Last year I posted about the wonderful cheese and bacon topped smuggler’s pancakes, which will always be a favourite chez bun scuffle, but this year I have made something rather wonderful as an alternative.
A year or two ago (with my evolution hat on) I was working with the Cornwall School for Social Entrepreneurs mentoring groups of people who were setting up a range of social enterprises. On a good day I found working with these energetic, creative people to be immensely uplifting but it is fair to say that setting up any business is hard work and there were, inevitably, days when everyone seemed to hit a wall.
On one particularly challenging day in Penzance, when personal issues, financial crises and wavering confidence were at the fore, I used up my store of skills and energy to pick people up, dust them off and set them rolling again.
I love this sort of work and always feel privileged to have made a difference but there is no doubt that it can be tiring and I finished the day feeling a little drained. Martin was working with another group on the same project and had finished a little earlier than me. We had both missed lunch so I was delighted when he arrived to meet me with a grin and a hot chickpea flour pancake from a deli up the road. It was savoury, spicy and packed with crispy fried onions. Delicious. This is my take on it.
Chick pea flour is made from ground chickpeas so it is gluten free and much higher in protein than most flours. The batter uses no milk or eggs so it is lower in fat than normal pancakes, suitable for those with dairy allergies and makes great pancakes for vegans (unless you top it with parmesan cheese as I did!).
The texture is heavier and denser (and they need to be a little thicker) than a normal pancake – almost like a chapatti – so you could serve them as an accompaniment to (or even filled with) the curry of your choice as a main meal.
150g Chick Pea (Gram) Flour
250 ml Cold Water
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
A few picked leaves of coriander (optional)
2 Onions (finely sliced)
Vegetable Oil for frying.
Fry the onion in a little oil until browned and beginning to crisp.
Sieve the flour into a bowl, season with salt and pepper and stir in the spices.
Whisk in the water, a little at a time, until you have a smooth, lump free batter.
Heat a non-stick shallow frying pan and brush with a smal amount of oil. When hot, spoon in enough batter to coat the base of the pan, swirling as you go. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes until the pancake slides easily in the pan, then turn over and cook for another minute or so on the other side.
Top with the fried onions and a scattering of coriander leaves and serve. I also added a grating of parmesan which was scrummy but not at all necessary.