Vegetable Pancakes

Whenever we order from our favorite Indian restaurant, I always get Uttapam, a thick pancake-like dosa full of lentils and vegetables and topped with a delicious assortment of spicy and cooling sauces. It makes sense that I love Uttapam, since I’ve loved zucchini pancakes, and corn and other savory fritters, ever since I was a kid! Here I’ve improvised a vegetable pancake that is a mix between those two delightful favorites of mine.

I started with a mixture of slightly softened bell peppers, peas, and shredded carrots, and folded that into an easy vegan pancake batter (minus the sweetener, and plus a pinch of salt). I cooked the pancakes in a bit of olive oil to get crispy edges, and topped them with spicy hot sauce and some vegannaise-based chipotle mayo. It came out pretty well! Not as good as the Indian restaurant’s Uttapam or as good as mom’s zucchini pancakes, but alas, it was a good effort.

I suggest trying these out as a fun and different take on dinner. You could make lots of smaller pancakes instead of a few big ones, and top them with any sauces of choice. You could even eat them with your hands! Kids will love it – this kid at heart sure did.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup diced bell peppers, sauteed for 2-3 minutes to slightly soften
1/3 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1/3 cup matchstick carrots, roughly chopped
1 cup + 2 Tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cornmeal, optional
1/2 cup water, plus more as necessary
vegan sauces of choice to serve
chopped scallions for garnish, optional

Heat a skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cornmeal, and water, slowly adding more water as necessary until it becomes a thick pancake batter. Fold in softened bell peppers, defrosted peas, and carrots. Transfer to a large measuring cup for easy pouring. When your pan is hot, pour 1/3 of the batter into the skillet and spread out with the back of a wooden spoon so that it’s about 1/2 inch thick all around. Let cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until the edges are firmed up around the perimeter of the pancake. Flip carefully with a spatula and cook for another 2 minutes of the other side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel and repeat two more times with the remaining batter. Serve immediately with vegan sauces of choice, garnished with scallions if desired.

Makes 3 large pancakes

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