Express Wholegrain Pancakes

terrace in the rain
I think I have hibernated long enough.  And it is not even the season.  ‘Tis the season to be out and enjoy the rains – which, after it having rained most of May and all of June, have disappeared since we officially entered the monsoon season.  That’s the weather update for you.

A couple of weeks ago I was again confronted with two over-ripe bananas in the fridge – stored in the fridge so as to extend their pulpy lives further – and their demise looked nigh.  There were some other things in the pantry that needed to be used up before they turned bad.  Such as cornmeal from winter.  It will turn bitter unless I use it up soon. And we know how the Indian middle-class hates to throw out anything, especially food.

My ever resourceful friend there suggested making pancakes. As a family (as Indians?) we are not big on sweet breakfasts. But these didn’t have to be too sweet I was told.  She sent a link that I have since lost.  Besides, by the time I was done tweaking the recipe, it looked nothing like the original!  As I checked the ingredients I realised I didn’t have eggs.  I was too lazy to step out so I substituted with milk.  I was temped to add some ragi flour but, knowing my teen son’s taste, desisted. Chopped green chillies and cilantro were added for good measure a la besan cheela which we all like.  It is quite express (15-20 min) if you are cooking for two and need to make only half the recipe. But then, maybe you need to cook only half anyway? I’ve been told by folks on these pages, in so-many-words, that my portions are as if for an army. They most decidedly are not! Humph!

Banana Cornmeal Pancakes (without eggs!)
(Serves 4-6)

1 1/2 C cornmeal
1 C wholewheat flour (atta)
1/2 C all purpose flour
1.5 t salt
1 t baking soda
2 t baking powder
6 T sugar
1 t cinnamon powder
1 t red chilli (cayenne) powder
5 green chillies, chopped fine
1/2 C chopped fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
1/4 C grated cheddar cheese
1 1/2 C butter milk (or whisk 3/4 C yoghurt+ 3/4 C water)
1 C milk
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 T oil (or melted butter), plus oil/butter for cooking

Mash bananas to a pulp. Prepare all the ingredients. Measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk together milk, buttermilk, and oil (or butter). Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix till well combined. Mix in mashed bananas, grated cheese, chopped green chillies and cilantro.

Heat a griddle till a drop of water will sizzle on it. Coat with a little oil or butter. Pour pancake batter is 1/4 C measures. Cook each side for a minute or till golden brown. The pancakes are ready to flip when the surface is covered with tiny bubbles. You may serve these with a spicy chutney but they are really good with honey or agave nectar (that’s what I drizzled over mine).

Head over to Raaga’s to find more Express Breakfasts that she is going to round up soon!

Before you go, can you tell me what I can do with these?
There’s more where that came from…

Caronda flowers

The pickling season is at its peak. I have been busy in the kitchen every night this week – pickling, and jamming. Tonight I attempted a chutney, more like a relish, with the beautiful caronda (natal plum), gathered by my father (with help from my itsy-bitsy neice) from his lone bush. Aren’t the flowers pretty?

Another thing: the blog anniversary nears, and I was hoping to repeat our Mad Party from last year. I would like to hear ideas from you. Can you suggest a dish that might fit the bill – a dish that we neglect for no really good reason? Something that might wake up slumbering friends and bring them to the table? Something we can all cook and share with our families and friends, and celebrate good wholesome old-fashioned food. In short, have ourselves another jolly good party!

50 thoughts on “Express Wholegrain Pancakes

  1. What? No buckwheat in those pancakes? 😀 They look good and rich and filling! I have been cooking weird stuff like this, too. OK so this is not weird but the stuff I have been tossing together is. But it tastes pretty good. At least I thought so until D just announced that we should get “a good dinner” from somewhere tonight. He’s going to find a nest of soba noodles on his head before that.

    I assume karonda is the same as karvanda? Pickle it. A mixed pickle? Use my recipe, of course!

    Party? Batata vada? It has to be fried. Else what’s the point, ya?!

    With that warning from D I should try your recipe?!
    Why does everyone think this a weird concoction – really! Sonth (the tamarind relish) has chillies, and ginger and bananas…I just took it a little further…
    I’m leaning towards the vada I think…

  2. this is indeed express breakfast . I love this kinda pan cake as they a re quick to make and fulfilling too :D.
    I am eager to know what will you make from those Karonda. I never had it before :))

    I made a relish (I hope to post the recipe soon), and it was very yum – tart and sweet and spicy! Hope to make some into a pickle too.

  3. Pancakes looks delicious and easy to make. Thanks for sharing this recipe

    Thank you for saying so, what with some people thinking this a strange “concoction!”

  4. Susan at The Well Seasoned Cook is hosting pancakes on parade. My vote is for savory pancakes (savory anything) too. Yours looks like a cross between oothappam and pancake (and thats a good thing:))

    I’m late – the deadline was July 5th… Thanks for the clarification…

  5. i have some old cornmeal. didn’t know it turns bitter. thanks for reminding me. party food? how about masala vadas or dahi vadas?

    i’ve got a relatively low fat trick for them, so i’m game.

    Oh, Bee done with the low-fat stuff – it is a once-in-a-year party! Didn’t you have fun with “cluris” last year? 😆

  6. Store it in the refrigerator, Bee. Won’t go bitter – like most flour does – for ages.

    Yeah – in the second fridge that most of you in the “first” world keep…

  7. Wow, you came back with a whole bunch of karondas 🙂 That’s what i am eyeing, more than the pancakes even 😀

    I make my “pancakes” the total desi way, equal portions of besan, rava, idli rava and atta. i love savory stuff!! Does banana make it a bit sweet? If so, then i’ll try your magic mix without banana, cuz’ it looks really tempting. And yes, another Mad Tea Party is a great idea! Who knows it may even pull the likes of me out of hibernation 🙂

    Of course, skip the bananas by all means. I put them in cause I didn’t want to throw them out! 😀 I was hoping you would tell me what else I could do with the carondas…

    How could it be A Mad Tea Party without Music(al)?!

  8. Gosh, that is some pancake. Good to know I have company when to comes to such interesting combinations.
    Yes! Another party ki jaroorat hain. Some fried food: a wada (vada) party?

    I’m thinking a batata vada party might be just what the doctor ordered!

  9. Yeah! Vadas! It’s been soooooo long, plus I’ve been thinking about them lately; but if not: I’m game for anything deep-fried with a party as an excuse! 🙂 Slumbering? Hmpf! Doing research…and clinical trials. 😉

    Those are very strange pancakes. I am trying to separate the influential cuisines and simultaneously ponder what this concoction might taste like. Ummmm….Gujju/Marathi, Konkani, Punju, Brit….and Morroccan! Holy fusion!

    Yeah…I’ll be trying these. Curiosity you know. 🙂

    I hope those clinical trials see the light of day…and get published one day. Else, all that research will come to nought!

    Pray, how are these strange? The influences? Ummm Necessity, Mother of Invention… These didn’t taste strange in the least to me! try them and see for yourself. (“concoction” – hmpf!)

    For the Party, you will have to Publish your trial. 😀

  10. Glorious looking pancakes..I thought of making pancakes for so long and finally have one gud recipe to try it seems 🙂

    Thank you, Priti – for your really kind words.

  11. ok i am Indian but I would not have combined bananas with chili and cheese. at first i would have asked “Are you pregnant!” And talking about cooking for an army – remember my kadi? I too thought does she feed all of the Indian population LOL!

    Anita it’s good to see you back. Did you ever get the rice girl?

    C’mon, Meeta – doesn’t sonth have chillies and banana… ok, so cheese is a bit stretching it…

    The kadhi did come to mind… 😆 but in my defence, you erred big time in the cup-to-metric conversion and ended with that freezer full! But, that Bee there – she thinks my 3 C of rajma is too much for 8 people! 1/3C beans is too much for one person?! 🙄 She must peck at her food…

  12. Well, in that case, he seconded the motion. And Meeta thirded it. 😀

    Yes. And you set the ball rolling…who knows where it might roll…

  13. Hey, can I link to your recipes on my blogsite? I would like to share your recipes with my friends / relatives too. I tried out your cabbage pakoras (yumm!) and they were absoutely heavenly (I had tried your khandvi recipe as well).

    Sure – a little link love never hurt anyone!
    Thanks for testing and tasting!

  14. pancakes look yummy….but the karondas look fab…..jam perhaps….i know they are dried and used as a souring agent especially in dals and stuff…if it is something you need to wake up slumbering friends and a party then it has to be mirchi bajjis…..and i agree with M…has to be deep fried…else what is the point??!! happy blog birthday!!

    I do add them to bhindi-fry, and bittergourd. I thought of drying too but it will be impossible in this weather! So, basically, wherever we would use unripe mangoes, or tamarind…

    Mirchi bhajjis sounds like another swell idea – yes, we must fry!!

  15. Hi Anita,
    Fry karondas in a little oil after removing as many seeds as you can…it’s a tough job, but worth…add pickle masala made of roasted methi,rai,red chillies and hing, salt and haldi.Grind COARSELY.Same pickle masala can be added to chopped raw karondas to make a different type of pickle.Karondas can be added to dal as a souring agent too.Hope this helps.

    Oh boy – removing those seeds is a pain! Thankfully, I had part help for that. The pitted carondas went into a relish.
    I like the idea of chopping them before pickling – I used to use them whole. And use a masala just as you suggest, on the lines of the Punjabi Mango pickle masala, so a bit of kalonji as well. Thanks for the suggestions – I’ll be making the chopped pickle I think!

  16. Those pancakes need to be tried this weekend! Thank you for sahring the recipe.Karonda picture looks beautiful.
    About the party,one potential candidate could be desserts from all over. Though it could put everyone on sugarhigh!

    Desserts…hmmm. But which one? Everyone has to make the same thing – same-to-same. A deep-fried one perhaps! 😀

  17. Finally some pancakes that I may actually like :D. I will make these without bananas as musy said :). I vote for any kind of vadas too, I haven’t prepared anything deep fried in a long time :(.

    I wanted to say a cake with some frosting, but
    1. some people here may trash me for that.
    2. I myself don’t enjoy eating them!!

    Am I glad to read you didn’t say ‘strange’?!

    Don’t worry about “some people” here; they trash everything. But we must make something you will enjoy too! Deep fried vadas is where the majority is leaning…

  18. I protest. Strongly. Why am I a bunch of blue dots when Arundati’s pretty face shows? OK. I know the answer. You don’t have to tell me. In case you decide to, just remember that it will apply to everybody else who is either dots or a geometric pattern. So choose your words carefully. 😀

    3 cups of rajma will be 3 meals for us. With lots of levitation.

    I was suggesting my pickle recipe for the karonda; not my soba noodle recipe. Which was pretty good actually: peanut butter + lots of tamari + Thai red curry paste out of a bottle cos I am lazy + mirin. Lots of tofu, celery and green bell pepper cos that was all I had. I did briefly consider adding asparagus but then roasted them instead. 😀 But 6 T sugar + cinnamon powder + red chilli powder + green chillies + cheese + bananas is totally weird. Musy! The bananas won’t make it as sweet as the 6T sugar will!

    I thought sonth was powdered dried ginger. This tamarind concoction you speak of – never had it.

    I wouldn’t dare…not to the one who is the Learned One…
    Strangely ( 😀 ) I didn’t think the combination was weird at all…goes to prove how well I know flavour combinations! ‘Cause the pancakes tasted very ‘normal’! Really, they did.
    Sonth is powdered ginger, a key ingredient in the relish by the same name. It is the tangy-sweet chutney served on top of dahi-bhallas, and inside pani-poori (golgappe). I think Musy can back me up on the bananas that are added to it….

  19. And note, I didn’t say a word to Shilpa lest I be classified as one of them trashers.
    [goes away saying Shiva! Shiva! Shiva!]

    Noted. Not that there ever was a doubt as to who the trasher(s) is(are) on this page…

  20. Hey Anita good to see you back! Your terrace looks amazing. It has that secluded nook in a city feel, am I right?

    The pancakes look nice, Me too turn everything that needs to be used into pancakes many times and each time we get a new taste! The recipe becomes difficult to recreate though.

    The terrace did turn out so well!
    I plan to repeat the recipe – we loved this that much!

  21. Anita how about a Gulab Jamoon Party?
    If I had a rupee for every time I have heard someone say “ewww – a butterball doused in sugar syrup!”(seriously, they do say that!!) (rolls eyes)
    But seriously, what is more celebratory than deep fried (in ghee no less) AND doused in sugar syrup 🙂

    Opph…yummy syrupy gulab jamuns…we might have to take a vote!

  22. Nice blog here 😛 Been a regular reader. Your blog is a lot of fun apart from great recipes! First time comment 🙂

    The reluctant chef de-lurks! Thanks! Do come to the Party!

  23. Yeah, i’ll be there with all the band-baja and music 😀 Why just limit ourselves to vadas-its a tea party, lets hear what everyone loves for there tea time 🙂 You can very well see that when it comes to food, i am total chatori. Won’t stop at just vadas, me needs a ton of other goodies 😉

    Yes, yes to think of making something with karondas, i first had to stop drooling 😛 I’d love to make a relish/chutney, but pitting them isn’t fun :). And like satya mentioned above, they rock in daal and saar kind of things. I’d be tempted to try a really hot pickle recipe, using the masala one uses for avakaya.Karondas are also used for jam/murabba kind of sweet and sour relish. My personal favorite is karonda-hari mirchi relish, made in murabba style, but much less sweeter. The mirchi is ground and fried with powdered masale and karonda is chopped and used. Karonda and dhaniya chutney also works well. Or make an achaar with karonda and nadur, the yummiest treat!

    And Manisha, 6T sugar, now that’s really sweet 😀 He he, i didn’t even look there, for me just bananas made it sweet enough 😉

    I made the relish (more like a jam…) and it is sooo good! And thanks for your tip on the pickle – I have put together nadur, karonda, mango, chana, and green chillies. I think you will approve!
    The pancakes – I had first put only 4T of sugar, but the first one tasted like it needed more, so in went some more… 😀

  24. 🙂 Thanks Anita for visiting my blog! And bata wada’s sound just awesome. How about putting it into some paav toasted with butter!! Wada Paav! My all time favourite, with some yumm ground nut chutney and onions! And ofcourse not to forget the Tea!!!

    Absolutely – vada-paav and tea – the perfect trio! My mouth waters at the thought…

  25. vadai, vadai…garam garam masala vadai Maydam ?:D

    The gulab jamoon sounds yumm they way aa describes it.

    You want to go further South I can tell…

  26. aah! by the way, not sure I ate caronda’s before, but pic of the fruit reminds me vaguely of another I had in Delhi, it was sweet and kinda rose flavored maybe(??). It a long lost memory I am trying to nibble at….hmmm, so not sure

    Very very tart.., you must have nibbled these with salt for sure!

  27. Hey anita, I think you need to add another person in your slumbering friends list. Its been ages she has posted any recipes on her foodblog :D. I am still hoping to read Gujrathi dal in 2008 ;).

    …and I have been hoping to read methi na thepla for…forever! Maybe by this winter when methi will be back in season for me!

  28. [returns with indignation writ all over her face]There is a reason for everything. If I don’t post recipes, they can’t be stolen. Therefore…

    Sigh. And I thought you enjoyed my pictures, my dearest Shilpa. [goes away with a heavy heart]

    We do, we do… just we would love for you to share your wonderful recipes occasionally… That cheer you up any?

  29. So is that karonda? Looks gorgeous. Doesn’t look like karwanda to me, but if it is, yes, pickle it!

    Oh, and your proportions are always quite right. For me anyway.

    This is white inside turning purple only when over-ripe. Karvand is purple, right? Never seen those…but there is some confusion with people taking them to be the same thing since the names are so similar.
    Glad (relieved?!) to know there are others with appetites like mine!

  30. I have to publish my trial? I was just going to eat them… what if I got someone else to publish the post for me?

    Eating is part of ‘testing’ (clinical trial); publishing makes the research worthwhile. 😉 Looks like there are others on your research ‘team’!

  31. Really? Thanks!!! I’d hate to have my slumber disturbed…

    Can you project your thoughts while you sleep…so that Sri Gavar there might transcribe them? His name is ‘gavar’ though…so be warned…

  32. These look lovely… a nice variation from banana nut muffins which have become a staple.

    Came here looking for the gawarfali recipe from last year. Will find it and then leave quietly 🙂

    Why so quiet?! 😀 You are musical after all!

  33. Hi Anita…they look great… you know you can freeze ageing bananas….good for all sorts of cakes, muffins etc when you defrost them… although I find I need to drain away a bit of liquid from them.

    I have been doing that for the last couple of time! It’s a banana saver!

  34. Anita, I made these today without bananas and cheese (just used baking soda, din’t use baking powder).Wow..they turned out so delicious and so quick to make. Love these. Thanks for a very different idea.

    Am glad you tried but without the banana and the cheese they could not have been as ‘strange’ as mine!

  35. i know this is a food bolg and all, but only one comment there sayiong what a lovely garden?????
    i LOOOOOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVEEEEEE your terrace. can you post a before picture too? and a step by step on what you did to it?
    i love your recipes too of course and waiting for the party though am not too fond of vadas unless they are dahi vadas.

    Thanks, D! Am I glad someone noticed! You’ll find more pics of the garden on Flickr.
    Now dahi vada is also such a yum dish…

  36. Wow !Those are great pancakes !
    One more thing that I liked about this post were those rain pics 😦
    How I miss India and the monsoon 😦
    These made me remm India and brought back so many memories !

  37. Hi Anita
    First time comment poster:-). What a party idea! I wanna but I don’t wanna….fry that is. But the thought of batata vada and chai is luring me…aaah! Sigh..I think you got me.

  38. Wow! Your terrace garden has really come up very nicely. I love those plants…I can see your landscape skills in full display here. Congrats.


    Thanks Kamla!

  39. Can corn flour be used instead of cornmeal?

    Cornflour is also used to mean cornstarch – the white refined starch used for thickening medium, which is not what we want here. You may use medium to coarse ground makki ka atta.

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