I remember the first time I had Indian food. It was about 15 years ago and I was on a date. He was vegan, and I was vegetarian. There were two dishes on the menu that were vegan, so he ordered them both. I think one was aloo gobi and the other was an eggplant dish. (It’s possible that we had samosa too, but I’m not 100% sure.) He said that we were supposed to mix them together on our plates before we ate them, which now doesn’t make any sense to me, but it was pretty tasty at the time.
Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen
I’ve eaten Indian food many, many times since then, and I have loved every bite of it. It’s one of those cuisines that I have a difficult time recreating in my own kitchen at home though. Fortunately, Richa Hingle has come to my rescue with her new cookbook Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen.
In Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen, Richa has simplified cooking techniques, making it easy for home chefs to recreate their favorite Indian meals at home. She shares her list of must-have spices, explains what tools are good to have handy in your kitchen, how long to soak beans, and how to temper spices. The recipes are divided into categories: breakfast, sides, lentils and beans, one-pot meals, main dishes, flatbreads, and desserts. There’s also a section on how to make your own chutneys and spice blends too, since they are such a huge part of Indian cuisine.
Richa shares her recipes for some of my favorite Indian dishes (which means I can finally make them at home!) such as Red Lentil Soup, Potato Somosas, Pudla (Chickpea Flour Pancakes), and Chana Masala. Of course, there are several different variations of the classic aloo gobi (or gobi aloo) as well. I learned a lot of interesting tidbits from reading Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen too. Did you know that cauliflower is used a lot in Americanized Indian recipes because the vegetables that would normally be used aren’t easily available here? Well, now you do. The book is full of Richa’s gorgeous photography as well.
Chickpea Flour Pancakes
I'm sharing the recipe for Chickpea Flour Pancakes from the book today, as I've absolutely fallen in love with it. I love how easy-to-make these tasty crepes are. They can be eaten on their own, and I love fold them over and fill them with vegetables as well. They're a great dish for breakfast, but I love having them for dinner (or brinner), too.
Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen belongs in your kitchen as well! This book is a welcome addition to just about any cookbook collection, vegan or not.
Mom's Chickpea Flour Pancakes
- 1 cup chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour, or besan
- 1 ½ cups water
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon carom seeds or cumin seeds
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 hot green chile, finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce heat)
- ¼ cup packed chopped cilantro
- 1 to 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon safflower oil, divided
- In a bowl, combine the chickpea flour and ¾ cup water. Whisk to get a smooth consistency. Whisk in another ½ to ¾ cup water to make a thin lump-free batter. (If using besan, you will need less water).
- Add the salt, turmeric, cayenne, carom seeds, onion, chile, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of oil, and mix well. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, drizzle a few drops of oil on the skillet. Spread the oil using a paper towel. Pour a ladle full (¼ to ⅓ cup) of the batter onto the skillet. Spread the batter by moving the skillet to make a 6 to 8-inch pancake. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the edges of the pancake.
- Cook until the edges start to leave the pan and the bottom is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Continue to make the rest of the pancakes. Serve hot.
If you enjoyed these Chickpea Flour Pancakes, you might also like:
- Chickpea Pizza with Asparagus and Pea Shoot Tangle
- Socca Stacks
- Curried Garbanzo Cakes
- Vegan Spinach Mushroom Omelet
I have a copy of Vegan Richa's Indian Kitchen for one lucky winner. Follow the instructions below to enter. Contest ends at midnight on Sunday, May 24th. U.S. residents only, please. Good luck!