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Golden Pancakes

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

This recipe was a mistake, but it worked out both for savoury and sweet purposes so I thought I would share. I was preparing the ingredients for the onion rings recipe from Ottolenghi's Flavour cookbook, and I failed to read the recipe through before starting to mix things. I was working on the assumption of a batter, but as it turns out the recipe was for egging then flouring the onion rings. As such, being a bit of a numpty, I mixed the wet and dry ingredients together without really paying attention and then realised I had messed up. I set aside the batter I had begun and instead followed the recipe as it was actually written. I detest food waste, so the batter I had begun needed to find a use. The use I found for it was to turn it into pancakes. These I both cooked normally, and a few I deep fried (as I already had a pan of oil going), which had very interesting results. They got puffy and light and cooked faster. As a pancake variation they were tasty and I will revisit them in future. Being a mistake doesn't make them any less worthy of sharing!


1 c whey (or buttermilk)

2 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 1/3 c flour

2 1/2 tsp nigella seeds

2 tsp lime zest

2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs (or more accurately, 1 egg and 1 egg white as I used a yolk to make mayo)

1 tbsp butter

1) Mix the dry ingredients well with a fork. Gradually beat in the wet ingredients to form a thick-ish batter.

2) Heat a griddle or frying pan and butter. Drop batter onto the pan in two tablespoon dollops. Allow to cook at medium heat on the first side until little bubbles come to the surface and the pancake lifts away from the pan easily, then flip and cook for another minute.

3) Alternatively, if you want to deep fry them, make sure the oil in your pan is shimmering and hot. Drop the batter in in dollops and wait until they turn golden brown, turning once mid-way through.

These came out really well, especially for a mistake! It had never occurred to me to put nigella seeds and turmeric in pancakes before, but they worked both with the onion rings and mayo and baked veg that I was originally making that night, and also for breakfast with butter and jam. definitely a win! Let me know what you think if you try them!

When I made these (and perhaps a small amount of distraction from the cooking to focus on my book instead explains the mistake that led to their creation) I was listening to The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse. I found it absolutely absorbing. Told as a biography of a brilliant man, set in an undefined future, it presents a beautiful picture of the society the narrative is set in, as well as pointing out its cracks... and those of our society too. I absolutely loved this book! My favourite by Hesse so far, but then I haven't yet read Narcissus and Goldmund,


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