How do you like your pancakes? Fluffy and thick? Crepe like? Latkes? Scotch pancakes? Dosas?
Pancakes come in many different variations around the world but what does not change is the how loved they are. They are a perfect comfort food.
Kenyan pancakes are one of those meals that evoke nostalgic memories; Comfort, warmth and love. I have fond memories of my grandmother making them on an open fire, and no matter how hard I try, mine never seem to come out as tasty. She made them with flour, water, sugar, cooking fat and yellow yolk eggs from her free range chicken that gave the pancakes a distinct yellow colour. They were so tasty.
Kenyan style pancakes do not have definite quantities, we all have our own different ways of making them, but the basics are the same. Flour, eggs, water or milk, sugar and cooking oil. Then add your spices and flavors of choice such as cinnamon, cardamom, vanilla or lemon zest. That is the best thing about them, you can put what you wish and adjust your ingredients as you perfect your own way of making them.
I like making mine with self raising flour, natural yogurt or milk, 2 eggs, chia seeds, honey and sunflower oil. Then add my flavours and fillings depending on what I have on hand.
I prefer serving with a drizzle of honey or a pat of unsalted butter on mine. The kids like theirs with Nutella or jam. Pancakes also make a perfect lunchbox snack too for school.
I make pancakes every weekend, if not on Saturday then on Sunday. It’s become a tradition in our house. What else spells weekend more pancakes? I love mixing them slowly by hand, letting the batter rest, and taking my time cooking them as the wonderful aroma fills the house. It is also a guessing game for the kids once they smell them, as they compete who will correctly guess what is in the pancakes each time, based on the aroma.
I like using different flours to experiment a bit. Some work, some do not. I’ve already posted a rice flour pancake recipe here, as well as one with maize meal here. I also like using chick pea flour sometimes or sweet potato flour. Both flours give a lovely tinge of colour and added flavour to the pancakes.
My favourite pancake fillings are caramelized fruits, could be either pineapple or apple. I do reduce the butter and sugar for these as the fruits here, pineapple especially, are very sweet. I also make banana pancakes a lot. Adding ripe mashed banana to the batter with a pinch of cinnamon is how I make them more than half the time. This is one of our family favourites.
These are a few variations on how I make my Kenyan style pancakes. Not as fluffy as the American ones and a bit thicker than a crepe.
How do you like your pancakes?