Tag Archives: crepes

And we are finally making Crepes!

Indira and Noor have always enjoyed crepes. They like both the sweet sort, filled with Nutella or some confiture, as well as the savory kind (usually made with buckwheat) that we ate last month in Valberg, when we went up to the mountains to do some snow sledding on Noor’s birthday. That day Shri had just the plain – but awesome – buckwheat crepes that come with a generous dollop of beurre de bretagne, and the girls and I had them with a really satisfying topping of ham and some cheese.

Ever since, I have thought that I must try and make crepes at home, since we all enjoy them so much, though so far I have only ever bought the packaged, sweet variety from supermarkets for the girls’ gouter.

First, a little background on crepes. They are very think pancakes, made of a variety of flours, and can be both sweet or savory. Crepes are native to the region of Brittany, in northwestern France, where they are traditionally made with  buckwheat flour and served with cider. The interesting thing about buckwheat is that it is not a variety of wheat; in fact it is not a cereal at all. It is classified as a “pseudocereal” – it is a broadleaf plant and not a grass (true cereals are grasses). Buckwheat – called sarrasin in French – is gluten-free and a rich source of proteins and iron.

And as it has turned out, crepes are just wonderfully easy and quick to make. What’s more, the substitution of whole wheat  for plain flour doesn’t make a discernible difference to the taste. I was quite relieved to see that the girls ate the ones I made today with whole wheat flour with as much enthusiasm as they did the one I made last week with white flour.

Noor and I shared one today with a filling of a little bit of a salmon spread that we both like, instead of Nutella, and that was very nice too. So I am now planning to go the whole hog and make the savory kind one day for dinner, with sarrasin flour.

This recipe, based on the one in Linda Doeser’s “Les 100 Meilleures Recettes – Cuisine Vegetarienne” is, to borrow a phrase from Indira and her friends, easy peasy lemon squeezy 🙂

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Whole wheat Crepes

115-120 gms of whole wheat flour, with 1/4 tsp of salt added in (if you have time, sift these two together)

300 ml of milk ( either whole cream or half-fat)

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon of sunflower oil

In a mixing bowl, stir in half the milk and the egg in to the flour till the batter is quite smooth. Add the rest of the milk, and the oil, and mix till well combined.

Ideally, leave the batter to rest for 30-60 minutes.

Heat a medium-sized crepe pan till it is very hot. Put a little knob of butter on the pan, and quickly spread it over the surface of the pan with a kitchen towel. Now lift the pan off the heat, pour 1/3 a small cup of batter on to the pan, and quickly bend and turn the pan every which way till the batter covers the entire surface of the pan. Put the pan back on the hob, turn the heat down just a little, and cook till the top of the crepe appears to be dry. Flip it over with a spatula, and cook the other side for 1/2 a minute or so, lifting every few seconds towards the end to check if it is done.

Repeat the process with the rest of the batter. Try not to keep the crepes one on top of the other as they can get difficult to separate.

(Crepes can be cooked in an oven too; more about that another time)

Keep each prepared crepe on a large surface and when it is a little cool, spread any sweet or savory filling over one half, then fold the crepe over twice to form a triangle.

Et voila ! That is all it takes to create a  great snack, or with some salad on the side, a very nice meal.

Read all about crepes here http://www.epicurean.com/articles/crepes.html and here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cr%C3%AApe

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Filed under Baked Main Meal Dishes, Breakfast Ideas, Picnic Food, Quick Meal Ideas, Starters and Snacks

Mung Crepes aka Moong Dosas aka Pesarattu

I make these sometimes when I have a friend over for breakfast – a great way to start the day once the kids are in school ! –  and this is how I explain the dosa – as an Indian crepe.  And I do in fact use a crepe pan to make the dosas, so this is just one of those recipes that very easily straddles both  worlds !

In southern India, I believe these dosas are called pesarattu.

Mung Crepes aka Moong Dosas

1 cup of whole or split moong daal/ mung beans (whole or split green gram lentils), plus 7-8 fenugreek seeds, soaked overnight in lots of water

1/2 a cup of basmati rice (this is optional but makes the dosas crisper, IMO)

1 and 1/2 tsp of grated ginger

salt to taste

1/2 a tbsp or so of sunflower oil per crepe/dosa, to fry

Drain the beans, then grind them in a food processor adding a few tablespoons of water at a time. Grind the rice too, separately, and mix with the beans batter.

The batter should be neither too thick and pasty, nor too runny.

Add the salt and the ginger and mix in well.

Heat the crepe pan till it is quite hot. Now turn the heat down to a medium hot setting, then pour 2-3 tablespoons worth of batter on to the pan with a large serving spoon and spread quickly and evenly with the back of the spoon.

Turn the heat up a little bit (though not to a full setting), and cover the pan with the lid of any cooking pot till the top portion of the crepe begins to look dry rather than wet (this will take less than a minute).

Spread 1/2 a tbsp of oil evenly over the surface of the crepe, cover again and cook for another 1/2 a minute or so. Then, using a spatula with a very thin edge which can be slid under the crepe, turn it over (if the crepe is well made, it will have a lovely crispy, brown look by now) and cook it for say 1/2 a minute. Turn it over again, fold it in half, and remove it on to the serving plate.

Turn the heat down again before pouring and spreading the batter for the next crepe, then turn it up again to cook.

In between every two or three crepes that one makes, it helps to clean the surface of the pan with the exposed portion of an onion cut in half  (I enjoy staying with this traditional method though one could use kitchen towels instead)

With a potato filling that is spiced with mustard seeds and curry leaves, and coconut chutney, this makes for a great breakfast.

The girls absolutely love these dosas – or pesarattu, and I plan to make them for breakfast or lunch one day during the school holidays that will begin this weekend, so I will take the pictures for this post then.

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Filed under Breakfast Ideas, Quick Meal Ideas