Amaranth is a psuedocereal, which simply means that it is a seed which acts like a grain. It has been cultivated for about 8000 years. It contains all nine essential amino acids and is a protein powerhouse. It contains lunasin, a peptide believed to have anti-inflammatory and cancer-preventive diseases. It has a distinctive peppery taste with a pleasant aroma of grass.
I combined amaranth flour with powdered oatmeal and coconut flour for these pancakes which are both vegan and gluten-free. It’s an ideal breakfast option and it’s quite filling as well. The grilled pineapple and the date-tamarind sauce paired beautifully with the pancakes. It was sweet, sour and salty, all at the same time! And very delicious.
This sauce is usually made in India to go with chaats, which are savoury snacks or hors d’oeuvre, available all across the country in roadside stalls, food carts, restaurants, etc. It’s a combination of several things blended with different chutneys and spices, sometimes with yogurt and topped with crisp vermicelli called sev and freshly chopped coriander leaves. It’s an amazing explosion of flavours in your mouth.
You can mix the batter and let it sit overnight in the fridge to speed up the cooking process. Coconut oil exudes a wonderful aroma while cooking and it also complements the pancakes and pineapple. The spices are also quite subtle and you can taste them on your palate. A very simple and comforting dish.
PREP: 20 minutes COOK TIME: 20 – 30 minutes SERVES: 4
11/2 cup old fashioned oats, powdered
3/4 cup amaranth flour
3/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp flaxseed meal, mixed with 6 tbsp hot water
2 cups coconut milk/almond milk
2 tbsp organic brown sugar (optional)
Salt to taste
For the pineapple
1 pineapple, cut into cubes
2-3 tbsp coconut oil
For the Date-Tamarind sauce
250 gms dates, seeded
75 gms tamarind
50 gms jaggery
1/4 tsp black pepper powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin powder
Prepare the pancake batter by mixing the oatmeal, amaranth flour and coconut flour with all the dry ingredients. Add the coconut oil and the flaxseed mixture and mix well. Add the coconut milk to the flour mixture, adding water if necessary to make a thick batter. Set aside.
Wash the tamarind well and combine it with the dates in a small pan. Add just enough water to cover them. Add all the other ingredients and cook over medium heat until the tamarind and dates are cooked thoroughly. Cool and blend into a paste. Strain and set aside.
Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the pineapple pieces. Toss them in the oil, turning them if necessary until they are a golden brown in colour.
Heat a non-stick pan and add some coconut oil. Pour the batter and spread lightly to make a thick pancake. Cook until the edges start browning and flip them over and cook the other side. Make all the pancakes and serve hot with the grilled pineapple and the date-tamarind sauce.