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(Chick-pea-flour pancakes)

This is the basic recipe for pudla. You can make many tasty variations by adding cooked or quick-cooking vegetables such as mung bean sprouts, grated carrots, chopped parsley, or small cubes of potato.

Preparation time: 15 min
Cooking time: 5 min for each pudla

2 cups (200 g) chick-pea flour
1/2 cup (50 g) white flour
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 or 2 fresh green chillies, seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
11/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoon fresh coriander or parsley leaves, minced
11/4 cups (300 ml) cold water
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, diced
ghee or butter for frying
3 tablespoon lemon juice

In a large bowl, mix together the chick-pea flour, white flour, and the next eight ingredients. Slowly add the cold water, stirring as you do, until you have a thickish pancake batter. If the batter seems too thick, remember that the juice from the tomatoes will thin it. Now stir in the grated ginger and pieces of tomato and pepper. Set aside.

Melt a tablespoon of ghee or butter in a 10 - 12-inch (20 - 26 cm) frying pan over medium heat. Pour in enough batter to make two 4 - 5-inch (10 - 13 cm) pancakes at a time. It is more important that the pancakes be uniformly thick, than perfectly round. Cook slowly on both sides so that they become golden-brown and crisp (about 4 - 5 minutes). Finish the batter in this way, using about 1 teaspoon of ghee or butter for each pudla. Sprinkle the lemon juice over the top of the pudlas. Serve hot.