Rice and Lentil Indian Pancakes

Indian Rice Lentil Pancakes
Here we go again. More Indian savory pancakes, this time a spicy and filling thin pancake made with a seasoned rice and dal or lentil batter. Easy to make, easy to eat and easy to keep. Delicious on their own or with yogurt, sour cream, or your favorite chutney. I pretty much make a batch of crêpes or pancakes once a week to keep me going for breakfast and snacks for a few days.

My thanks again to Raghavan Iyer who inspired this recipe from his most excellent cookbook, 660 Curries. More recipes will continue to be forthcoming from one of my favorite Indian cookbooks. Readers who enjoy Indian food will be missing out if they don't have this essential book. I can't heap enough praise upon Mr. Iyer — I wish I could visit his kitchen. His efforts are certainly appreciated in my home and my friends and family always give a nod to his creations that I am fortunate to recreate with my own spin on the dishes.

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1/4 cup channa dal or yellow split peas
  • 1/4 cup whole mung beans
  • 1/4 cup toor dal
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 4 - 6 dried whole red chillies
  • 3 - 4 fresh green or red chilies, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • generous handful of dried curry leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt or rock salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • sesame oil for frying
  • Thoroughly rinse the rice, dals and beans under cold running water and transfer to a large bowl. Add the coriander seeds and dried chilies and cover with water. Cover with plastic wrap and let soak overnight.
  • Drain the rice and dal mixture and rinse. Transfer to a blender along with 1/2 cup of water, fresh chilies, cayenne and cumin. Purée, stirring as necessary and adding another 1/2 to 2/3 cup of water until you have a fairly thin batter. Transfer to bowl and then stir in the yogurt, onion, tomato, parsley, curry leaves, salt and asafetida.
  • Cover and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Heat a teaspoon or so of oil over medium heat in a non-stick skillet. When hot but not smoking, ladle in 1/2 cup of the batter and shape it into a 6-inch circle with the back of the ladle. Cook the pancake for 5 minutes, until little holes form on the top. Sprinkle a little oil over the top of the pancake and flip, cooking for another few minutes until both sides are a light golden brown. Transfer to a plate and keep warm in a 150° oven covered with some foil. Repeat the process with the remaining batter, brushing the pan with more oil as needed.
  • Refrigerate leftover pancakes in aluminum foil and reheat at 300° for 10 minutes.