This may not be a very popular opinion – but I haven’t been into recipes lately. With summer coming to an end, the calendar has filled up and my to-do list has nearly doubled in length, meaning the amount of time that I have to commit to making and trying fun recipes has been almost nonexistent. While I love turning to my favorite smoothie and bowl recipes, after a few weeks of working my way through every bowl combination and one too many green smoothies, I had to switch it up. After pawing my way through possible pantry ingredients, I found my bag of chickpea flour and came back to one of the easiest dishes that we had grown up with at home. A few ingredients and a hot pan is all you need to whip together this meal that is as flavor filled as it is simple to make.
While most people know the flour used here as chickpea or socca flour, I’ve always known it as besan flour. It’s a staple in South Asia and is used as a breading, as the base for several desserts, and even makes an amazing exfoliator for your face! As of late, you can see besan flour used more and more in recipes as a replacement for eggs in vegan cooking and used in gluten free baking – it’s also higher in protein than regular flour.
The flavor of besan is nutty and earthy, while also being mellow enough to flavor with your choice of spices and toppings. While I’ve created my own take on these, my mom used to make a big batch of plain besan pancakes that my brother and I would just dip into yogurt and chutneys – seriously it was the easy dishes that kept us happy!
I have since passed the plain pancake phase and am now more interested in fitting as many fresh and nutritious ingredients as I can into my meals. To layer these guys up, I start with the easiest herb-y green sauce that you should most definitely have a batch of in your fridge at all times. I make mine by just tossing the below ingredients into a blender – and note that it is a super forgiving and customizable sauce based on what herbs you have on hand and the flavors you like ::
– juice of 2 lemons
– a squeeze of honey
– a big handful of cilantro
– a big handful of chopped green onions
– a couple of of mint leaves
– 1/2 of a small avocado
– salt and pepper to taste
I think these pancakes would also be delicious with a tangy sauce, hummus, or even your favorite salsa for more of a taco-take!
Once you’ve spread the sauce on, now you get to have fun with adding the toppings! I’ve loved adding fresh and crunchy veggies atop a bed of greens, as well as taking the chance to clean out the fridge with any leftover roasted vegetables I’ve got on hand like sweet potatoes and zucchini’s. Add a squeeze of lemon on top and you’re gold!
Based on what’s in season, you can adjust the toppings as you like – I’m so excited for fall produce to return so I can try some squash and onion combinations. These guys are so easy to make and I love having a simple go-to meal to turn to. Be sure to share your favorite combos – enjoy!
for the pancakes ::
- 1 cup of chickpea flour
- 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups of water
- 3/4 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp red chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
for the toppings ::
- sauce of choice
- vegetables of choice (greens, carrots, cucumbers, avocados, radishes, etc.)
- lemon juice
- in a stove top pan, add a tablespoon of ghee or olive oil and bring up to a medium heat.
- in a mixing bowl, add all of the pancake ingredients and mix. the mix should be similar to a thinner pancake batter so add water as needed.
- add about 1/2 cup of the batter to the heated pan and cook for about 2 -3 minutes on each side until the pancake is lightly browned.
- remove the pancake from the pan, top with sauce and veggies - enjoy!!