How quickly has the final week of Ramadan arrived! In a few days, our routines will return to normalcy. There are a lot of goals I haven’t completed and yet the ones I have been able to, have struck a chord. Having eliminated the distraction of food, what I could finish reading resonated deeper than usual. Such is the beauty of this month. I’m hoping to leave it behind firmly clutching a few resolves. Speaking of Ramadan coming to an end, it also means that we are getting back to eating breakfast. Well, that is if you are that sort of a person.
The final recipe I want to share, for this month, will make the transition from Iftar evenings to breakfast post Ramadan smoothly. Considering you have the little ones at home for the summer, I can vouch this won’t be abandoned. Ever since Ali could eat more than mush, I have made these pancakes for him and he finishes them without a fuss. In fact, it is one of his favourite meal options and on occasions he has enjoyed them for dinner too.
As far as the blog is concerned, I am thrilled with all the responses I’ve received this month. Things were much quiet in the earlier part of the year only because I was determined to share more than just one spanking new recipe for Ramadan. To everyone who has mailed, messaged and shared their comments, I can’t thank you enough. It is gratifying to know a little part of My Mouth is Full was served at your dinner table amongst loved ones.
Tea time is an elaborate affair in most Keralite homes. It wasn’t so much in mine though. Nibbles to accompany tea were only made if guests informed us of their arrival well in advance. It was definitely not the case in my husbands’ home. Their need for tea is as strong as their brew and both Pappa and Mummy break their fast with a cup of tea fuming at the brink. And on regular days, even if it is tea for just the both of them, there is a snack ready at tea time. If you’re a Keralite, shame on you if couldn’t identify the Uniyappam pan above. Uniyappam is a spherical fried cake made from a batter of rice flour, mashed bananas and coconut bits and is sweetened with jaggery syrup. Mummy makes a savoury snack for which even a non-tea person as myself goes and prepares a cup of milky sweet tea. She will be visiting after Eid in a couple of weeks and I have planned on adding it to my repertoire here.
Before it started popping up on Beach Road, I had the mini pancakes at Global Village for the first time. A serving is a dozen and the most popular topping is a hefty blob of Nutella that melts over the warm pancakes and a dusting of icing sugar. Their pancake pan is a huge sheet of metal that can make close to a hundred pancakes at one time. Batter is poured into greased moulds from a height using a funnel and I couldn’t help noticing how much the pan resembled an Unniyappam pan. Fuelled by the idea, I knew I had to attempt making these at home.
If you’re from Kerala, chances are you already have one of these lying amongst your pots, pans and meen chatti. If you don’t, you can pick one of these up on your next visit. If you’re in the UAE, you could find one at your nearest Lulu Supermarket. And if that is not possible too, befriend a Keralite and convince them to forego a kilo of their baggage allowance to bring you back one.
I have a couple of ideas on how to serve these. For Ali, I pour Date Dhibs syrup on the side of his segmented plate and dip them before every bite. I fancy the customary drizzle of maple syrup with knobs of softened butter.
I made cocoa pancakes with the batter too. It was a no-brainer really. I set aside a fourth of the prepared batter and stirred in sifted cocoa powder. And instead of slathering them with Nutella, I took a different route. Maple syrup over Cocoa Pancakes didn’t seem quite right. After pouring a bit of batter into the pan, I quickly spooned half a teaspoon of Nutella and covered it with more batter on top. Don’t tell your little ones and prepare to watch faces of shock, surprise and excitement when they bite into a Nutella *stuffed* pancake pop.
This variation was me thinking on my feet. I slid in a sliver of banana and poured over the batter, calming down the sizzles. This was what I found when they were cooked and overturned. A perfectly caramelised banana swaddled in a pancake popper. I swapped the syrup for a tart raspberry compote and that cut through and balanced the sweetness of the bananas.
I’ve tweaked the original recipe to make it completely refined-flour free. I occasionally add crushed cardamom, cinnamon powder or grated nutmeg to the dry ingredients, depending on my mood. A pat of melted butter and a lightly beaten egg goes into the pre-soaked rolled oats and buttermilk mixture. This recipe instructs to soak the oats the night before. Don’t worry If you’re running short on time. I’ve always made them after a minimum of two hours of soaking and they’ve been fluffy every time round. And in the end, throw in whatever mix-ins your heart fancies to your batter.
Chocolate Chips make a fun option. The chips soften inside the batter and you get a chunk in every bite. I wanted to try a tiny marshmallow version. What stopped me was the possibility of it coming into contact with the hot mould from within the batter. That would have just been a toasty burnt mess. Considering how well the caramelised banana bottom turned out, you could try mixing fresh berries chopped into small bits and mixing them directly into the pancake. Just a few days ago I was fretting looking at my over-ripened ripe (yes, I mentioned ripe twice) bananas. I chopped a couple and blended it along with the rest of the batter. Those were, hands down, the softest pancakes I’ve made so far. The options are endless, really.
And just in case if you were wondering this batter makes adult sized, fluffy pancakes too. I’m still going with chocolate chips.
Oatmeal Pancake Poppers
Recipe adapted from Orangette
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup buttermilk*
- ¼ cup wholewheat flour
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup butter, melted but not hot
- ¼ tsp salt
- Desired mix-ins (chocolate chips)
- Combine the oats and buttermilk in a bowl and mix.
- Let the oats soak overnight or a minimum of two hours.
- In a bowl, combine the wholewheat flour, sugar and salt.
- Add the egg and melted butter to the oat mixture and mix well.
- Add the flour mixture and combine.
- If adding mix-ins, combine them with the batter now.
- Warm the Uniyappam pan on medium high flame.
- Pour the batter filling ¾ of the mould.
- When bubbles start forming on the top and the sides look set, flip the pancake.
- Cook until the second side is set.
- If the pancakes brown too quickly, turn down the heat.
- Serve warm with syrup, butter or berry compote.
Add 1 tablespoon of sifted cocoa powder to ¼ cup of prepared batter and mix well.
Nutella Stuffed Pancake
- Pour batter to fill ¼ mould.
- Quickly spoon a teaspoon of Nutella.
- Pour batter to cover the Nutella.
Caramelized Banana Pancake
- Brush the mould lightly with melted butter.
- Place a thin slice of banana inside the mould.
- Pour batter and repeat cooking steps as mentioned above.
Replace the egg with the addition of the following to the dry ingredients:
- ¾ tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Baking Powder
*You can prepare buttermilk freshly like I do. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of milk and allow it to sit for 15 minutes.
Have a good food day.