ivory lentil pancake in the frypan

Saturday evening it was all put to soak.  A double batch of dried chickpeas basked on the kitchen windowsill, rehydrating and enjoying the view of the backyard.  On another sill sat a large bowl of urad dal (ivory lentils) and rice, softening as the first step toward the oothapams/uthapams.

Ivory Lentil Pancakes (aka oothapams/uthapams)

  • 1/2 c urad dal (ivory lentils though you could use red lentils) rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 c white basmati rice or long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c plain yoghurt (I prefer goat yoghurt)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c fresh or frozen peas
  • 1 smallish red onion, minced
  • 3 chiles, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
  • ghee

oothapams with a short life

Combine the urad dal and rice in a large glass or stainless steel bowl.  Cover with 3 inches of water, soak overnight.  Drain.  Puree in blender or food processor with salt and 1 c water until smooth.  Transfer to bowl, cover with towel, and let stand  6 – 12 hours at room temperature, or until batter is fermented and slightly bubbly on the surface.

Stir in yoghurt, baking soda and 1/2 c water.

Preheat oven to 100 degrees celsius.  Place a baking sheet on the centre rack.

Combine peas, red onion, chiles and cilantro in a bowl.

Lightly grease a nonstick fry pan with ghee and bring to medium high heat.  Pour 1/2 c batter into the pan.  Drizzle ghee around the edge to prevent sticking.

Sprinkle 3 tbsp of the vegetable mixture over the pancake.  Cook 3 minutes or until the bottom is golden brown.  Flip and cook an additional minute.

Place veggie side up on baking sheet in warm oven.

Serve warm.

We enjoyed ours with lime pickle.  Batter can be kept in the refrigerator for a day or two if the batch is too large.  On the otherhand, reheated oothapams are a delicious take along for lunch at work.

Roasted Chickpeas and Garlic with Swiss Chard

Okay, if you’ve been checking this blog for any length of time you already know that chickpea recipes are a favourite with me.  You also know I am rather particular about avoiding those soggy canned items referred to as chickpeas (makes me want to cry, much like canned potatoes!).  Preparing dried chickpeas, until they suit my needs, is a wonderful option.

I was so happy when I came across this particular recipe because there, in my fridge, was a large bunch of swiss chard waiting to self actualize.  While a couple of variations of this recipe are floating around the internet, and they all look great, I came across my first variation on the blog of someone who has visited this blog.  So, with much gratitude to gwendolyn (I love that name!) and her great blog, I offer up another truly great chickpea experience.

  • about 2 c of prepared chickpeas
  • loads of cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/3 c + 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large bunch of swiss chard, stems removed and finely chopped, leaves roughly torn
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 c broth of your choice (I used beef broth seeking a stronger bodied taste but chicken, vegetable or vegan would be great)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees celsius.

In a baking dish, combine chickpeas, garlic, shallots, bay leaves and oil.  Roast about 45 minutes until the chickpeas and shallots are golden.

swiss chard stems

Add 2 tbsp oil to fry pan.  Add garlic to heated oil, saute until it gives up its best aroma (about 30 seconds), add chopped stems of chard and saute about 2 minutes, until tender.  Add chard and cook until wilted; about 5 minutes.  Pour in stock, cover and cook about 10 minutes, until liquid has all but disappeared.

Add chickpea mixture to fry pan, add salt and pepper, stir and cook until heated through.

This recipe is another easy, incredibly tasty and cost efficient main dish.  It stores well once cooked and reheats to perfection.  I will be making this one again, this time using a bit less oil and tossing some fennel seeds into the roasting stage.

roasted chickpea and garlic with swiss chard