Thursday, April 30, 2015

Savory Pea and Carrot Pancakes with Avocado Mint Dip

I was 14 when on a frigid winter morning, after finishing our exam papers earlier than others, a new friend and I escaped for brunch instead of heading home. I had never known what brunch was until she proposed the idea the day before. I looked up the meaning in my palm size, creamy paged, blue plastic covered oxford dictionary, an essential accessory of every other 14 year old I knew. It was perhaps that age of eagerness and outwitting others with your vocabulary, every page on the dictionary was marked with circles, underlines, possible sentences. There was particular emphasis on any slang, cursing words because there was nothing cooler than that. 

Before we sat out for our adventure, we strolled around our brick walled school playground waiting for the gates to officially open. When the walls were being newly painted a few years go, they were a light violet pink and despite not being my favourite colour, for a year the school looked prettier than it ever did. It looked all beige now, so did the backdrop of buildings that stood around it. Desert bathes everything in its sand hue. If you got to the roof top, you could see my building, a 7 storey low building, conveniently sand coloured, so it never requires a repaint.

It was the only school I had known, the school my friends went to, neighbours went to and my cousins. It wasn't the matter of being the best school, but it was conveniently ten steps away from home. It was also as Indian as a school could get, an important consideration for my parents who despite being away from India wanted to keep us as close to Indian culture and upbringing as they could. So we talked about how uncool our parents were, even though all I wanted to ask was, what does one eat for brunch? To risk asking a new friend what was cool to be eaten at brunch was questionable. So we sat in the cab, giggling away half anxiously half excitedly about our escape. 

I looked at her admiringly, her lush green eyes, long dark black silky hair that fell in a perfect U shape,  her sleeves neatly folded up and pressed white cotton shirt tucked neatly into the the concrete grey skirt which fell just above her knee. My own skirt was just a few inches above my ankle, for my conservative Ammi never saw the reason to wear it any shorter. My sleeves were rolled all the way down which was my own way of hiding the black facial hair on my hands which Ammi wouldn't allow me to wax away.

The restaurant was moderately packed with adults and I wondered if they had escaped from work to eat at this odd hour too. The menu had few choices but I bleeped at the idea of finally experiencing true American pancakes. Having read enough American fiction, I knew what they were, how they should be eaten, but here I was, dressed in my school uniform waiting for it with the same excitement and lust I have over Ammi's mutton biryani. My friend ordered an egg burger, which was equally odd but it must taste like Ammi's egg sandwich, I thought.

They came in pair of two, I say pair because I thought they are always supposed to be two, identical brown disc, fat and even. On their own they tasted like cardboard, saved by a little maple like syrup and some gloppy butter. I pretended to ate them with pride and enthusiasm, while all I really wanted was that egg burger that tasted like Ammi's egg sandwich.

Savory Pea and Carrot Pancakes with Avocado Mint Dip
Serves 2-3

I can't exactly remember when my mother started making this savoury pancakes at home but every time she did I was tempted to tell her about my escape for brunch and how bad those pancakes tasted! This is a bit refined version compared to my mom’s thinner pancakes that are milk based.  Feel free to use scallions too if you had any for the recipe.


1 cup flour  (all purpose or spelt)
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk 
2 eggs
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt 
2 carrots, grated
1 small bell pepper, grated
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh peas
1 ½ tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp freshly ground cumin powder
1/2 tsp black pepper 

Avocado Mint Dip

1/2 avocado 
1/4 cup sour cream
1 cup coriander leaves
10 mint leaves 
1 green chili
juice of one lime
Salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl, whisk the eggs and milk and keep aside.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking soda, garam masala and salt. Then mix in the carrots, bell peppers, chillies and peas. Tip in the sour cream and mix until just combined (don’t over mix).

Stir in the egg mixture into the flour.

Heat a frying pan over medium-low heat and melt some oil in the pan. Drop batter by 1/4 cup servings onto the pan.

Cook on the first side until holes start to form on the surface and edges begin to brown. Flip to the other side and cook for another minute.

For the dip, blend together all the ingredients until smooth.

Serve the pancakes warm with the dip.



  1. These look so delicious! Love the flavour!

    1. love the way you describe every tiny detail...did take me to the time and place you are talking about

  2. I adore peas and mint. As my family don't eat eggs what do you suggest I could use? They look delicious, can't wait to try them.

    1. Hi Joanne! My mom actually makes them eggless too but her ratios are always a rough estimate. If you look up eggless pancake recipes and add the vegetables and spice as here, it should work. Hope that helps.

  3. A tasty flavour combination, delicious looking pancakes and gorgeous pictures.



  4. They look absolutely amazing. I need to try!

  5. Looking for healthy pancakes ideas for my daughter and your pancakes look so tasty, I must try it! Stunning pictures.

    1. Thank you Irina! I hope you try it for your daughter x

  6. Kulsum,
    FYI, On a firefox browser part of the blog text is cut off in the front.

    Savory pancakes are my favorite kind of pancakes too. The recipe does not explain what to do with the vegetables though?

    1. Thank you for the heads up on both. Will check it out. Also for the recipe, the vegetables are added to the flour mixture. The post is updated. Thanks!

  7. Heyyy,

    Thank you for sharing such awesome post, we will try to soon, hope make delicious.

  8. Hi Kulsum,
    I was searching some new dish to make with zucchinis and the perfect capture of zucchini koftas led me to your blog; I kept looking at your nice photos, great recipes and beautifully written stories, and I'll have to say, that just like I would like to taste this pancakes, I'll be glad to read more of your wonderful stories...

  9. Hi,
    first time here..beautiful story.Enjoyed reading.

  10. Hey,
    Thank you for sharing so nice & delicious dish here....

  11. Enjoyed the story and glimpse into your school days! Also I know what I'll be making for my next weekend breakfast :)

  12. Love the recipe...these look amazing. Love the accompanying story as well. You have a gift for writing K!

  13. Thanks for visiting K...good to hear from you. Checked your photography page, what gorgeous pictures...looks like a work of seasoned commercial food photographer! Keep up the good work, best wishes.

  14. Lovely food and beautifully written!
    Wishing you a Happy,healthy and prosperous New Year! Hope to see and read more recipes and stories in the new year!

  15. Looks Amazing Dish,I Like Your Dishes,i like your wonderful stores,really thanks for sharing us..

  16. A beautiful read and equally beautiful recipe!


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