These pancakes are similar to crêpes except that they are made with whole-wheat flour, well spiced, and eggless. Very popular in Maharashtra and along India’s west coast, they are generally eaten for breakfast with chutneys, yogurt relishes, and pickles. They can also be served at lunch or dinner as flatbreads.
chapati flour or ordinary whole-wheat
, finely diced
peeled and finely chopped
, finely chopped
, or peanut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- Put the flour, salt, chili powder, and ground coriander into a bowl. Slowly add about 1 cup water, mixing with a wooden spoon and breaking up lumps as you go, until you have a thinnish, smooth batter. Alternatively, whiz the ingredients in a blender, putting the water in first, then the flour and ground seasonings. Transfer to a bowl. Set the batter aside for 2 hours. Add all the other ingredients except the oil and stir to mix.
- When you’re ready to cook, put the oil in a small bowl and stick a teaspoon in Place a 6 inch nonstick frying pan over medium heat and add 1/2 teaspoon of oil. (The pan I use is 7 inches at the widest part of the diameter, but narrows at the bottom.) Measure 1/3 cup water into a ladle and mentally note the level to get an idea of how much batter you will need each time. When the frying pan is hot, stir the batter from the bottom and pour a ladleful of it into the center of the pan. Tilt the pan quickly in all directions until the mixture reaches the edges. Any holes may be quickly filled in with a little bit of extra batter. Cook for about 2 minutes, dribbling another 1/2 teaspoon oil over the top of the pancake. Peek underneath to see if the pancake has turned golden red. Slide a fine-edged spatula all the way under the pancake to loosen it and flip it over. Cook the second side for another 1 1/2 minutes, pressing down in the center with the back of a spatula. This side should have many brownish-red spots. Turn the pancake over twice more, leaving it for just a few seconds each time. Put the pancake on a large plate and cover with an upside-down plate.
- Make all the pancakes in the same way and serve immediately, if possible.
Madhur Jaffrey takes our Egg Timer Quiz
Tip: The pancakes are best served fresh, as soon as they are made, when they are both crisp and flexible. If you cannot manage that, stack them one on top of the other on a plate as you make them and keep them well covered with an upside-down plate. To freeze them, slip a layer of parchment paper or waxed paper between each pancake, allowing more of the paper for the top and the bot- tom, and let them cool completely. Slide the whole bundle into a ziplock bag and freeze flat. Defrost before reheating, then slap the pancakes, one at a time, onto a hot cast-iron griddle or frying pan, giving each a few seconds on both sides until nice and hot.