Thursday, October 22, 2009
Samosa-esque Chickpea Pancakes
The past few weeks have been a blur of stuff - some good, some bad, and some downright ugly - with the result that I haven't been doing as much cooking as usual. There are the evenings when I'm out, but also a fair few when I'm home but just too tired and/or lacking in ambition to get busy in the kitchen. This is unfortunate, because I generally use cooking as a way to unwind and decompress: a little music, a cheerful cocktail, some chit-chat with my partner, kids, dog, cat - typically some combination of these - and I'm able to gain some temporary distance from whatever's pressing my stress button.
That being the case, I've found myself compensating by cooking at weird times, like weekday brunch (one of the many sweet things about being a grad student living with a professor who is currently on leave!). In fact, this very morning I announced my intention to "do something crazy with chickpea flour and that bowl of leftover mashed potatoes," a threat upon which I proceeded to make good. The result was something between a pancake, a crepe, and a dosa, with a vaguely samosa-like filling. They were really good, and really filling; we only managed to finish one apiece, so there will be plenty of leftovers. Most importantly, making this satisfied my craving to cook while providing the necessary fuel for yet another multi-faceted day. On to the next thing!
Samosa-esque Chickpea Pancakes
Ingredients~1 tbsp. oil (I used canola)
~1 cup onion, chopped
~1 tbsp. garlic, minced
~1 tsp. each: salt, paprika, curry powder, cumin
~1/2 tsp. dill
~1/4-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
~A few grinds of black pepper
~3 scallions, thinly sliced
~1/2 cup green peas, fresh or frozen
~2-3 cups leftover mashed potatoes
~In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil and saute the onion over medium-high heat about 5 minutes.
~Add the garlic and all seasonings and continue cooking another few minutes.
~Raise the heat to high, add the scallions and mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so, being careful to keep the mixture moving so it doesn't stick (you can add a splash of water if necessary).
~Add the green peas, stir to combine, and cook 5 minutes more, until the mixture is getting browned and slightly crispy.
~Cover and set aside to keep warm while you make...
~1 1/3 cup chickpea flour, firmly packed
~1/2 teaspoon each: salt, curry powder
~1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
~1 1/4 cup water
~Vegetable oil for cooking
~In a large beaker, sift the chickpea flour, salt, curry powder and turmeric.
~Slowly add the water, stirring well to eliminate any clumps.
~Coat a large non-stick skillet with a thin layer of oil and heat to medium-low.
~Stir the batter and pour about 1/2 cup into the skillet. Turn and tilt the
skillet to spread the batter into a circle about 6" in diameter.
~Cover the skillet and let cook for about 5 minutes; the pancake should be slightly
crisp at the edges and bottom.
~Carefully ease a plastic spatula underneath, lift it and place on a plate. Cover the plate with foil to keep warm until all the batter has been used.
The Assembly (this is the easy part)
~Place a pancake on your plate (warmed plates are nice!), then spoon about the filling across one side.
~Fold over, et voila! Serve immediately, ideally with some sweet mango pickle or chutney. (This would actually make a great dinner, especially with some dal and a green vegetable on the side to round things out.)