sausage and lightly mix, seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste.
Now, oil a hot griddle and make a bed of the thinly sliced cabbage. Add the batter on to the bed of cabbage and flatten it using a spatula.
The pancake should be around 1.5 cm thick. Lower the flame, and cook until firm.
Flip it over and cook for another minute or two.
Flip it back if the cabbage side is not well browned yet. Remove from heat and serve hot with mayonnaise and tomato sauce topping.

Note: This is not the original Japanese recipe, but for the uninitiated, this should work fine as a breakfast choice when you are not in a mood for your regular bread and eggs or dosa-sambhar or dahi-parantha. You can use ingredients of your choice. For a vegetarian version of it, chicken or bacon can be easily replaced with mushroom or other interesting stuff.

4. Crêpes

crepes Crêpes (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Flour: 1 cup
Eggs: 2
Milk: 1 cup
Salt: A pinch
Butter: Half cup
Oil: To fry

Whisk together the flour and the eggs, gradually adding in the milk. Now add the salt and the butter and beat until smooth. Heat an oiled griddle and pour the batter on to it, using one medium ladle for each crepe. Spread it over the griddle, giving it a round shape. Cook until the bottom is light brown. Turn and cook the other side. Serve hot with honey, whipped cream, flavoured yoghurt or cut fruits. For savoury varieties, you can use eggs, cheese, chicken or mushroom fillings.

Note: The crêpes will taste better if you let the batter rest for a few hours. Prepare the batter the night before (and keep it in the fridge) if you want the crêpes for breakfast.
5. Patishapta

patishapta-final Patishapta (Source: Sanghamitra Mazumdar)

Rava: 2 cups
Maida: 1 and a ½ cups
Sugar: 2 tablespoons
Baking soda: ½ teaspoon
Milk: 3 cups (approx)
Oil: To fry
For the filling:
Khoya/mawa: 2 cups
Sugar: 4 tablespoons
Raisins: 2 tablespoons
Cashew: 2 tablespoons (chopped)

patishapta-story-1 (Source: Sanghamitra Mazumdar)

Mix the rava and maida with 2 cups of milk and sugar and set aside for at least 2 hours.
Now put the mawa in a pan and heat it. Add in the sugar and 1 cup of milk and cook till the mixture dries up.
Add the dry fruits and set it aside to cool. Now, take the rava-maida batter and mix it smoothly.
If it’s too dry, add some more milk for the desired consistency to make super thin pancakes.
On a hot greased griddle, spread the batter and wait till it firms up.

Patishapta2 (Source: Sanghamitra Mazumdar)

No need to turn it over. Once the top is dry, spread the filling and roll it up. You can serve it both hot and cold.

Note: Make sure the rava gets enough time to soak, else it won’t be soft. The batter should rise a little by the time you use it. You can also use coconut filling instead of mawa. Not essentially a breakfast dish, the Bengali delicacy tastes best when served with rabri (condensed milk) or kheer. A different way to serve the dish is to spread a layer of rabri on the pancakes before adding the filling.

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