These easy Indian Pancakes are made from chickpea flour (gram flour) with a spiced potato filling. Delicious with mango chutney, vegan raita or lime pickle.
Authentic dosa pancakes take two days of fermenting rice in preparation for making the batter. I'd love to have a go one day, but in a quest to replicate the idea in a dish you can easily put together for a weeknight supper, here are my 'inspired by dosa' quicker Indian-style chickpea flour pancakes.
If you don't have all of the spices listed to hand - don't worry! Just make them anyway. Any combination of similar indian spices would work well here, or ready-made blends like garam masala or curry powder.
The batter will make 6-8 pancakes but the first one might not be pristine, (call them the cook's perk!), so just serve up the best 6 with the potato filling, and dollop of mango chutney (or my favourite, brinjal pickle), and perhaps an onion bhaji.
📝 What you need
- Potatoes (medium-large)
- Spring onions
- Garlic (or ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée)
- Red chilli (or ready-chopped chilli)
- Root ginger (or 1 ready-chopped ginger / ginger purée)
- Gram (chickpea) flour
- Plain flour
- Bicarbonate of soda
- Spices: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, garam masala, turmeric
- Rapeseed or sunflower oil
- Dairy-free milk
A good non-stick frying pan will make these chickpea flour pancakes slide out the pan effortlessly, (I hope!). Mine is this Circulon hard anodised pan which is really good but anything similar will do fine.
A pestle and mortar is also handy here. Crushing spices is one of my favourite jobs in the kitchen - you can release all the stress of the day as you pound them and the amazing smells released as you do it reminds you why crushing your own is so much better than buying ready-ground spices! Mine is this heavy duty granite one - go for something heavy with plenty of room to bash things around - the little tiny ones are just no use at all!
👩🏽🍳 Pancake Variations
There are all sorts of ways you can change around this recipe to suit your taste:
- Lighten it up by using cauliflower mash or carrot and swede mash in place of the potato.
- Add some veg to the filling for some extra vitamins! How about some broccoli and/or cauliflower, cooked and lightly crushed?
- Add some spicy mango chutney to the pancake filling just before rolling them up, for a hidden twist.
🔪 What else can I make with chickpea (gram) flour?
If you've bought a bag of gram flour (chickpea flour) to make these pancakes and you're now wondering what to do with the rest, here are a few ideas:
- Vegan Toad in the Hole - the Yorkshire pudding batter is made with gram flour
- Vegan Swedish Meatballs (IKEA-style) - the gram flour acts as a binding agent for these veggie and chickpea balls.
- These easy Onion Bhajis from BBC Good Food use gram flour for the batter. Just remember to use dairy-free yoghurt if you make the raita too, (I love coconut yoghurt in raita).
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Indian Pancakes with spiced potato filling
For the pancakes:
- 130 g gram (chickpea) flour
- 130 g plain flour
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp each of: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds
- 400 ml water
- rapeseed or sunflower oil for frying
For the Potato Filling:
- 4 potatoes medium-large, about 500g in weight
- 2 tbsp dairy-free milk
- 3 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 clove garlic or 1 tsp ready-chopped garlic / garlic purée
- 1 red chilli or 1 tsp ready-chopped chilli
- 1 cm root ginger or 1 tsp ready-chopped ginger / ginger purée
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 lemon
- 4 spring onions
For the potato filling:
- Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut into chunks, then cook them for 10-15 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
For the pancake batter:
- Meanwhile, in a bowl or large jug, mix the gram and plain flours together, and add the bicarbonate of soda and salt.
- Use a pestle and mortar or grinder to grind the spices for the batter then add them to the flours.
- Gradually add 400ml water and whisk until you have a smooth pancake batter. (If you do still have a few lumps of flour, you could use a stick blender to blitz until smooth).
For the potato filling:
- Place a small frying pan on a medium heat, and add the 3 tbsp oil. Add the garlic, chilli, ginger, garam masala and turmeric. Fry gently for a couple of minutes then remove from the heat.
- Mash the cooked potatoes together with the dairy-free milk using a potato masher or fork. Season well with salt and black pepper, taste and adjust as required.
- Pour the spiced oil into your mashed potato, followed by the juice of the lemon.
- Trim and finely chop the spring onions and add to the potato mixture. Mix until well combined.
For the pancakes:
- Place a large frying pan on a high heat. Add a small splash of oil, and spread it around with a spatula. Spoon in some batter and swirl around until it just coats the entire pan.
- When the underside of the pancake is golden and small bubbles are forming on the top, flip it over to cook the underside for a minute.
- Flip the pancake back to the original side, then spread about a sixth of the potato mixture over the pancake. Leave it for another minute until fully heated through, then tip onto a plate, roll up and cut in half.
- Repeat for the remaining pancakes - you can keep them warm in a medium oven until ready for serving.