These days I am breathing pumpkin everywhere I go and it seems like it’s in everything I cook: Pumpkin Paratha, Pumpkin Rice, Pumpkin Chai Latte, Pumpkin Café Latte, Pumpkin Bars, Muffins, Ice Cream and the list goes on. I love this time of year because it's full of colors everywhere and the fresh aroma of fall harvest is in the air. I also enjoy trying seasonal goodies in the cafes and restaurants during this time. So today I am writing about my pumpkin pancake recipe and homemade syrup.
I don’t fancy pancakes too often but I do make them occasionally for my daughter who loves pancakes and waffles soaked in lots and lots of syrup. I guess the very sight of fully soaked pancakes is what sends me away from pancakes. But when I do make them I try to add stuffs in the batter so that I can make it healthier.
When you order pancakes in a pancake house, you probably have noticed that they are all very thick but fluffy. This fluffiness usually comes from lots of baking soda/powder and eggs that go in to the recipe. One serving includes two to three thick pancakes that usually get drowned in commercially-made thick syrup which fills you up to your neck even before you’re finished eating.
I usually prefer to use yeast to leaven any batter if time permits. This is similar to dosa, Indian-style savory pancakes that need natural fermentation by soaking the rice and black lentil batter for at least 12-24 hours. That way of leavening a batter is a healthier way to get more nutrients out of your food. But baking powder/baking soda comes in handy when you need to make something in a hurry.
As a nutritionist, my cooking always involves an on-the-spot mental calculation about how much fat, protein or carbohydrate I’m using in my cooking and what will be the menu for the rest of the day. As a result, I often omit eggs from my pancake recipe (but without sacrificing the taste) in order to make a balanced menu for the whole day. You might find this eggless recipe useful if you are someone that prefers to control your cholesterol level or are allergic to eggs.
This pumpkin pancake recipe with simple, homemade, but flavorful syrup is great especially in the fall with locally picked fresh pumpkins.
(Yields 8 hearty sized pancakes)
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp Chai Spice
1 cup milk
1/3 cup pumpkin puree
Coconut oil, or any other oil to cook pancakes
(Serves 2 to 3; you can expand the recipe to serve more)
½ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup water
1 tbsp butter
¼ tsp Chai Spice
1. In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and the spice blend. In a separate bowl, mix the milk and pumpkin puree until smooth.
2. Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and blend until the batter is smooth and does not have any lumps.
3. Pour ¼ cup batter onto a greased pan and spread slightly to make around 4" to 5” diameter circle. Cook the pancakes using oil until they are cooked and nicely brown in color.
4. Serve warm with the Chai syrup.
1. In a small saucepan, mix the brown sugar and the water and cook on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
2. Add the butter and cook until it reaches a rolling boil. After 1 minute take it off from the heat.
3. Add the Chai Spice and stir well until the spice blends well with the syrup. Let the syrup cool (It will be thicker when it is cold).
Quick & simple plum jam with decadent dark chocolate!
1 cup chopped plums (skinned, if you prefer)
1/2 cup sugar (may vary depending on the ripeness and sweetness of your plums)
2 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup grated, good quality dark chocolate (75% or above)
1 teaspoon Chai Spice (optional)
Place plums, sugar, and lemon juice in a stainless steel saucepan over medium high heat. Keep stirring to keep the plum mixture from sticking to the bottom. Once the mixture reaches a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer until the mixture reaches the desired jam consistency. At this time, test the jell setting point by following any of the methods given here.
Add grated chocolate and stir until it melts and incorporates well. Add the Chai Spice and mix well.
Note: The warm spices like cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg in the Chai Spice complements the sweetness of the dark chocolate in the jam.
Irish Soda Bread with an Indian spicy kick!
Get the recipe for Chai Spiced Muffin, Part 1 of this post.
3 ½ C all purpose flour
¼ C + 2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp Curry’s Chai Spice
2 C sour cream
1 C dried fruits like pineapple, papaya, raisins, dates chopped cranberries etc.
1. Heat the oven to 350 F.
2. Grease and dust a loaf tin.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder in a large bowl.
4. Whisk together this flour mixture and all the other dry ingredients.
5. Mix the beaten eggs, sour cream, and the Chai Spice in a separate bowl and beat well.
6. Gently fold the egg mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just moist.
7. Dust your hands with little flour and knead the dough gently to make a rough lump of dough. Do not over beat the mixture.
8. Put the lump of dough in to the prepared baking tin.
9. Spread the dough to fit the size of the tin.
10. Score the center with a serrated knife about an inch in X shape to prevent the crust from splitting during baking and also for uniform baking in the center.
11. Bake it for 1 hour or until the bread is slightly golden brown in color. You can also do the skewer test. If it comes out clean it is done. Another test is that the bottom of well-done soda bread sounds hollow.
12. Remove the bread from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
A simple muffin recipe using our Chai Spice for a quick breakfast treat.
Part 2 of this post includes the recipe for Chai Spiced Irish Soda Bread!
Chai Spiced Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp Curry’s Chai Spice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick of butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup Curry’s Chai Sugar (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Prepare a medium sized muffin pan with 12 wells with liner.
2. Mix flour, Chai Spice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Separately mix sugar and butter in a large bowl until smooth.
4. In another bowl, mix ricotta cheese and the egg. Add this mixture to the butter mixture. Add the
flour mixture gradually until well blended. Do not over-mix.
5. Spoon mixture onto the muffin pan, almost to the brim. If using, sprinkle the flavored sugar on top to give the muffins a crusty texture.
6. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove onto a wire rack and let cool.
Dr. Gayatri Borthakur, a nutritionist turned entrepreneur, has a PhD in nutrition and a passion for delicious but healthy foods.