South Indian “tiffin” is famous throughout India. It consists of breakfast and snack foods made with an assortment of lentil-and-rice batters. This pancake is special because it is the only one made with an unhusked bean, giving it a unique flavor.
- 1 cup (250 mL) split green mung beans (chilkewali mung dal)
- ¼ cup (50 mL) long grain white rice (see Notes)
- 2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped green chiles, preferably serranos
- 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped onion
- 1 small potato, boiled, peeled and mashed
- ½ cup (125 mL) cilantro leaves and soft stems, chopped
- 2 tsp (10 mL) minced peeled ginger root, optional
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt or to taste
- ¼ tsp (1 mL) asafetida (hing)
- ¼ cup (50 mL) oil (approx.)
1. Clean and pick through beans for any small stones and grit. Rinse several times in cold water until water is fairly clear. Soak beans and rice in 2 cups (500 mL) water at room temperature for 45 minutes or for up to 3 hours. Drain well. Add to a food processor and process coarsely. Transfer to a bowl. Add chiles, onion, mashed potato, cilantro, ginger, if using, salt and asafetida and mix well. Add ¾ cup (175 mL) water, adding just enough to make a batter slightly thicker than pancake batter.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until a drop of water flicked on it sizzles. Add 1 tsp (5 mL) of the oil and tilt skillet to spread oil. Ladle ½ cup (125 mL) batter into center and spread quickly with back of ladle to form a pancake about ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick. Make a hole in the center. Spoon 1 tsp (5 mL) of the oil in the center and some around edges. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Continue with remaining batter and oil.
3. Serve with a chutney or Indian pickle of your choice.