LENTIL AND DAIKON PANCAKES


Image of lentil pancakes

Delhi winters are wonderful (for most part)! Everyone is clad in colorful sweaters and there's a calm yet busy vibe in the city; it's finally time for 'gajar ka halwa' and roasted groundnuts; it's the time to drink 'adhrak waali chai' with 'fain' at a roadside shack. It's also time to introduce some fried food or fatty food into your diet! Yes - you heard me say it. Winters are the best time of the year to eat 'little more fat' to shield you from the harsh cold. I do believe in moderation though!

One fried winter snack that screams 'Delhi' to me is 'Ram Laddu' - little lentil fritters with grated daikon and green chutney. I think it's a perfect snack because daikon is great for melting fats that you are consuming in the form of fried lentil fritters. This way, you get your fats and you find a way to make it work for you! The recipe I am sharing here is a deconstructed version of the humble 'Ram Laddu'. I am simply using the lentil batter to make pancakes instead of fried fritters. You can use the same recipe to deep fry the lentil fritters (just add a little less water) instead. The original recipe does not use gomashio or fennel. I decided to use them because they are good spices for this season.

Here's the recipe for the lentil pancakes and coriander chutney. You can make about 8 pancakes with this recipe.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Pancakes:

  • 3/4 cup organic yellow mung dal (Split yellow mung beans)

  • 1/2 cup organic channa dal (Bengal gram)

  • 1/4 inch piece of ginger

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (little less than 1/2)

  • 1/2 cup water (approx.)

  • 1 daikon (grated)

  • handful of coriander leaves (chopped)

  • 1 tbsp. Gomashio (optional)

  • 1 tbsp. fennel seeds (optional)

  • Ghee/Sunflower oil

For the Chutney

  • 1/2 bunch of coriander

  • 1/2 medium-sized white onion (sliced)

  • 3-4 cloves garlic

  • 1/4 inch piece of ginger

  • 1/2 tsp. black salt/sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp. chaat masala (optional)

  • 1 green chilli (optional)

  • 1/2 lemon

METHOD:

For the Pancakes

  1. Soak the mung dal and channa dal together for 3 hours.

  2. Grind the dals with water, ginger, and salt. Add the water little by little till you get a pancake consistency.

  3. Heat a flat pan and spread the batter onto the pan.

  4. Sprinkle grated daikon and coriander on top. Garnish with some gomashio and fennel. Pour about 1/2 tsp. of oil/ghee on top of the pancake.

  5. When one side is done, flip the pancake onto the other side. Let it cook for a few seconds before you turn it around and take it off the pan.

  6. Serve hot with the green chutney.

NOTE: If making pancakes is not your thing, drop little balls of the batter into hot oil and deep fry to make lentil fritters. Garnish the lentil fritters with grated daikon and green chutney, as shown below.


For the Chutney

  1. Grind all ingredients (except lemon) if possible without any water. If not, add less than 1/4 cup of water and grind the ingredients.

  2. Transfer the chutney to a container and squeeze some lemon juice into it. Mix and keep aside.

  3. Serve with the pancakes/fritters as shown.

Sharing a picture of the wonderful Ram Laddu as well... just in case you feel a little adventurous to make them.

NOTE: During winters, there's an abundance of fresh winter vegetables, such as 'cholia', mustard greens, 'methi' greens, 'bathua', turnips, etc. at the local markets in Delhi but daikon radish tops my list of favorite vegetables to eat in the winter. Daikon or 'mooli' is used in so many dishes such as 'mooli parantha', 'mooli bhurji', 'mooli dal', etc. 'Ram laddus' are my favorite! And now these lovely lentil pancakes.