Brown Rice Pancakes with a Coconut & Jaggery Fillling.
TOTAL TIME: 60 mins
MAKES: 8-10 pancakes
“These pancakes (kind of a cross between a pancake and a crepe) have been a tradition in my family for years. My mother always made these on Shrove Tuesday (which is also known as Pancake Tuesday), the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday. Shrove Tuesday, gets its name from the tradition of Christians trying to be ‘shriven’ before lent. They typically clear out their pantry of tempting fattening foods such as flour, eggs, sugar and milk, hence also the name Mardi gras in the U.S which is French for ‘fat Tuesday’.
In re-creating my mothers recipe, instead of using refined all-purpose flour, I have used brown rice flour and it tastes healthy and guilt free ( if that was ever a taste?). But the star ingredient is Jaggery- which is unrefined solidified sugarcane (or date) juice that comes with unique health benefits Vs refined sugar. It is definitely worth making that trip down to an Indian store and trying it out in your kitchens. These pancakes can be had for breakfast, dessert or as a snack. If you end up with any left over coconut filing, add it as topping to your smoothie bowl, breakfast yogurt or with toast and nut butter.
For the Coconut filing:
- 3 cups of freshly grated/shredded coconut (you can also use unsweetened desiccated coconut or frozen fresh shredded coconut-available at Indian and Persian stores).
- 1 cup of grated Jaggery ( available at an Indian grocery store) ( or sugar syrup made with 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup hot water)
- ¼ cup of cashew pieces
- ½ tsp. cardamom powder
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp of melted ghee (optional)
For the Pancake:
- 3 cups of brown rice flour
- 2 ½ cups (approximately) of room temperature water
- 2 eggs
- Pinch of salt
- Oil spray
- To make the filling, grate the jaggery and set aside.
- In a heavy bottom pan gently roast the coconut on medium heat for 2 mins.
- Add the grated Jaggery, cashew nuts, ghee, cardamom and nutmeg powder and cook on low heat for another 2 minutes.
- Mix well and keep aside.
- To make the pancakes, in a mixing bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and now add a cup of room temperature water and mix it all up. Gradually add a cup of flour and keep mixing till it’s all well blended. Continue with this step till you have added about 3 cups of flour and about 2 ½ cups of water to make the batter.
- The batter should be of the consistency of half & half cream.
- Now heat up a pan, lightly spray it with some oil spray and add about ½ cup of the batter in the center and swirl it around into a thin pancake/ crepe.
- Cover it with a lid and let it cook for 1-2 minutes and then flip it onto the other side for a hot minute and remove it from the pan.
- Now add about 2 teaspoons of the coconut filling about 1/4th way in on the pancake and roll it up into a fairly compact burrito shaped roll.
- Repeat until all of the batter and filling has been used up.
- Refrigerate for up to a week. Just heat and serve.
Jaggery, an unrefined solidified form of raw cane sugar has been used as a sweetener in India for ages. It’s applications in Ayurvedic medicine are numerous. It is best consumed during the winter months because it is the season of fresh jaggery. Since it is rich in many vital vitamins and minerals, such as zinc and selenium, jaggery boosts immunity, regulates body temperature and keep the body warm, helps treat cold and cough, prevents free radical damage and acts as a cleansing agent, it helps relieve constipations, eases PMS symptoms and helps improve hemoglobin levels in the blood thereby preventing anemia.
Unlike refined sugar that is devoid of nutrients and robs the body of vital nutrients such as B-vitamins in order to be processed by the body, Jaggery is loaded with intrinsic nutrients that aid the body in its digestion and in fact improve the levels of several vitamins and minerals. Jaggery is a complex carbohydrate so it is gradually absorbed and digested. It also releases energy for a long period of time.