I’m kind of a connoisseur when it comes to pancakes. Pancakes have been a Saturday morning staple since I was about ten years old and learned to make them on my own. If I had to name my top comfort food, it would be blueberry pancakes smothered in butter and maple syrup. Who could resist? Alas, my love of carb-y, starchy goodness had led to a spare tire. I recently dropped 15lbs (and counting!) by vigilantly counting calories and eating a low-glycemic diet. That means no more sugary pancakes for the time being.
I live nearby a wonderful Indian/Pakistani grocery on Devon Avenue, here in Chicago. It is everything a market should be, primarily fresh fruit and vegetables with only a few spare shelves of dry goods and plenty of bulk grains, flours and spices. Every week I feel like I’m going on an adventure and discovering new and wonderful foods. This week I was inspired by some beautiful oyster mushrooms and peppers and decided to make savory chickpea pancakes.
Chickpea flour, also known as gram flour or besan, is made from dried, ground chickpeas and has been used in Southeast Asian cooking for centuries. It’s high in protein, with a deep, nutty umami flavor it makes a wonderful substitute for grain flour. It’s also completely gluten-free for people who are watching their gluten intake.
Savory Chickpea Pancakes
1 1/4 cup Chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 small egg (optional)
2 Tblsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper
Oyster mushrooms (about 1/2lb or 8oz)
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped small
1 large scallion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced
Mix the spices with the chickpea flour. Add water and egg and beat until smooth. Set aside.
On medium heat, saute vegetables in butter, gee or a little oil for 3-5 minutes until tender crisp. If you are making these cakes for breakfast or brunch, this step can easily be done the night before. If you dice everything up small enough, the vegetables can be added directly to the batter without pre-cooking, however, I find that it makes for a less watery batter if you cook off some of the water in the vegetables first.
Many recipes for chickpea pancakes do not call for an egg. I find that it makes the cakes fluffy and adds flavor. If you do not want to add egg, simply make sure to let your water/flour mixture sit for about 15mins to thicken.
Add veggies to batter. In a hot, well-oiled skillet, add small dollop of batter. The batter will be somewhat thin, so make sure to not pour in too much. Cook for about 2-3 mins on each side. (makes about 5-6 small pancakes)
This was my first time making these pancakes and they were so delicious I didn’t miss the sugar! I have a stack of them in the fridge for a quick snack or lunch. Here’s to losing the next 15lbs. I’ll be fitting into my old skinny jeans in no time.