Tagenias, made by Greeks were probably the earliest pancakes known to humankind. Mentioned in 5th century BC literature, they were a wholesome breakfast preparation made with wheat flour, olive oil, honey, and curdled milk. Over the centuries, though pancakes have remained among the most loved breakfast items, they have lost much of their healthiness.
Loaded with fat and sugar they jeopardize the entire day’s diet plan. According to Dr Kalpana Shekhawat, Functional Medicine, Metabolic Disease and Age Management Consultant, SENS Clinic, “Most pancakes that we eat today are full of transfat and are devoid of any nutrition. They are high on gluten, sugar and are a source of direct carbs as they are usually made of white flour and margarine.” They might be a popular breakfast trend and a bit fashionable too, but they lack in the essentials needed by the body.
“I don’t trust the processed breads, pancake batters which are full of sugar, color and even contain carcinogens. It is best to have Indian, home made pancakes and breads”, says Luke Coutinho, holistic nutritionist, speaker, exercise physiologist and author.
Any flat batter cake typically rolled up with a sweet or savory filling is called a pancake. In India we call them Appam, Cheela, Bakshalu , Pathiri, Uttapam etc.
Why breakfast on Indian pancakes: Indian pancakes are made of whole flours or lentils and hence are healthier. They are mostly made fresh and therefore are high on nutrition. The savory ones like cheela and uttapam are loaded with vegetables. They are free from refined carbs. Ragi, Bajra or buckwheat pancakes and lentil pancakes are free from gluten. They can be easily made without eggs, unlike their western counterparts and are therefore, perfect treat for vegetarians.
Popular Indian pancakes: Appam – South Indian pancake made with fermented rice batter and coconut milk.
Bakshalu – Made of with flour, chanadal, sugar/jiggery. Part of Telangana cuisine.
Cheela- Made with besan and topped with veggies.
Dosa- A fermented pancake made from rice batter and black lentils. South Indian staple.
Pathiri – pancake made of rice flour.
Thalipeeth – Savory multi-grain pancake popular in Western India.
Uttapam – Dosa-like dish made by cooking veggies in a batter.
Here are some healthy pancakes from top chefs.
Soya Milk & Blueberry Pancakes
-1 cup Atta ( or use 75 % refined flour and 25 % whole wheat flour )
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-¼ teaspoon salt
-1 cup almond milk or Soya Milk -2 tablespoons olive oil
-2 tablespoons Honey -1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
-02 Eggs ( Optional )
-100 gms Fresh Blueberries
-In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In another mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, oil, honey and vanilla extract until thoroughly blended. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture.
-Stir until combed, so that only a few lumps remain (do not over-mix or your pancakes will be tough). Slowly add in the blueberries but do not mix too much. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes. This will make your pancakes nice and fluffy.
-Heat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Lightly oil the pan, pour the batter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until small bubbles form on the surface of the pancake.
-Cook on the opposite side for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden brown.
-Serve hot or warm with whipped cream and additional honey on top or maple syrup with fresh blueberries.
Recipe courtesy: Executive Chef, Roshan Mendonsa, Radisson Blu Kaushambi
Multigrain Spinach and Coriander Pancake
-250 gms spinach, washed
-50gm refined flour
-100gms multigrain flour
-1tbs baking powder
-50g olive oil
-Salt to taste
-1 tsp ground cumin
-100g spring onions
-2 no green chillies
-50 gms Fresh coriander
-In a mixing bowl mix both the flours ,baking powder.
-Whisk in egg , milk and olive oil to form a smooth batter.
-Add shredded spinach ,chopped coriander ,finely sliced spring onion and chopped green chili and salt.
-In a heavy nonstick pan apply little olive oil and add spoon full batter and spread it with spoon .
-Cook the pancake on both sides and serve hot.
Recipe courtesy: Chef Rajat Chandna, Executive Sous Chef, The Suryaa.