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Friday, September 12, 2014

Fresh Coconut-Banana pancakes with raisins for raising your smile

Decadent Indian Pancakes with whole-wheat flour, Banana, fresh Coconut

Sometimes when I look deep inside the culinary traditions of India, I often try to remember what I used to eat when I was a kid, back then some 15-20 years ago the food culture was different, at home and at restaurants. Things were changing as always has happened with time, this time it changed rapidly, specially the fast food scene changed drastically and it is still a very controversial change. So I remember as a kid what food was cooked in our kitchen at our homes by our moms, dads and now so many of them have faded in time, not that we have forgotten about them but they rarely appear.

               I am so surprised at times thinking about those dishes that faded but finding they were so healthy and tasty-a perfect blend. It is such a good balance, isn't it! Eating something tasty is important but eating healthy perhaps is more important, imagine eating something tasty but mostly harmful day after day and what it will do to our health! I know what you are thinking of? Fast-food, Right? So was I. Our body is a mirror reflection of what we eat and eating is supposed to be nutritious and fun. At times there is a gap and that’s where exactly these pancakes come in to fill that gap.

                                  When I made these pancakes recently I was so happy because of 3 reasons, it tasted scrumptious, it took me back to childhood n they are so healthy. It’s a complete win-win situation you see!

                                                                 For anyone who loves pancake and haven’t tried these banana-fresh coconut pancakes yet, this is your jewel pancake that will shine relentlessly. Made from sweet bananas, grated fresh coconut and whole-wheat durum flour, they thrive on the goodness of all these 3 star ingredients and you can’t eat just one. Unlike most pancakes that are made from flour which isn't a very healthy option, these ones are made from ‘ATTA’- the Indian whole-wheat durum flour. Atta is made from semi-hard wheat variety known as durum wheat. Since the whole-wheat contains the bran, the germ, it is much nutritious. 

                                                                                           The bananas add sweetness and flavor, so does the fresh coconut, so literally there is no need to add sugar in these pancakes, but then you can add it a little bit if you want to, since most of the sweetness comes from the banana n coconut in the form of natural sugar. 

 There is something pampering n fulfilling about these pancakes, easy to make, literally delicious to eat and a bundle of health. I mean when I made them and kept them on the plate, and within an hour they vanished! Perhaps the same thing will happen when you will make them, in fact I start eating even before I finish making all the pancakes which takes a little patience. As you fry them in the pan you will see how slowly the pancake will start to caramelize and get crispy slowly on a low heat, yummy.

                                     And all of this comes from old traditional cuisine! I can’t believe this was getting forgotten! Seriously! This pancake is the answer to the question ‘Can pancakes be healthy?’ So naturally this pancake has to be made n eaten very often in our kitchen and once you start it you won’t stop. And the old unhealthy pancakes need to be forgotten for all the good reasons. Hahah! May they rest in pancake-y peace.

                                                    I have added raisins in the pancakes, they are slightly sweet n sour and so when we bite into a raisin chunk in the sweet pancakes, they provide another depth of flavor.

So now I will tell you about the recipe. Here you go…

For The Recipe:  You will need
3-4 medium bananas, peeled and smashed with a fork to quite smooth
6-7 tbsp of freshly grated coconut
3 tbsp of rice flour
7-8 tbsp of whole-wheat flour/Atta
1-2 tsp of sugar
1 tbsp of raisins, chopped
2 Pinches of salt
180 ml of water, it will vary
Vegetable oil to fry the pancakes, about 1½ tbsp oil for each pancake
This will make about 7-8 pancakes.

Consistency- It is supposed to be fairly thick and not on the runny side or thinner side. Start adding the water in small amounts, first add half the water, mix, add some more water, there will come a point of time when the consistency is such that the batter just begins to pour from a spoon, at this point add 1-2 tbsp of water and the consistency will be such that the batter now starts to pour or fall relatively easily than the previous time. The batter will still be on the thicker side and in the pan when we will fry them we will be able to spread the batter with a ladle since it will be fairly thick. So to keep in mind the batter will be on the thicker side but still will pour easily from the ladle.

1. In a flat plate, smash the bananas with a fork smash them until no big chunky pieces are left.

2. In a bowl add the bananas with all the other ingredients excepting the water and mix everything with a whisk or spoon. Add half of the water and mix, then add some more and make the batter smooth, then add a little more until the batter reaches the aforementioned consistency, which is fairly thick and begins to pour fairly easily from a spoon.

3. Rest the batter for 30 minutes.

4. After 30 minutes heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan and add it to the batter, mix. Now heat the pan back on medium flame until the pan is quite hot, then add 1 tbsp of oil and let the oil get quite hot, then take a ladle-full of the batter, which is around 3 ½ tbsp, and pour it in the middle of the frying pan, bring the heat to low flame, then with the back of the ladle spread the batter in the pan into a circle of around 6 inch diameter. You will see as you begin to spread the batter with the ladle that the batter will try to stick a bit with the ladle if you try to spread the batter quickly, so work slowly as you spread the batter and you will see it will spread nicely. Once you have spread the batter, turn the heat up to medium for 1 minute, then put the heat back to low and give around 3 minutes on this side.

5. Sprinkle a little oil on the top surface of the pancake and smear it with a spoon. After 3 minutes with a spatula lift the pancake a little to see how much it has browned, if it is brown, give it 1 more minute and it will get a darker shade of brown, this will be crispy when cold, specially the sides. Lift the pancake slowly, if you find the pancake has stuck a little in the pan, with the spatula scratch that place in the pan carefully and it will come off. Turn the pancake to the other side and sprinkle some oil around the pan and give it 2-3 minutes until it starts to get brown. Once browned take it off the pan on a plate. The last side which got fried will have to less brown than the 1st side, keep that in mind.

6. Fry all the pancakes like this one by one, when done serve them with freshly grated coconut or honey or maple syrup or on their own. 

Now when you are biting into one, tell me aren't they really so delicious! I told you! Bon app├ętit.

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