Recipe Indian chaura na poora, or Black-Eyed Bean Pancakes

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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Indian chaura na poora, or Black-Eyed Bean Pancakes
You'll either need a high powdered liquidiser such as a Vitamix or a decent food processor and depending on what you have depends on how long these take to make.
If you have the Vitamix, then you don't have to soak the beans overnight, but you may have to add little extra water to the batter. Having a Vitamix, I opted not to soak the beans overnight.

This isn't the kind of batter that you would expect. It is much closer to very fluffy, stiffy egg whites or stiffly whipped whipped cream. It isn't the double cream or single cream consistency of normal pancake batter mixes. Another thing to note is that adding water will make your life harder, so minimise the amount of water you add. A thinner, more watery batter will take much longer to cook because the water has to evaporate from the batter first, so use the absolute minimum amount you can.

Ingredients (makes roughly 6-8 pancakes)
200g black eyed beans/peas
1 1/2 tbsp coarsely chopped ginger
6-10 cloves of garlic, sliced/diced or crushed
2-4 green chillies, sliced or diced, if you want hotter, keep the seeds
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
4 tbsp chopped coriander (leaves)
Salt, to taste

Method
  1. If you have a food processor, you'll want to soak the black-eyed beans/peas overnight in plenty of water and drain the beans prior to making.
  2. Add the ginger, garlic, chillies and onions to a food processor or high speed liquidiser (Vitamix) and blend until you have a smooth puree (add water if needed but try to minimise the amount).
  3. Now add the black eyed beans and turmeric, and blend until you have a very thick batter. You may need to add water but don't add much. You are after a very thick, light fluffy batter mix. It should be holding its shape exactly the same way stiff whipped egg whites would.
  4. Now add the coriander and the salt and process for a few moment to chop and mix the coriander in. I usually have a bright green batter by this stage.
  5. Heat a non-greased griddle or tawa over a medium heat and when hot, add a soup ladle full in a donut shape ensuring that the batter is sticking to the pan - yes, it must stick.... Now using the back of the ladle and in a spiral pattern, quickly work your way around the donut spreading it more thinly. I usually use a small anticlockwise circular motion in a clockwise donut shape, closing the hole in the middle at the very end. You can repeat the small anticlockwise circular motion around the outside of the pancake until the pancake mixture starts to come away with the ladle. at this point you must stop spreading the batter out.
  6. Now leave it to cook. It really will look like it is on the point of burning before it will come away with ease. You have to leave it alone until this point. try earlier and it will simply stick and make a mess. The beans haven't had time to cook properly, so it doesn't do what it is meant to do. The edges will look like they are burning because they are usually the thinnest part. I can't stress enough how important it is not to try to turn the pancake too early.
  7. Flip it when it is ready. You'll know because it will come away from the griddle with ease once you start to try to turn it, but you will need to run a palette knife or spatula under the entire pancake to ease it off the griddle. Now leave it alone for about 2/3rd of the time it took to cook the first side. Again it will stick and cook and won't come away with ease until it is almost cooked. Watch for thinner spots, they should brown but not burn.
  8. Repeat, only learn to leave it alone and for longer!
Serve with something like tofu scramble or any spicy potato dish.

 

SatNavSaysStraightOn

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PS - I can't actually reference this recipe because it is a hand written one in my (Big Blue) Book and there is no indication of where the recipe originally came from. All I do know is that we have made them before, several times and that the copy has seen better days (the ink has run where water has splashed the pages making a great rainbow of colours).
 

Morning Glory

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You'll either need a high powdered liquidiser such as a Vitamix or a decent food processor and depending on what you have depends on how long these take to make.

I really love the look of the pancakes and would like to try making them. Sadly I have no Vitamix or processor. If this is based on an authentic Indian recipe then presumably it can be made without needing these things - though I suppose it might be very labour intensive!
 

Morning Glory

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I've looked up Madhur Jaffrey's recipe and she suggests the beans should have the skins rubbed off after soaking. Could be that would make them easier to process. I will have to try it.

I also thought of making these pancakes with mung beans (I don't currently have any dried black-eyed beans, only canned) what do you think?
 

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Can you source some bean or pea based flour? The dried beans are basically being made into a bean flour for the batter.
I have no idea why you would remove the skins but I know people who do exactly that for hummus after they have cooked the whole chickpeas, but it is so labour intensive. I think the bean flour would be the best option. I have seen such over here. Even our supermarket has an amazing range of different flours. I guess soy flour would sub in (with it being a bean) and perhaps gram flour (or besan with them both being chickpea based), though obviously you will be making a different pancake. With enough chillies, and coriander, it would still turn green but without a food processor or even a liquidiser of any form, getting the paste with the ginger, chillies and garlic is going to be really hard, or were you going to sub those out for the jarred stuff? I know we can get a fresh green chilli paste over here... But all of those changes, you might be making something different at this rate!
 

Morning Glory

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getting the paste with the ginger, chillies and garlic is going to be really hard,

That not a problem - I use a fine microplane grate garlic and ginger usually and that makes a paste. I reckon a stick blender should pulverise the chillies. I'll have to try it first though.

I'm not sure about bean flour - I'd have to check the Asian mini-mart. I do have besan but I really dislike the taste of besan flour. I do have a spice grinder and have used that to make flour from nuts before so maybe I could use that the grind the mung beans (given I'm only going to make two or three pancakes.
 

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A spice grinder should work. I would suggest you try them dried rather than soaking them and then trying though.
Not sure about the stick blender because it is just such as small quantity. Perhaps baling to ground red chilli pepper instead? OK you'll end up with a red pancake instead but... Mind you using mung beans will give a really odd colour. Let me check if I have any recipes that make pancakes from mung beans. I don't know if they are actually used that way. But at least mung beans (and I think Moth (pronounced Mot) beans along with black eyed beans/peas are one of the few that don't need soaking before cooking.
 
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