Mar 6

Indian Savory Pancakes (Semolina and Yogurt Pancakes) from Indian Simmer

in Breakfast, Indian, Main Course, Pancakes, Recipes By Region, Recipes by Type

Savory Indian Pancakes (Semolina and Yogurt Pancakes)

Indian food is one of my favorite world cuisines.  It doesn’t matter what region of India the food is from—North, South, East, West . . . I love it all!  When I was in labor with Squirrel and knew that we would be heading to the hospital soon, I decided I needed one last good meal, so we ordered takeout from our favorite Indian restaurant in Tokyo, called Moti.  Squirrel’s last meal in utero was fiery hot curry.  So I knew that we just had to have an Indian pancake for Pancake Week!  I begged the amazing Prerna of Indian Simmer if she would share a favorite pancake with us, and she agreed!  Prerna’s recipes are amazing, and it doesn’t hurt that her photography makes you want to lick your computer screen!  I’m just hoping that someone gets smart and offers her a book deal.  I want to buy that book!  I can’t wait for you to see the treat that Prerna is sharing with us today.  After you’ve feasted on her guest post, head on over to her site, Indian Simmer, and check out her other amazing creations.  If you’re on Twitter, her handle is @indiansimmer!

Prerna of Indian Simmer


I was really excited when Rachael asked me to make something Indian for her Pancake Week event.  But very soon that excitement turned into anxiety when she gave me the liberty to choose any Indian pancake that I like. I gave it some thought and then had to go back to my childhood to bring back a flavor of pancakes that we used to eat a lot growing up. I’m sure this was my mom’s trick to sneak in some (ok, a lot!) veggies into something we loved to eat as breakfast – I now do the same with my little one!

Heart Savory Pancakes For BreakfastOur family breakfast has to be simple but at the same time hearty to keep us going through the day and this pancake perfectly meets those criteria. Not that Indian cuisine doesn’t have any sweet pancakes but we just love the savory ones more, so there are tons of savory Indian pancakes that we make at home.

Indian pancakes made with semolina and yogurt

Indian pancakes are mostly made with some kind of lentil or beans being soaked overnight, then ground to make a smooth batter and left to ferment before actually hitting the griddle. But this recipe is a little different since the batter doesn’t need any resting and is used right away. Semolina (cream of wheat) and yogurt are the two basic ingredients and then you can add any kind of vegetables you want or none at all if you like. Then the ingredients that give these pancakes a kick are cumin seeds, cilantro and green chilies. I try to use the Thai green chili which is the closest it can get to the traditional Indian chilies and you sure would know the difference as soon as you taste them.

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Indian Savory Pancakes (Semolina and Yogurt Pancakes)

Makes 12 pancakes

Recipes Notes: Typical Indian savory pancakes are not fluffy like the usual pancakes. Instead, they are dense and have most flavors when enjoyed right out the griddle with some hot green chutney or a sweet tomato chutney.

1 ½ cups Semolina (Cream of Wheat)
1 ¼ cups nonfat yogurt (you can also use low fat or full fat, if you prefer)
½ cup finely chopped red onions
½ cup grated carrots (You can use any vegetable you like)
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 tsp minced thai green chili peppers (De-seed the peppers if you don’t like them hot)
Approximately ½ cup water
Salt to taste
Oil spray (I use oil spray to oil my non stick griddle because these pancakes need little to none oil )

1. Mix all the ingredients together except for oil. The batter should be of same consistency as of the usual pancake batter, so add water slowly while mixing thoroughly.

2. Heat a pancake griddle. Griddle should not be extremely hot otherwise pancakes will burn very quickly, so I start with high heat for a few minutes and then turn it to medium.

3. Start by nicely oiling the griddle with the spray when pouring batter for the first time.

4. Pour a ¼ cup of batter. With the back of a flat spoon spread the batter and veggies forming a circle. Cover with a lid.

5. Let it cook for about 10-15 seconds. When the top of the poured batter is all dry, spray a little oil on top and flip.

6. Press the pancakes with the help of a spatula and moving them in circles for a few seconds while it cooks slowly. A well-cooked Pancake should be golden brown from both sides.

7. Second time on the griddle doesn’t really need any oiling, especially if it’s a nonstick one so I omit that step after a couple batches, but it really depends on the type of griddle you use. So use oil accordingly but see that the pancakes don’t look oily or else they won’t come out soft.

{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Ken - hungry rabbit March 6, 2011 at 10:35 am

What a stunning stack of pancakes! This is definitely a weeknight must-have dinner for me.


Nisrine M. March 6, 2011 at 12:25 pm

These are different from any other pancakes I’ve eaten. I like that they’re made of semolina and that they’re savory.


[email protected] March 6, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Aww, so kind of you for saying those wonderful things Rachael! U r a doll and it was such a pleasure to bring something Indian to your kitchen and blog! Love ya :-)


Paula - bell'alimento March 6, 2011 at 2:27 pm

I think Prerna is fantabulous and these pancakes are no exception! <3


Kiran March 6, 2011 at 2:50 pm

I love Prerna’s blog! And these pancakes looks yummy. Its a staple breakfast in our family. We refer to it as “Chila” :)


Heather (Heather's Dish) March 6, 2011 at 3:52 pm

i’ve got to get my hubby on the indian food bandwagon stat…this is just another example of how amazing it is! :)


domenicacooks March 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Prerna (& Rachael),
These pancakes sound really delicious and would make a nice vegetarian dinner entree. Do you have any suggestions for side dishes to go with them? Looking forward to trying them.


[email protected] March 7, 2011 at 7:22 am

@domenicacooks, We actually have it for breakfast with some green cilantro chutney or a mixed lentil and coconut chutney but you sure can have them for lunch or dinner. Can serve with some stir fried vegetables or sambhar dal (lentils cooked with lots of vegetables and tamarind for some tangy flavor) along with the chutneys I mentioned. Chole masala (curried chickpeas) can also pair well with them.


Pan Cake March 7, 2011 at 3:35 am

I’m making these for my two kids this week! I’ve never had savory pancakes…what a treat!


Kulsum at JourneyKitchen March 7, 2011 at 4:41 am

Prerna is totally awesome! and this looks great. Glad you let an Indian pancake shine Rachael through your great blog!


notyet100 March 7, 2011 at 7:39 am

pancakes look too good,..:-)


Swapna March 7, 2011 at 8:02 am

These look amazing and its great that they are instant pancakes. I was wondering if we have to rest the prepared batter for a while so that semolina gets a little softer?


[email protected] March 7, 2011 at 9:35 am

@Swapna, No you don’t want to rest the batter or else they get sticky when being cooked.


Swapna March 7, 2011 at 1:34 pm

@[email protected],

Awesome… thank you very much. BTW, beautiful photography :)


Jenna March 7, 2011 at 9:23 am

Prerna, those looks fantastic. Great post, great recipe, beautiful photography (as always)!


Delishhh March 7, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Prerna – So great to see you here. Great post! As always great pictures. These pancakes look fabulous, perfect for dinner :)


Jennifer (Delicieux) March 7, 2011 at 8:07 pm

What a wonderfully different idea to your everyday pancakes! Yum! These look amazing.

I love the chili photo.


Sara{OneTribeGourmet} March 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

Beautiful post my dear friend Prerna! You are one Awesome gal! :)


Evil Shenanigans March 8, 2011 at 9:28 am

Those sound lovely! I have never had anything like it, and that means I must try them!!


Soma March 8, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Glad to see beautiful Prerna’s gorgeous recipe here!!


kellypea March 8, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Oh my, we would love these. Definitely on my list of recipes to try (bumped to the top :)


Brian @ A Thought For Food March 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm

How oh how could I have missed this wonderful post! These pancakes look delicious… one slight problem, though… if i make them I KNOW i won’t be able to stop eating them.


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monalisa November 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm

I prepared them for breakfast today. It was delicious. My 6 year old relished it. The best part is it doesn’t take long to prepare & cook. Great recipe


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