Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Amaranth and Date Pancakes

Pancakes and fall weather seem to go hand in hand. Out here in the SF Bay Area, fall has arrived with cooler weather, some welcome rain and farmer's markets full of persimmons and apples. So it seems like pumpkins are the flavor of the season (Halloween was just a month ago), but after eating pumpkin waffles and pumpkin muffins I was in the mood for something different. Since I have been making a conscious effort to include a variety of gluten free flours in my diet, in a recent chat with my aunt, Ameeta, she mentioned that I could try to make pancakes with amaranth flour. She gave me her recipe, I tweaked it to include dates and almonds and the result was a wholesome, gluten free, morning breakfast recipe that my toddler loved! Go ahead and try it, it will not disappoint you.

For four pancakes, you will need:

1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 ground almonds
1/2 cup amaranth flour
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 tsp baking powder
A generous amount of cinammon
Sugar or honey to taste (I used about 2 tbsp of sugar.)
2 Mejdool dates, pitted, chopped
One banana and chocolate syrup (Midnight Moo from Trader Joe's)

Beat the egg and then add the milk and sugar (or honey). Mix the dry ingredients and spoon in the dates. Add the dry ingredients to the egg-milk mixture and mix to form a smooth batter. Pour the batter into a preheated nonstick pan that has been greased with a small amount of butter. Cook the pancake covered with a lid until small holes form. Flip and cook again until the second side is done.

Serve warm with chocolate syrup and chopped bananas.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Oats Dosa

Eating oatmeal on busy mornings can be hard on families on the go! So here is a nice way to eat your oats - Dosas! These delicate crepes made with rice, urad dal and toasted rolled oats are full of protein and the health benefits of oats make them a staple in my kitchen for weeknight dinners.

You will need
1/2 cup of white basmati rice (non-GMO)
1/2 cup of urad dal (skinned, organic)
1/2 cup of rolled oats (I buy the toasted version, organic)
A 1/2 tsp of fenugreek powder
Salt to taste
A cast iron griddle and vegetable oil (Canola/Safflower)

Rinse and soak the rice and urad dal in warm water overnight in separate bowls. Typically you want about 1 cup of water for each bowl. Grind each grain to a paste in a food processor sequentially. Just before this step, soak the rolled oats in a bowl of water for ten minutes or so. There should be enough water to cover the oats plus about two tablespoons more. I grind the soaked rice first, then I add the soaked urad dal to the grinder. Finally add the rolled oats.

Now pour this mixture of into a bowl that has sufficient empty volume above the ground grains. Add salt to taste and the fenugreek powder. Let this mixture ferment overnight at temperatures around 70 F or in the oven with the light on. Once fermented, add some water (only if required) to make the batter of a spreadable consistency and use a ladle to pour the batter on a preheated cast iron griddle that has some oil spread on it with a silicone brush. Spread the batter in a uniform, clockwise circular motion and cook. Flip the crepe and cook on the other side, spreading a few drops of oil on the uncooked surface before flipping. This batter lasts in the refrigerator for about three days! Always smell for over-fermentation, that is a sign that the batter has gone bad.

Serve hot with pumpkin seed chutney, or stuffed with cheese (toddlers love this for a meal, don't be surprised if they eat several crepes in one go!) or with a side of butternut squash sambar