March 02, 2020
SPECIALTY FLOURS ARE EVERYWHERE IN INDIAN COOKING.
So, take advantage of them. Millet is especially interesting. It's an ancient gluten-free seed (sometimes referred to as a grain). One cup of cooked millet has about 207 calories, over 6 grams of protein, 2 grams of dietary fiber, and less than 2 grams of fat. It is also rich in minerals. You can cook the seed much like quinoa, or do as I have here, use the flour. Stop into an Indian grocer and you'll see all the amazing flours all stacked in one section. The original recipe for these cakes called for all-purpose flour and cornmeal. I wanted to ramp up the nutrition as well as replace all the dairy and egg. Here's what I came up with after half a dozen attempts.
Savory Corn-Millet-Flax Cakes
Makes 15 cakes
1 cup millet flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
¼ cup quinoa flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons red chile flakes
1 medium yellow or red onion, minced (about 1 cup)
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
3 tablespoons butter alternative, melted
2 tablespoons flaxseed, ground
1 1/2 cups milk alternative (I use almond)
¼ cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
In one bowl, add dry ingredients: millet flour, cornmeal, quinoa flour, baking soda, salt, black pepper, red chile pepper, onion, and jalapeno. Mix well.
In a second bowl, add melted butter, flaxseed, and milk alternative. Mix well.
Slowly pour the wet ingredients from the second bowl into the dry ingredients of the first bowl and mix gently until all the ingredients are just combined. The batter should remain slightly thick and clumpy. Too runny and it starts to look like pancake batter.
Heat a large cast-iron frying pan over medium-high heat. Spray lightly with oil. Scoop out about ¼ cup of batter at a time, add to the hot pan, and flatten the batter slightly with the back of the measuring cup or spoon. Add a sprinkle of corn kernels. I typically cook three cakes at a time, which gives me room to flip.
Cook the cakes about 2 minutes on each side until cooked through and slightly brown. I like to cover the pan to really heat them through the middle.
Transfer the cooked cakes to a plate and repeat with the remaining batter. Spray the pan with more oil in between batches as needed.
Serve with a dollop of chutney or butter (my personal favorite way to eat them – warm with butter!)