Every continent and ancient culture has their own version of flat cakes, pancakes or crepes.
Made from cake-like batters or from silky smooth ones like liquid satin.
Savory or sweet, stuffed or served with accompaniments. Consumed for breakfast, lunch or all day, sitting down or on the go.
Pancakes have such a rich culinary history yet on the flip side, pun intended; in my mind it was relegated to being consumed mindlessly at fun house, all-you-can-eat, breakfast-all-day, spectator-sport-eating-contest locations.
But what I ‘discovered’ as an adult home-cook in my attempt to live a healthier life, was that going back to those cultures and their culinary roots was the way forward to wholesomeness.
Giving the pancake it’s power back.
As my experiments intensified much to my husband’s initial vexation, I did not have to look far. My pre-fitted Indian toolkit contained the power of pea proteins and spices like turmeric, the new gold standard.
I also turned for inspiration to little Lithuanian pancakes our friend made her daughter one Sunday after a sleepover. Tiny discs of wholesome health.
And so the humble pudlo, a savory, chickpea flour based, and crepe-like pancake Mummy packed for me with sweet mango pickle for school in India, morphed into my Gold Coins. And by way of Lithuania come the Protein Stacks.
These recipes finally satisfied both my husband and my palates, east and west, sweet and spicy, breakfast, lunch or snack.
Makes about 8-10 5” Pancakes
Flour Mixes for Both Versions
1 cup chickpea flour
½ cup bajra or millet flour
1 – 1½ cups milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup of plain or vanilla protein powder (whichever brand you use)
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsps. raw cane sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon powder
¼ cup chopped walnuts
1 apple grated in the batter or blueberries to serve
1 – 1½ cups water
¼ cup chopped scallions or sweet onion
¾ cup grated zucchini
½ serrano chile finely chopped
1 clove of garlic grated
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
¾ – 1 inch of ginger or raw turmeric grated
½ tsp. dry turmeric powder
½ tsp. carom seeds
¼ tsp. red paprika
1-1 ½ tsp. salt or to taste
- Mix the dry ingredients for each type of pancakes first in a bowl.
- Wash, peel, prep the fruit or veggies for the respective recipes.
- For the Power Stack pancakes, stir the wet elements together in a separate bowl since it’s more than just water, and then combine the dry and wet ingredients into one bowl until smooth. It should be about the consistency of honey, add more milk if desired. Let it sit for about 5-10 mins. before starting to cook.
- For the Gold Coins, stir together the dry ingredients first in a bowl, then add the water and vegetables and bring to a consistency of a cake batter. Let it sit for about 5-10 mins. before starting to cook.
- Heat a 6” pan on high, once hot, start making the pancakes. Turn the heat to medium to medium-high to avoid burning.
- Spoon about ¼ cup batter for each pancake, or 2-3 spoons full, to desired thickness. I spread them about 4-5” wide and ¼” thick.
- For the Protein Stacks you should not need to use any butter or oil since we added the oil to the batter itself.
- For the Gold Coins, after you pour and spread the batter on the pan, skirt the edges with ½ tsp. of olive oil.
- Each pancake takes about 4-6 mins. to cook in total, flip the pancake when the first side starts to bubble and is no longer runny.
Serve the Protein Stacks with fresh fruit, strawberry jam or pure maple syrup. My husband’s choice is always milk with breakfast foods since he drinks neither coffee nor tea.
Serve the Gold Coins with a green cilantro and mint chutney, sweet mango pickle or your favorite ketchup. I love mine with a cup of hot ginger chai any time of day.
We use any extras as a mid-day snack at work or to fill up on a couple of hours before a workout or as breakfast on the go wrapped like a burrito in foil.