I love breakfast! I am something of an early bird: I am usually up by 6.30am or so even on weekends, and by 9am I am ready for a big breakfast. One breakfast favorite all over the world is pancakes. There is something very comforting about mixing up a big bowl of batter and frying it up so the whole home fills up with the sizzle and the aroma...it is the perfect start to a relaxing weekend. I love all kinds of pancakes but today, I made these rather unusual ones. The recipe is from my paternal grandmother, who was Konkani. They are made with cucumbers and rice flour and their traditional name is "tausalli". Unlike traditional pancakes, they do not contain eggs or milk, making them vegan. The addition of sesame seeds adds a nice crunch and upps the nutritional value too! Rice flour is available in Indian grocery stores and is a useful pantry staple in my home.
(Makes 4-5 pancakes)
2 large cucumbers
1 cup rice flour
2 tbsp minced cilantro
2 chillies, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp sesame seeds
1. Peel the cucumbers and grate them into a big bowl so as not to waste the juices.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients, except sesame seeds, and make a batter (of pancake consistency) with as much water as is required.
3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a non-stick pan. Drop a ladle-ful of batter into the pan and spread it around. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the batter. When the underside is crispy, flip over and cook the other side. Make more pancakes the same way, sprinkling sesame seeds on one side.
4. Serve hot with any relish/chutney/ketchup of your choice.
Two more tips:
1. You could add some yogurt to the batter to give it an ever so slightly tangy edge. 1/2 cup of yogurt or buttermilk + enough water to make the batter.
2. Add a tablespoon of rava (cream of wheat) to the batter to make the pancakes even crisper.
(Thanks to Lulu and Yoma for reminding me of these tips!)