Fennel and cardamom-spiced mini pancakes

Fennel and cardamom-spiced mini pancakes

By
From
I Love India
Serves
4-5
Photographer
Martin Poole

These little bites of sweet deliciousness are loved all over India. They are often made at parties, especially in the winter when it is cold outside. My version is lighter, not too sweet, crispy on the outside and soft within. The pancakes come together in less than 10 minutes, so are perfect for those of us in a hurry, or with last-minute friends arriving.

These would normally be glazed in a sticky syrup. I have added sugar to the batter so they don’t need it, but I do like the sheen, so I make some up and brush it over the top. They also work really well as a side to Classic Indian Rice Pudding or Saffron Yogurt Phirni. I serve them with vanilla, spiced or ginger ice cream, but they also make delicious breakfast pancakes with some fruit and Greek yogurt.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the sticky glaze (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
120ml water
50g sugar
small pinch saffron threads

For the pancakes

Quantity Ingredient
100g plain flour
2 teaspoons semolina
2/3 rounded teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, coarsely ground
2 large black cardamom pods, coarsely ground
31/2-4 tablespoons sugar
2 rounded tablepoons ground almonds
pinch salt
80-90ml whole milk
2 tablespoons ghee
vegetable oil
ice cream, to serve
2 tablespoons chopped pistachios and roasted flaked almonds, to serve

Method

  1. Start by making the glaze, if you want it. Heat the water over a medium heat in a small saucepan with the sugar and saffron, stirring to help to sugar dissolve. Simmer until it is syrupy (6–8 minutes). Set aside.
  2. Now for the pancakes. Stir together all the dry ingredients, then gradually whisk in the milk until you have a smooth batter.
  3. Place a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the ghee and enough oil to come 1cm up the sides. Once hot, drop rounded tsp of the batter into the oil, dropping in as many as you can. You may need to do it in 2 batches (but won’t need more oil). Cook until golden brown on the underside, then flip over and cook this side in the same way. Place on kitchen paper to blot off the excess oil.
  4. Spoon some glaze, if using, on to each pancake. Place 3 on each plate with a little scoop of ice cream in the middle. Sprinkle with the nuts and serve.
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