Healthy Whole Wheat Pancakes with Chapati Flour

I was so high when I scarfed down a plateful of American pancakes, stewed apples and sausage links for the first time. How high, you ask? 35,000 ft. in the air, to be precise. That's how high.

Whole wheat pancakes, Aasshirvaad Sharbati atta pancakes, American pancakes, stewed apples, sausage links

It was back in the day when I worked as a flight attendant, during the glory of days flying. Whoever says airline food is bad has never flown Emirates Airlines. The economy passenger meals were always so delicious and featured regional specials depending on which part of the world we were heading to. The menu options in Business and First Class were much more impressive, which we served in style on fine porcelain, accompanied by an array of libations. After the service was complete, there was still more than enough food for the cabin crew to help themselves to. But, if none of the passenger meals tickled our fancy, there were always the specially loaded crew meals for us to try.

American pancakes, stewed apples and sausage links with a light drizzle of maple syrup were actually one of the economy class meal options that were often loaded on European bound flights. This was my all time favorite airline breakfast meal, with just the right balance of slightly sweet and savory, I thought this combination was ideal in every way. Just enough carbs, protein and fat to keep me pleasantly satisfied and nourished. Nearly twenty years later, it still continues to be my favorite way to serve pancakes.

Whole wheat pancakes, Aasshirvaad Sharbati atta pancakes, American pancakes, stewed apples, sausage links


A Healthy Pancake Option- Whole Wheat Pancakes with Chapati Flour or Atta

Since I've been making a conscious effort to limit consuming refined sugar and white flour, I've chosen to swap out white all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour for a much healthier, more nutritious, high fiber breakfast meal. I use my whole wheat chapati flour (Aashirvaad Sharbati Whole Wheat Atta) to make whole wheat pancakes and they come out surprisingly well. 

Sharbati atta is a superior whole wheat flour; a premium quality atta made from the 'King of Wheat', Sharbati wheat, harvested in the the Sehore region of Madhya Pradesh.  Pancakes made from this atta are soft and fluffy, with a very neutral aroma. You would never guess that you were eating pancakes made out of chapati flour.

These whole wheat pancakes are lower on the glycemic index that white flour pancakes. Plus, they are high in fiber which is good for diabetics or anyone trying to control their blood sugar levels. Fiber slows down the digestion process. A slower absorption of nutrients helps keep blood sugar levels stable. It also helps us feeling full for longer.

While I'm frying the pancakes, I stew peeled and sliced apples on a side burner, with just a teaspoon of sugar and a few bits of cinnamon and clove for flavor. I allocate one apple per person and that ups the fiber content in this breakfast meal. Breakfast sausage links are a nice side. For a healthier option, try veggie or soy breakfast links.

Whole wheat pancakes, Aasshirvaad Sharbati atta pancakes, American pancakes,


Recipe for Stewed Apples and Whole Wheat Pancakes with Chapati Flour or Atta


Servings:  14 pancakes (Serves 2 people)


Ingredients:

For pancakes
☐ 1 cup whole wheat flour
☐ 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
☐ 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
☐ 2 teaspoons sugar
☐ Pinch of salt
☐ 1 cup buttermilk (Western buttermilk which has the consistency of thick cream). See 'Kitchen Notes' for other options.
☐ 1/2 cup skimmed milk 
☐ 1 egg, lightly beaten
☐ 1 tablespoon oil
☐ Butter for greasing pan while frying

For stewed apples
☐ 2 large apples, peeled, cored and sliced
☐ 1 teaspoon sugar
☐ 1 teaspoon water
☐ 1 inch cinnamon stick, broken 
☐ 2-3 whole cloves

Optional 
☐ Mini breakfast sausage links
☐ Maple syrup or golden syrup 


Instructions:

To make pancakes

1. Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda together into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and mix well to combine.

2. Make a well in the center. Pour the buttermilk, egg, oil and milk into the well. Then using a wire whisk (not electric) gradually mix from the center outward to combine all the ingredients. Mix until just about combined; do not overmix. Let the batter rest for a few minutes. If serving with stewed apples, you can cut and slice the apples during this time.

3. On a hot griddle/ heavy bottomed pan/ iron skillet, spread a little butter. In one spot, pour a little less than quarter cup of batter onto the hot pan, keeping the ladle centered over the batter as you pour. Allow the batter to spread out naturally on its own. Leave undisturbed on medium- high heat until bubbles start to form all over the surface of the pancake and the edges appear slightly dry. (usually within 2 minutes).

Whole wheat pancakes, Aasshirvaad Sharbati atta pancakes, American pancakes, griddle, frying pancakes on griddle

Note: If bubbles don't form in about 1-2 minutes, then the batter is too thick. Thin in it out with a little more milk.

4. Flip the pancake and allow the other side to cook. (about 1 minute).

5. Remove and stack pancakes onto a plate. They will keep hot this way.

To make stewed apples

Peel, core and roughly slice apples (not too thin). Place in a small saucepan with 1 teaspoon of water and 1 teaspoon of sugar. Add cinnamon and cloves. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes. The apples will release a lot of water. Open and cook for a further 5 minutes on high heat, to boil down the liquid into a light syrup that will coat the apples.

To serve, stack pancakes and serve with stewed apples and sausage links. A light drizzle of maple syrup or golden syrup is optional.

Whole wheat pancakes, Aasshirvaad Sharbati atta pancakes, American pancakes, stewed apples, sausage links


Kitchen Notes:

  • The Pancake Batter

Buttermilk is the main liquid ingredient in the batter. But, since I'm in the U.S, the buttermilk in the western world is significantly different from buttermilk in India. Western buttermilk is thicker and creamier than Indian buttermilk. The recipe below uses Western buttermilk. If swapping it out for regular milk or Indian buttermilk, just use a little less than the recipe calls for. The consistency of the batter should be be thick and creamy to pour easily, but it should not be runny. When poured into a hot pan, it should spread out slowly, rather than running all over the pan.

The good thing is that pancake batter is easily fixable. If it tends to be too thick, add a splash of milk to it. It if it's too runny, sift a little flour into the batter.
  • The Griddle
A flat heavy bottom non-stick pan is a must for frying pancakes, A cast iron skillet or griddle works well. Preheat the pan until a drop of water flicked onto the top pan, dances on the surface and quickly evaporates. The pan is now hot and ready to start frying pancakes.
  • Other Toppings
Some alternate ways to enjoy these pancakes are with butter and sugar, jam, bananas and nutella, mixed berries, fresh fruit and honey. 

If you prefer thinner pancakes (crepes), try: Coconut Panrolls


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