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By Nadia Marshall
It must have been something in the stars. After almost a decade of waking up every morning with a craving for one of my delicious Ayurvedic porridges, suddenly, things changed. A few weeks back, I woke up and I wasn't remotely interested in porridge. I couldn't face the stuff. I'd rather eat stale toast.... or undercooked eggs. Anything but porridge.
I desperately searched my memory banks for something I did feel like and all I could come up with was.... PANCAKES! But I wasn't in the mood for the thick, heavy, wheat flour, eggs, milk and baking soda style sweet pancakes that I make for special occasions. I was interested in something a little lighter... and maybe savoury.
And so I finally pulled out 'The Ayurvedic Kitchen' (the cookbook I co-authored with Chef Stephen Galpin) and made some Moong & Rice Flour Pancakes. And... oh my goodness! They were sensational! I couldn't believe I'd never ventured to make them before! They are super fast, super delicious, super light... but also very sustaining. There is no need for 'elevensies' when you have these puppies for breaky (good news for those of us who need to eat 5 times a day just to stay sane).
And the good news is, they couldn't be better for you! They're made from moong daal flour and rice flour with a few herbs, spices and ghee thrown in for good measure. They offer a great combo of carbs and protein and provide a complete protein for veggos... and they are gluten, dairy and sugar free (if you're into that kind of thing). From an Ayurvedic perspective, they are tridoshic, sattvic, super easy to digest, excellent for building strong agni and reducing ama. In fact, they are often prescribed for medicinal fasts.
So peeps, here we go... this is my slightly modified recipe for pancakes that you can happily eat every single day for breaky, lunch, snacks or supper! You can even have them with soups instead of bread.
Moong and Rice Flour Pancakes
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 cup moong daal flour
1/2 cup rice flour
small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
a pinch of asafoetida powder (optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp dry ginger powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
Water to make batter
Extra ghee for cooking
Combine all the ingredients together (except the coriander leaves) then add enough water to make a thin batter. Use a whisk to mix together into a smooth mixture. Next add the coriander leaves and mix again. Heat up a small non-stick frying pan. Add about 3/4 of a ladle of mixture into the pan and tip in a circle to spread out the mixture into a thin crepe. Let cook on a med heat until the top is dry. Drop a few drops of ghee around the outside of the pancake to help unstick the sides. When the sides start to curl upwards slightly, carefully unstick the pancake and flip it over and cook on the other side. When done, serve hot with mango chutney.
Let me know what you think!
Agni - the digestive fire.
Ama or Aama - undigested food waste, toxins.
Ojas- the foundation of our immune system and longevity.
Dhatus - the tissues of the body.
Srotas - the channels of the body.
Vata - the air/ether
intelligence in the body.
Pitta- the fire/water
intelligence in the body.
Kapha- the water/earth intelligence in the body.
Sattva- the quality of purity, intelligence, peace and love.
Rajas- the quality of
turbulence and activity.
Tamas- the quality of
dullness, darkness and inertia.
Rasa - the taste of a food (Sweet, Sour, Salty, Pungent, Bitter, Astringent)
Virya - second level of digestion (either Heating or Cooling)
Vipaka - third level of digestion, the deep taste of a food (can be Sweet, Sour or Pungent)
Prabhav - the 'special effect' of a food or herb/spice
Rasa - also the name for plasma tissue
Rakta - blood tissue
Mamsa - muscle tissue
Meda - fat tissue
Asthi - bone tissue
Majja - nerve & bone marrow tissue
Shukra - sexual reproductive tissue