Top | Savita Iyer-Ahrestani

Savory Chickpea Flour Pancakes

(recipe, Savita Iyer-Ahrestani)


When my father was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and decided not to take medication, his diet had to be radically overhauled. My mother, an ever-devoted wife, made it her mission to come up with versions of the rice-based South Indian dishes my father so loved that would be suitable to his health. This recipe works in lieu of adai, a favorite morning or late afternoon snack in South India. It uses chickpea flour instead of rice and lentils.


  1. 1 cup chickpea flour
  2. 1 cup buttermilk
  3. 2 handfuls chopped cilantro leaves
  4. 1 small green chile, chopped
  5. 1 onion, chopped
  6. Salt to taste
  7. 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  8. Extra-virgin olive oil, for cooking


  1. Grind the chickpea flour, buttermilk, cilantro, green chile, onion, and salt in a blender until the batter reaches the consistency of pancake batter. If the batter is too thick, add more buttermilk. Mix in the cumin seeds.
  2. Coat a nonstick frying pan with olive oil and heat it up. Spread a ladle of the batter in the hot pan. Pour half a teaspoon of olive oil on the side facing up, and when it’s cooked, flip it over and cook on the other side. Proceed in the same manner for each adai. Serve hot.