Recipe: Breakfast Pancakes with Spicy Turmeric Potato and Yoghurt Filling

Delicious brunch pancakes

One of the best things about cooking for oneself is how cheap it is. It is even more efficient when you can make use of old food or leftovers. This recipe is an absolutely delicious way to use up the spuds that are left at the end of the week, and it is filling and hearty. If you aren’t used to eating savoury or spicy for breakfast then it may seem weird at first, but I love it. When I visited India I noticed that it was perfectly normal to do so out there, and for someone like me with a savoury palate it’s great. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so this sort of food suits me down to the ground.

Savoury pancakes with a delicious Indian potato filling
Savoury pancakes with a delicious Indian potato filling

Ingredients

Pancakes

  • 200 grams of gram flour
  • 200 ml soy milk
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal soaked in water for ten minutes)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 clove of garlic

Filling

  • 6-8 old potatoes, cubed
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika

Yoghurt Sauce

  • 6-8 tbsp soy yoghurt
  • Handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
  • Lime juice

Method

In a hot, dry frying pan add the cumin powder and mustard seeds. Dry fry for thirty seconds. Then add the chopped garlic and chilli flakes and fry for another minute. Splash in a little oil, mix and then set aside. Time to cook the filling.

Heat some oil in a pan on medium. Add the chopped onion and turmeric. Fry together, mixing in the colour of the turmeric well. Add the potatoes, mix thoroughly and then add the garlic and paprika. Stir in and leave to fry for twenty minutes, stirring every so often to avoid burning the potatoes on one side. Now you finish your pancake batter.

Blend together the flour, milk, seasoning and flax egg until smooth. Then add the dry fried ingredients, mix well until smooth – add more milk if necessary.

Heat your pan hot, then turn to a low-medium heat. Add some oil for frying. Taking the pan to the batter mixture, ladle in enough to coat the base, swirling it evenly. Be sure to stir the mixture before each ladle. Return the pan to the heat and let it cook. It will separate from the pan eventually and that is when it is ready to toss. Once you have cooked both sides repeat until the mixture is used up.

Now make your cooling yoghurt mixture simply by thoroughly mixing the yoghurt, coriander and lime juice.

Once your potatoes are tender you are ready to serve. Just roll up the filling with some yoghurt in a pancake and you are good to go. Delicious breakfast or brunch, cheap as chips, healthy and filling with plenty to go around. Scrumptious.

Breakfast of champions!
Breakfast of champions!

Recipe: The Comfort Food of Champions!

Comfort food. We all eat it and need it from time to time, some more than others. For me comfort food done well is filling, hearty and it makes me feel better when I’m either unwell or I need to console myself, lick my wounds or similar. Usually comfort food is garbage nutritionally speaking. It is typically high in salt, high in sugar, high in bad fats and loaded with simple carbohydrates. I am here to tell you that it need not be so. If you want good comfort food then usually it has to be:

  • Filling
  • Savoury/umami
  • Tasty and/or hearty

So here is one of my favourite dishes that is all three: socca flatbread with a cheesy dip sauce.

Socca and Cheesy Dip Sauce
Socca and Cheesy Dip Sauce

This is a dish that will fill you and satisfy your comfort hunger, but will not leave you bloated and tired with a food hangover, and it relies on my favourite staple, the mighty cashew cream. The flatbread, socca, is gluten-free and low on carbohydrates. So below is how you make it.

Ingredients

Socca

  • Two cups of water
  • Two cups of gram flour (chickpea flour)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh rosemary for garnish

Cheese sauce

  • 150 grams cashews, soaked in boiling water for at least 10 minutes
  • 1 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • Soy milk
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1-2 tsp Chilli flakes
  • Salt to taste
Served at the Dinning Table: Socca and Cheesy Dip Sauce
Served at the Dinning Table: Socca and Cheesy Dip Sauce

Method

Socca

Mix the ingredients together until you have something similar to pancake batter. If it is watery add a little more flour, or water if too thick. Socca needs to be crispy at the edges with a creamy tasting centre, so once your batter is smoothly mixed you must let it rest for half an hour. This will give the dense gram flour time to hydrate thoroughly.

To cook it spread some oil around a frying pan and keep the heat at medium. Coat the pan with batter, and let it cook slowly. It will bubble up, this is normal. You do not flip it, hence why a medium heat is important. Allow it to cook through. It is ready when you can lift it from the pan without it falling apart. If you lift it too soon it will flop and split. Patience is key here as it will take a little longer than a regular pancake to cook through, and the first one will be a little more difficult than the others to cook properly. Garnish with rosemary and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Once done you can do anything with it. You could spread with garlic butter, use it as a pizza base, top with a Mediterranean salad, maybe a tabbouleh, or tomato sauce. The possibilities are limitless. For this dish however slice it into six with a pizza cutter.

Cheese Sauce

Drain the cashews and put them in a blender. Start it spinning on a low speed and slowly add milk. Keep this up until you have a smooth cream. It can take a couple of minutes to completely pulverise the nuts so there is no need to rush. Once done, add the chopped pepper and blend again.

Once you have the cream add the nutritional yeast, and add a little more milk if necessary to keep the smooth consistency. Once that is blended add the paprika, garlic, turmeric and chilli flakes. Blend thoroughly. Now you will have a cheesy, creamy sauce.

Unplug the blender and taste. Depending on your preference, add salt slowly and blend, unplugging and tasting as you go. Once you are happy the sauce is ready. I serve it in a bowl that I have warmed in hot water to keep the sauce warm like a fondue. Now it’s your choice! Either spread the sauce on the socca, or dip and munch. Whatever floats your boat. You now have a dish full of good fats, protein, no gluten and very little carbohydrate. Best of all, it is absolutely delicious.

The Best Comfort Food in the World: Socca and Cheesy Dip Sauce
The Best Comfort Food in the World: Socca and Cheesy Dip Sauce

That is how you eat comfort food that hits the spot without hitting your waistline.

Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry with Lime and Coriander Rice Recipe

Just look at it. Is this not the most appetising thing you have ever seen? If you would like to eat it then read on.

Chickpea curry with lime and coriander rice

Chickpea curry with lime and coriander rice

This dish is very healthy and hearty. The brown rice is much more flavoursome than white and takes longer to digest. The chickpeas are full of good fats and thus filling and satisfying. The longer you leave it in the slow cooker, the more tasty it will be as the ingredients marinate and infuse. This recipe is intended to serve four adults but I find that it goes further as it is so satisfying. The rice is a refreshing variation on lemon rice. The meaty umami flavours of chickpeas and brown rice get your nose and the flavour populates your mouth.

Turmeric is a natural anti inflammatory and I put it in everything.

Ingredients

The Rice

  • 300 grams of long grain brown rice
  • Zest and juice of a lime
  • Olive oil
  • A vegetable stock cube
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

The Curry

  • Two cups of dried chickpeas, hydrated and boiled for twenty minutes
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp dried chillis
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • Fresh coriander, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To cook the curry it is very simple. Throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker, give it a good stir to mix it all, and then cook for four hours minimum. If you go longer and it dries out a little then just add some stock.

To prepare the rice:

  • Boil in water and the stock cube for thirty minutes.
  • Drain and hot water
  • Heat a frying pan with a splash of oil
  • Turn off the heat and add the rice, stirring well to coat it all in the oil
  • Stir in the lime juice, zest and coriander
  • Season to your taste preference

Serve as either half a bowl each as above or make a bed from the rice with the curry on top.