Some foods, you associate them with feelings. Maybe it reminds you of a special occasion, a certain period of your life, or a special memory you created with someone. I have many such foods and memories associated with my Grandma. One such dish – Puda, a simple savory chickpea crepe – makes me nostalgic.
My grandma was my hero in the kitchen. She gave me some of my first cooking lessons – from making a cup of chai tea to baking a perfectly round roti bread. While I learned a lot of traditional Indian recipes from her, the most important lesson I learned was to cook with love and patience. For her, the journey of cooking was as important as the final destination of a meal served on the table. Her time in the kitchen was always cherished and savored. She was never rushed in the kitchen and didn’t like anyone else rushing either. For her, the kitchen was Church and every day was Sunday! I think my passion for food has a lot to do with my time spent in the kitchen with my grandma.
When I came back from school in the early afternoon and I didn’t want to eat whatever my mom had cooked for lunch that day, my grandma would make me Puda. It didn’t hurt that puda was one of her favorite things to eat too. Eating Puda was our little secret that we didn’t share with my Mom when she got back from work! My grandma passed away last October, and as her death anniversary is around the corner, I wanted to cook something which I enjoyed cooking with her as a little girl.
Puda is a savory crepe made out of chickpea flour and yogurt. It is a simple dish that can be made in under 15 minutes, and it pairs well with anything spicy, tangy or sweet – be it a chutney or a pickle. Chickpea flour is the go-to ingredient in an Indian kitchen anytime you want to put a dish together on short notice. It is quick to cook and its nutty taste goes well with a variety of sweet and savory condiments. I like my crepes topped with berries marmalade and creamy goat cheese. Anup likes them with green chutney and crunchy sprouts. You can’t really go wrong pairing crepes with any of your favorite foods!
Chickpea Flour Crepes
Makes 8-10 crepes
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
3 tbsp greek yogurt (optional)
2 tbsp flaxseed powder (optional)
1/2 tbsp cumin powder
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup coriander leaves – finely chopped. You can add herbs of your choice – dill, mint, sage etc.
1 tsp salt
olive oil for cooking
Mix chickpea flour, chopped coriander leaves, salt, flaxseed, cumin, chili and turmeric powder in a mixing bowl. Add yogurt and water, whisk till everything is mixed well. You can also use a blender to make this batter. The batter should have a thinner consistency than pancake batter. Add chickpea flour or water to get the right consistency.
Next, heat 1/4 tsp olive oil in a nonstick pan. Pour a ladle of batter on the hot pan. You can also put this batter in a squeeze bottle to make perfect round crepes. Cook on medium heat for about 1-2 minutes or till the bottom side is golden brown. Using a flat spatula, flip the crepe and cook the other side till golden brown.
Summer Berry Marmalade:
2 cups of mix berries – blueberries, raspberries, blackberries
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup honey
pinch of salt
Put berries, water, pinch of salt and honey in a heavy bottom pan. Bring it to boil, lower the heat and cook for 45-50 minutes. Cool it down and serve.