Recipe by Niki Webster. Rebel Recipes by Niki Webster is out now (Bloomsbury Absolute, RRP £26). Photos: Kris Kirkham.
"Having spent many months backpacking the length and breadth of India, my boyfriend and I travelled in style on a Royal Enfield motorcycle piled up with us and our bags. Every day was a new culinary adventure as we stopped at villages along the way, and I now consider myself a bit of an Indian breakfast connoisseur. There’s an incredible array of savoury spiced breakfast options but, for me, dosas and crepes with chutneys are pretty hard to beat.
My spiced gram (chickpea) flour crepes are very quick to make and perfect for dipping or scooping up chutneys, pickles and salad.
Here I’ve given two types of chutney – a quick coconut one and a sweet onion one. Both are perfect with these crepes, or with any of Indian-spiced curry or dal. The coconut chutney can be made in advance and will last at least a week in the fridge. The onion chutney can be made a couple of weeks in advance – the flavours will intensify but this step is not crucial."
Ingredients for spiced crepes Serves: 5
- 120g gram (chickpea) flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- a pinch of dried chilli flakes
- a handful of fresh coriander, plus extra to serve
- a few curry leaves, optional
- 310ml lukewarm water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Ingredients for the coconut chutney
Ingredients for the sweet onion chutney
Method for spiced crepes
- To make the coconut chutney, add the desiccated coconut to a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to rehydrate and soften, approximately 15 minutes.
- Drain the softened coconut (reserving a few tablespoons of the soaking water) and add to a mini food processor or spice grinder with the ginger and chilli. Blend until smooth, adding some of the coconut soaking water to loosen if needed. Transfer to a bowl and stir through the salt and lime juice.
- In a small frying pan over a medium-high heat, pour in the rapeseed oil. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and fry gently until the seeds start to pop. Immediately add in the cumin seeds and, if using, the curry leaves. Sauté for a few seconds. Tip the tempered spices and oil into the bowl with the coconut chutney and mix well. Set aside until required.
- To make the onion chutney, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Add the onions, chilli, peppercorns and cumin seeds, and fry gently for about 20 minutes until the onions are dark brown and sticky.
- Add in the maple syrup and the balsamic vinegar and simmer for 30 minutes or so, until the chutney is thickened and darkened.
- Pour the chutney into a sterilised jar if making in advance and allow to cool.
- When you’re ready to make the crepes, mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add in the lukewarm water and olive oil, and whisk thoroughly until you get a thick batter. Stir in the coriander and curry leaves. Set aside for 15 minutes.
- Heat a little oil in a small non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add ⅓ cup of the batter to the pan and swirl around the bottom so you get an even crepe. Cook for 1–2 minutes, until there are bubbles on the surface of the crepe and the edges come away slightly from the pan.
- Flip and cook on the other side for 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from the pan, place on a plate and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm. Repeat the process with the rest of the batter.
- Serve the crepe topped with the chutneys, and add a few coriander leaves. Roll up and eat straight away.