Different batters result in a variety of pancakes that are specific to different states in the country.
While American pancakes are usually eaten for breakfast, desi pancakes can be enjoyed at any time of the day—from breakfast to tea time. Different batters result in a variety of pancakes that are specific to different states in the country. These pancakes may be bland, spicy and salty or sweet. From cheela to thalipeeth, here are eight pancakes from around India that you must try:
Usually prepared with besan or moong dal, cheela is a popular North Indian snack that is usually enjoyed for breakfast. When made well, it can be crispy and moreish. Fillings like vegetables and paneer, which give the humble cheela a nutritious kick, are common. It is best enjoyed with ketchup or coriander and mint chutney.
Spongy in the middle and crispy on the edges, appam is Kerala’s favourite pancake. Made using fermented rice and coconut milk, appams are usually eaten with chicken, mutton or vegetable stews. Egg appams, made by breaking an egg into the centre of the pancake, are the forte of expert cooks.
Fondly called ‘love letters’, madakku san are thin, crepe-like pancakes filled with grated coconut and jaggery. Sometimes, cardamom is added for aroma and flavour. Madakku san are eaten as an evening snack with tea across Kerala. They are also called mutta kuzhalappam and eylanchi; the spicy version is known as Thattipparathi.
Originating from Karnataka, obbattu is a sweet flatbread. Obbattu is made using flour and semolina, and stuffed with a filling of chana dal, cane sugar and cardamom. Pan fried in ghee, the pancake is usually served as dessert after a wholesome meal of dosa and idli with spicy sambar and chutney.
A spicy snack made with multigrain flour, thalipeeth is a pancake popular in Maharashtra. The flour used for making thalipeeth uses rice, wheat, bajra, jowar, chana dal, urad dal and spices. It tastes best when prepared using desi ghee and accompanied by yogurt or butter. Besides Maharashtra, the dish is also well known in north Karnataka.
Kholasapori pitha is a rice pancake that has origins in the Northeastern part of India, specifically Assam. Made using rice flour, it is eaten during festivals like Bihu. The name of the dish comes from the earthenware pan it is made in, called ‘khola’ (a normal frying pan may also be used).
Originating from Andhra Pradesh, pesarattu is a thin pancake similar to dosa. Green gram batter is used to prepare the snack, which doesn’t use urad dal, unlike dosa. It is a popular breakfast food item and usually served with ginger chutney. Toppings like onions and chillies may be added for flavour.
A Goan pancake, alle belle is stuffed with coconut and palm jaggery. The batter for alle belle uses flour, salt, baking powder, milk and eggs, which makes it fluffy. Once the batter is ready, the pancakes are spread on a pan greased with ghee. The filling is prepared separately and stuffed into the hot pancakes. Enjoy these with a cup of tea.