A Guide to Desi Pancakes

Have you ever tried a spinach pancake? How about cardamom spice? DESIblitz has compiled some delectable Desi inspired pancake recipes for you to experiment and enjoy.

Pancakes with Lemon

"Pull out those frying pans and get your chef pancake flipping skills into gear."

Pancake making and eating is an enjoyable pastime for most people, and we all have a favourite flavour and topping, whether you enjoy yours sweet, savoury or plain.

Pancakes can be savoured at any time of the year, and in fact, they are so celebrated that they even have an entire day dedicated to them.

What makes Pancake Day similar to many Asian Festivities is that it doesn’t always fall on the same day every year. The feast is observed on the Tuesday of the seventh week before Easter, and a day before Ash Wednesday.

But we don’t need an excuse to indulge in some yummy pancakes. Why not try your hand at some more unusual flavours like spinach or cardamom for your next pancake creation? We’ve compiled three Desi inspired pancake recipes to liven those taste buds.

Toffee Banana Pancakes

Makes 4 Pancakes


  • 250g whole wheat flourPancake with Toffee Banana
  • 470ml milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar (add more for a sweeter taste)
  • 1 mashed banana (large and overripe)
  • 1 tbsp ghee per pancake


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1½  tbsp sugar for caramel
  • 1 sliced banana (firm and ripe)


  1. Mix the mashed banana, whole wheat flour, sugar (to taste) and milk to create a thick batter of watery consistency.
  2. Heat ½ tbsp of ghee in a pan, spread the ghee evenly around the pan, then pour a ladleful of batter mixture in to the pan to create a thick pancake. Flip when brown on one side then add the other ½ tbsp of ghee to the other side of the pancake.
  3. For the topping: heat butter in a pan, add the sugar to the melting butter, allow the mixture to melt and brown, then add the sliced bananas, allow them to caramelise in mixture.
  4. Pour the mixture over the pancakes and serve immediately. Pancakes can be served with cream or vanilla ice cream.

Cardamom Spice Pancakes

Makes 12-14 Pancakes


  • 100g plain or whole wheat flour, siftedCardamom Spice Pancakes
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • The seeds of 4-5 green cardamom pods (crushed)
  • 200ml milk mixed with 75ml water
  • 50g butter


  • Honey or caster sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Sift flour and salt in a mixing bowl, make a hole in the middle of the flour and break the eggs into it. Add vanilla extract and cardamom seeds, then whisk the mixture together with a whisk or fork.
  2. Add the mixture of milk and water slowly in small quantities, mixing until all the mixture is added. Whisk everything together until you have a smooth batter, with the consistency of thin cream.
  3. Melt the 50g butter, spoon 2 tbsp into the mixture and whisk. Put the rest of the butter aside in a bowl.
  4. Heat a pan until hot, then turn down to medium heat and add 1 tsp of butter.
  5. Using a ladle, pour the pancake mixture and spread around the pan, after around a minute lift the pancake to see if it has browned, then flip over and cook the other side.
  6. Serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice and honey or caster sugar and lemon wedges.

Savoury Spinach Pancakes

Makes 12 pancakes


  • 190g gram or chickpea flourSavoury Spinach Pancakes
  • 250g fresh spinach
  • 1 medium red onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 green chillies (finely chopped)
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander (finely chopped)
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1 ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons honey or maple syrup for vegans
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt or to taste
  • 470ml water or buttermilk or thin yogurt
  • 2 tsp sunflower/olive oil for brushing the pan


  1. Wash the spinach, and then put it in a large pot on medium heat. Add the spinach to the pot and move it around a bit as it wilts. Once it has wilted leave to cool, drain any remaining water, finely chop and put aside.
  2. Sift the flour in a bowl, add the spinach and all the remaining ingredients, except the water (or buttermilk/thin yogurt) and oil.
  3. Mix all the ingredients together, then gradually add the water (or buttermilk/thin yogurt) until you have a runny pancake mixture.
  4. Heat a non-stick frying fan and brush oil on to the pan, using a ladle add the mixture. After 1-2 minutes one side should be golden brown, then flip over and cook the other side.
  5. Serve with chilli chutney, mango pickle or low fat yogurt.

Whether you’re the sweet tooth kind of person or you prefer your savoury delights, there is something here for everyone. Once you have the perfect pancake treat ready why not wash it all down with some masala chai or a cold glass of milk.

So pull out those frying pans and get your chef pancake flipping skills into gear with our Desi inspired pancake recipes.

Wanderlust at heart, Fatimah is passionate about everything creative. She enjoys reading, writing and a good cup of tea. Her life motto is: “A day without laughter is a day wasted,” by Charlie Chaplin.