Sunday 28 July 2013

Belleau Kitchen Challenge...Random Recipe 30

I love Dom's Challenge and I do it every month. I follow the challenge to the letter. I count the books, or randomly select one as required. Then I bake the cake, knead the bread, make the casserole or toss the pancakes. Just as the challenge dictates. I take the requisite photograph. Usually more than one...I take photos...lots of them. 

The hairs are standing up on the back of my neck. I can feel Dom saying, "OH NO YOU DON'T!" 

"I DO DOM, HONESTLY"...But you don't know that I do it every time. You see, I'm a little bit tardy...and I love the making and photographing but I'm not so good at the words. The post will be there...the draft copy all ready to press the 'PUBLISH' button...except for the text. They are still there, all the ones I've missed...waiting in a kind of blog-land limbo. Like the Persian Milk bread I made two months ago...apart from the words. That's when I start to dawdle...I drag my blogpost-writing feet. 

But at last I've got a riddle on. Still it's going to be on the last minute...just in the nick of time... 

Here's my contribution to the lovely Dom's, Belleau Kitchen Random Recipe Challenge No 30, which isn't hard at all and really fun to join in. You can find the rules here on Dom's blog.

My random book number thirty turned out to be Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights. Page thirty, Indian sweet potato pankcakes. Perfect Sunday breakfast. 

To make enough for two people you will need:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 340g/1 1/2 cups of cooked coarsely mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 medium sized spring onions/scallions, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 1 pinch of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Groundnut oil

The method is very simple. You beat the egg whites in a bowl and then add all the other ingredients apart from the oil, and mix well with your fingertips. Heat up the oil in a frying pan. Then form neat little pancakes...and drop them into the hot oil, squashing down a little with a spatula. Then cook for about five minutes on each side. Sophie recommends turning over for a final blast of heat on the first side before serving. 

I can't express enough just how tasty these ordinary looking little pancakes are. They have crunchy outsides and hot soft spicy middles. I forgot to add the onions, so we ate the pancakes with the crunchy fresh spring onions and cold sour yoghurt. Scrumptious. I will definitely be making lots of these. They would be a great vegetarian alternative to a cooked English breakfast...good for visitors.

The process of making them was so relaxing...Maybe something to do with the lovely Miss Dahl herself and her languorous way. Whilst standing over the pan cooking the hot little patties I had found myself imagining  Miss D lip-sinking Bollywood films (you must read the book) or of beautifully bangled and sari clad ladies bending over open fires tending their pancakes, and my mother-in-law teaching me to make Persian lamb cutlets along with wise words in her broken English, not to turn them too soon....

It's this simplicity that I love about Sophie Dahl's cooking. Not too many ingredients, but good ones. She even cuts down on the tools, using fingers instead of fork for mixing. But the best bit about her book is the history, always a little nostalgic tale attached...a nod to her tale-telling granddad...or should that be tail...

...there's just time to for you to join in if you get a riddle on too...coming...?


  1. I am right there with you Debby... I too get lost in finding the words and sometimes I think how fab it would be just to post pictures, say i've done it and be done with it... which you're more than welcome to do by the way!... I have this book and i've made these potato pancakes and they are yummy, yours look very chic!... thanks so much for actually getting on the bus this month... xxx

  2. Love this pretty book by Sophie, I haven't made these sweet potato pancakes so I must gives these a try. They look lovely. Good for you that you got your photos and hard work into the Challenge this month. Looking forward to see what you come up with next month.