When I was a teenager, my Mother taught us to make pancakes, and I’ve been making them ever since, trying to experiment with variations on the standard recipe: blueberries, bananas, raisins, flax seeds, applesauce, and gluten-free flours (to name a few) have all had their turn as ingredients, with some substitutions producing more successful outcomes than others.
On one particular weekend, however, I found myself with a craving for pancakes but faced with a shortage of two key ingredients: eggs and milk. Perhaps some of you have been here before, having already mixed all the ‘dry’ ingredients for the batter, and then realized most of your recipe’s ‘wet’ ingredients are missing.
So, I had to improvise. Egg substitutes are generally chosen based on the intention of the egg in the recipe, so for pancakes, it would be to provide moisture. Instead of one egg, I decided to use a frozen banana that had been sitting dormant in my freezer for some time (when bananas start to get brown, I usually freeze them and use them in smoothies, and now, pancakes). A few seconds in the microwave thaws out the banana, which is then very easy to mash into a puree with a fork.
In place of the milk, which provides both protein and moisture, I substituted 3/4 cup full fat Greek yogurt (strained yogurt or “Masteh Checkeedeh” in Farsi), which is very high in protein and 3/4 cup water.
Over the years’ pancake practice runs, I’ve discovered that the fastest way to cook a pancake is to use a small skillet, which has a smaller surface area and heats up more quickly and evenly than a larger frying pan. The pancakes are also a smaller in size for those of us who wish to control our portions, and for those of us who have young children who for various reasons, enjoy food in its miniature presentation.
Using the substitutions and the small skillet, members of my testing kitchen described the pancake as delicious, tender, and flavourful especially when topped with ground cinnamon and cardamom for hint of Persian flavour. Noosheh Jaan!
“Persian” Pancake Recipe:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 banana, mashed
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
3/4 cup water
Pinch of ground cinnamon and cardamom for garnish