08 November 2010

Savoury Pancake Made with Potatoes + Sides of Sauted Veggies and Tuna Masala

Pancakes have become a mainstay at our household lately. After I made pancakes the first time, the main consumers of my cooking have decided that they will allow me to continue this trend. Now the problem is that I can try out different recipes only at dinner time, because that is the only time of day when I can take time to be creative/daring/foolish (or even manage to get all the grocery I need for a particular recipe!). So, I end up wanting to make pancakes for dinner a lot. This went down well with the husband and child the first time. Second time around, they had a doubtful look on their face, and then smiled their way through their pancakes anyway. Third time came by, and when we had pancakes for dinner again, my husband might have tried to run out the door! Humph! 

Anyway, I decided we can't have that going on any longer, and ventured into (notice how I make it sound like a great journey or business undertaking...) savoury pancakes. And I am really glad I did. Since we can't just have a savoury pancake without something to complement it, I also made two side dishes to go with it. 

Whoa! Wait...What?!?!? Did you just say, "TWO side dishes" lazy procrastinating Jane?!?! Yes, I did. Because, I started out with one plan, and then I ended up making something else. Happens to me frequently. So, I had cut up veggies for one dish, and opened a can of tuna for topping the pancake or something like that. Finally I ended up making two separate sides to go with the pancakes, all because I forgot my original plan!! Anyway, no complains from anyone. Debbie ate up the whole thing, and told me she loves me! So, I think we have a winner. Recipe? Here you go...

Savoury pancakes with Tuna Masala and Veggies Stir-fry
Savoury Pancakes with Potatoes
Things you need: (this is the basic pancake mix, minus the stuff that makes it sweet, like vanilla essence and sugar. Instead we use other yummy savoury stuff. Simple!)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup maida (flour)
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2-3 medium-sized potatoes
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- some cumin leaves (a.k.a parsley)
- some diced bacon or chicken frankfurters (optional)
- 1 tbsp oil

Here's what you do:
1. Peel the potatoes and boil them with a pinch of salt, until they are very soft.
2. When they are well boiled, mash them and set aside to cool.
3. Next, start on the pancake batter.
4. Beat the egg well, in a deep bowl.
5. Now add the maida, baking powder, salt and pepper into this and mix well.
6. Gradually add all the milk and mix well.
7. Now, slowly incorporate the mashed potatoes into the mix.Mix it well and try to dissolve as much of the lumpiness as possible. If there are stray bits of potatoes that just refuse to dissolve, let them be. They'll only add to your happiness!
8. If you feel that the batter does not have a pourable consistency, add some more milk.
9. Finally add the diced meat. I did not add meat, because for some strange reason I bought a can of tuna! Don't look at me like that...I think I zoned out for a moment at the grocery store. Also, I think they didn't have any other type of processed meat. But if you want to, adding some meat in this pancake batter is just the thing you need to do to make this world a better place! :)
10.Finally, add in the finely chopped cumin leaves for that 'Howzat!' effect.
11. In a flat pan, heat some oil, preferably something that does not have a strong flavor. Oh, you can also use butter.
12. Now, pour a large ladle-full of batter on the pan, and let it cook on one side. DO NOT try to spread the batter! When you see the bubbles burst, turn it over ever so lovingly.
Now, savoury pancake is ready to go. This is great all by itself, but if you have an unused can of tuna, and some coarsely chopped veggies which you forgot why you chopped, then go ahead and make these:

Tuna Masala
What you need:
- 1 small can of tuna
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 tomato finely chopped
- 2 large green chillies finely chopped
- 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
- 1 tsp mustard seeds (optional. Go ahead if your method of cooking is deeply Indian, and you just need to see those little guys in every dish you make. Or if you need the time to chop the onions!)
- curry leaves (again, optional. Only to be used, if you are using mustard seeds. Otherwise, why bother? I don't think this influences the taste of the dish. Only maybe if you like the gourmet look of green leaves sticking out of your food!)
- salt to taste

Here's what you do:
1. First, heat some cooking oil in a pan.
2. To this, add the mustard seeds and wait till it pops.
3. Now add some curry leaves, and then the onions.
4. Saute the onions well, until they turn slightly brown.
5. Now add the chopped tomatoes and saute well. Let it mix well together until the onions and tomatoes merge together.
6. Add the green chillies and the ginger-garlic paste. Let the whole thing simmer for a while.
7. You can add a little bit of water, if you find the entire thing too thick.
8. Drain any preservative oil or liquid in the tuna can, and add only the tuna meat into the pan.
9. Quickly add the salt and give it a good stir.
10. Let the mixture simmer for a while. Make sure that the dish is not too watery. It should be a thick paste-like consistency. Now, take it off the stove.
11. Garnish with some cumin leaves.

Stir-fry Veggies
I wanted some color, crunchiness, and healthy food in my dinner that day, so I also stir-fried some vegetables. The secret behind a good stir-fry is to make sure that the vegetables retain some of their fresh crunchiness and their original flavor. So, hold back on those wide range of spices and sauces, except for the bare essentials,  and let the veggies do the talking!

Things you need:
- 1/2 cup carrots coarsely cut into 1cm long pieces (I don't know the technical term for this. Just don't go and finely chop them, okay?)
- 1/2 cop onions coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup green peppers (capsicum) coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup ripe tomatoes coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup beans cut into 2cm pieces. You know...they should all be the same size...figure it out yourself!
- 1/4 cup green peas (I didn't have any, so none in the picture)
- 1 tsp of soy sauce
- a sprinkling of oregano
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste

What you do:
1. First know that vegetable stir-fry is really really simple!Okay, now that we've established that, let's move on.
2. Heat some cooking oil in a pan. You can use olive oil if you are going the healthy way.
3. Now, drop in the onions and green peppers together. They both require about the same cooking time, and also give out some water, so let them meet first!
4. Now drop in the carrots, beans and peas. Sprinkle salt and stir very quickly on a high flame. Make sure they are partially cooked.
5. Add some oil every time you feel that the veggies are about to stick to the pan. You just want the vegetables to be a little on the fried side of things :) I like the sound of that - 'fried side'. "I'll meet you on the fried side!" hehe!
6. Now, pour in the soy sauce, sprinkle some oregano, and give it another stir.
7. Finally, add the pepper and give it a stir. Okay, if you see the word 'stir' a lot here, that's because it's the basic concept of a stir-fry....That's all there is to it! You just heat some oil, and just dump in veggies you like, and stir. Simple!
8. There is no 8th step. Just serve and eat. Or don't serve. Just eat! Heheh!

I arranged both the stir-fry and the tune on top of a pancake to make it look all 5-star-restaurant-ish, but I doubt if it looks like that at all! Anyway, it certainly tasted like a 5-star! Who cares about the way the food looks, as long as the picture is your's right? Yep, I took the picture this time. So...
This was truly delicious. Of course, you shouldn't just stop with one pancake...

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