Yes. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. So say my parents and half the world around me!
But I sing a different tune.
Coz for me, while breakfast is important, the mid-morning snack, lunch, evening bites, dinner and late night craving are equally important. I don’t believe in playing favourites with meal times.
No sir, not me.
This forever kind of love affair that I have with meals has seen me tuck into a variety of meals, unhindered by the thoughts of side effects.
Until recently, when I stepped into my 30s which automatically translates into constant reminders about eating right! It’s been a struggle to satisfy the hunger alarms that my body sounds out at regular intervals – it’s been trained that way I guess – with something healthier than junk.
The biggest struggle has been with breakfast options. A huge fan of breads of all kind, I’ve felt the need to cut down on the intake. Cereals and oats are no substitute for the wholesomeness of bread and a bowl of cornflakes leaves me feeling hollow. This is why I was only too happy to revisit this traditional recipe that Maa learned from a former co-worker.
“The crepes have the goodness of lentil protein, are tasty and don’t need too much time other than some overnight soaking,” she explained while guiding my hand in the quest for a perfectly round savoury lentil crepe.
Made of four types of lentil, this recipe is flexible, giving you the choice of switching the lentils and the seasoning. And you can even add toppings if you feel up to it! These crepes have made their way into the elder sister’s office lunch box, our ‘not too hungry’ dinner plates and evening snack.
The crepe batter has also been loaded with other titbits and turned into bhajiyas/fritters to entertain guests or for a rainy day snack.
Here’s the recipe for the savoury mixed lentil crepes that are filled with the goodness of proteins.
- 1/4 cup Masoor dal / Red lentils (split & dehusked)
- 1/4 cup Hare mung / Mung beans / Green Gram
- 1/4 cup Mung dal / Petite yellow lentils / Mung beans (split & dehusked)
- 1/4 cup Toor dal / Split pigeon peas
- 2 tablespoons Rice (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 inch Ginger (chopped)
- 3 Green chillies (chopped)
- Vegetable Oil
Mix the lentils and rice in a large bowl and wash them well. Add 2 cups of water and soak the mixture overnight. Or for 4 hours at least.
Drain the mixture and retain the water, if any.
Add chopped ginger and green chillies to this mix, throw in some salt as per your taste.
Blend the lentils until you get a fine batter. Ensure the batter is not too thick or runny; remember you are making thin pancakes when adjusting the consistency of the paste. Use the drained water to adjust the consistency of the paste.
Heat a non-stick pan.
Take a ladle filled with batter, around 1/4th cup, and pour it in the centre of the heated pan. Spread the batter with the flat side of the ladle to make a round crepe.
Take a teaspoon of oil and drizzle it around the edges of the crepe. Wait till the edges are golden before gently flipping them over.
Cook till both sides are golden or brown, depending on how crisp you want the crepes.
Serve hot with chutney or a sauce of your choice.
You can even make fritters with this batter. Add half a cup of chopped onion in the batter.
Heat 1 cup of oil in a deep frying pan. Once the oil is hot enough, scoop out 1 tablespoon of the batter and add to the hot oil.
Fry till the fritters or bhajiya are golden brown.
- The lentils will absorb the water they are soaked in, hence the need for a big bowl.
- Rice is added to increase the crispness of the crepes which is why it is entirely optional.
- You can use any combination of lentils to make this crepe. Be it chana dal/split a chickpea, sabut urad/black gram lentils or yellow split peas, the choice is yours. Feel free to play around with the seasoning. But take note that minimal seasoning allows the flavours of the lentils to seep through.
Photos: Rapti Bhaumick