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Recipe: Gram Flour Turmeric Pancakes

Photo: Seven Dials, 'Zaika: Vegan Recipes From India', by Romy Gill.

This recipe, borrowed from Romy Gill's fabulous Zaika: Vegan Recipes From India, is just too delicious not to share.

These aren't run-of-the-mill pancakes. Gill discovered this recipe while on her travels to Gujarat and it features coconut milk yoghurt, and a combination of turmeric and different spices. The use of gram flour (made from ground chickpeas—you can make it yourself) instead of ordinary flour makes these pancakes gluten-free and higher in fibre and protein.

We're huge fans of turmeric in our household. Curcumin, which is the main active ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. Often used in Ayurvedic medicine, it has been shown to be beneficial in treating symptoms of arthritis, Crohn’s disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and stomach ulcers, and is linked to improved brain function and lower risk of brain disease. It's a powerhouse spice and a versatile ingredient that can be added to smoothies, teas, lattes (golden milk is a great coffee substitute), curries, and even face masks for brightening the skin.

These pancakes are savoury, flavoursome, wholesome, and they have a bit of a spicy kick. What's not to like? Add a bit of chutney or a dollop of coconut or nut milk yoghurt to your pancakes and you're good to go. Enjoy them on their own or as part of an Indian curry feast.


Serves: 8 -10  Takes: 1 hour

What you need:

150g gram flour (ground dry chickpeas) ½ tsp baking powder  1 tsp nigella seeds  ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed  1 tsp ground turmeric  1 tsp ground coriander  1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder  1 handful fresh coriander, chopped  150g coconut milk yoghurt, plus extra to serve  sunflower oil, for frying  chutney, to serve


  • Sift the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add all the spices, the coriander and 1 tsp salt. Mix well. 

  • In a separate bowl, whisk the yoghurt with 100ml water, then pour in to the spiced flour mixture. Slowly add another 50ml water, stirring to blend. Leave to rest for 20 mins. 

  • Place a non-stick pancake pan or small frying pan over a medium heat. Brush evenly with oil, then pour in half a ladleful of the batter, immediately spreading with the back of the spoon to form a pancake. Cook for 2-3 mins, then brush a little more oil on top, flip and cook for another 2-3 mins. It’s done when the pancake is fluffy and cooked on both sides. 

  • Repeat with the remaining batter, then wrap the cooked pancakes in a muslin cloth to keep them warm. Serve with a dollop of coconut milk yoghurt or chutney.


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