Sweet Anglo Indian Coconut Pan Rolls | For Shrove Tuesday

What's in a name?
A pancake by any other name would taste just as delish.

So, if you're in the UK, you would call this a pancake. And when in France, you'd ask for a crepeBut in India, when these flat, frilly edged pancakes are stuffed with a sweet or savory filling and rolled up into a neat little roll... they are called pan rolls.

Call it what you may...one thing is for certain... you won't be able to stop with just one.

Pancakes, crepes, Anglo Indian pan rolls with sweet grated coconut filling, panrolls, shrove tuesday panrolls, shrove tuesday pancakes, mardi gras pancakes, mardi gras panrolls, Lenten pancakes, Lent


Popularly prepared by the Christian community in India for Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday or Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras), these pan rolls are thin, flat pancakes stuffed with freshly grated coconut and jaggery and flavored with nutmeg.

Shrove Tuesday is the day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
The word shrove is derived from the word 'shrive', which means 'absolve', and on this day church bells are rung to remind people to repent for their sins  and to go for confession.

The forty day period of Lent is marked by fasting, abstinence, sacrifice and self-examination, culminating in the celebration of Easter. 

So, before the solemn period of Lent begins, the day before (Mardi Gras) is a popular time for making merry and indulging in rich foods that one might usually give up in their Lenten sacrifice. 

One of the traditions for both Protestant and Roman Catholics on Shrove Tuesday, is to pull out their frying pans and make pancakes. This was one way of using up the rich ingredients (sugar, eggs, milk) before the fasting season of Lent began.


Make 6-7 pancakes


For the pancake batter:
☐ 1/2 cup white all purpose flour (maida)
☐ 1 egg
☐ 1 cup milk
☐ 2 teaspoons sugar
☐ A drop of vanilla essence
☐ 2 tablespoons water for consistency

☐ Butter/oil for frying

For the coconut filling:
☐ 1 cup of grated coconut
☐ 4 teaspoons of jaggery or sugar
☐ 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg


1. Prepare the batter

In a bowl,  lightly whisk together the flour, egg, milk, sugar, vanilla essence and water to make a smooth, lump free batter.

The consistency of the batter should be thinnish. If it seems too thick, add a little more water.

Crepe batter, pancake batter
Pancake batter made with milk, flour, egg, sugar, vanilla essence and a little water.

2. Prepare the coconut filling

Mix the grated coconut with crushed jaggery and nutmeg.
Jaggery gives the stuffing a unique and traditional molasses-like flavor. However, I didn't have jaggery, so I used sugar instead.

Sweet pancake filling made with freshly grated coconut, sugar and nutmeg.

3. Fry the pancakes

Use an 8 inch frying pan which has a lip. Heat the pan on medium heat. When the pan is hot, smear the pan with a little oil or butter (preferably butter to get the lovely smell of frying pancakes)

Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Swirl the pan so that the pancake batter evenly coats the bottom of the pan. The pancake will cook quickly. There's no need to flip it over in the pan.

Instead, with a spatula or flat wooden spoon, loosen the edges of the pancake. And then turn it over into a plate. 

Crepes, pancakes
Fried pancakes. Like crepes, they are thin with frilly edges. The side that was on the pan will be golden brown. The side that wasn't, will be pale yellow.

4. Make the pan rolls

Lay out the pancake with the un-browned side facing up. Spoon a bit of the coconut filling into the center of the pancake and spread out the filling lengthwise. 

Roll the pancake up like you would roll a spring roll, so that all the filling is packed in neatly and unable to spill out.

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If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also like:

For more Easter related recipes, click on the 'Easter' label below.

To explore all my other Anglo Indian recipes, click on "ANGLO INDIAN" below.

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