Enjoy this recipe for Parsi pancakes, inspired by an 18th-century cake. The pancakes are made with coconut milk and laced with nuts and a little sugar
- Serves: 8 persons
- 225g plain flour
- 225g sugar
- ½tsp saffron threads, crushed
- ½tsp cardamom powder (or crushed cardamom seeds)
- ¼tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 4eggs, beaten
- 400g can coconut milk
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 60g pistachios finely chopped (or blitzed in a food processor)
- 1tbsp ground almonds
- icing sugar, for dusting
- 300g ready-to-roll marzipan
- 1-2 tbsp soft ghee
- double cream, to serve
Step 1Mix the flour, sugar, saffron, cardamom and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Combine the eggs, coconut milk and vanilla in a large jug, then gradually pour the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking as do. Stir in the pistachios and ground almonds. You should have a thick pancake batter; if it’s too thick, you can add a little milk. Let the batter rest for 30 mins while you prepare the marzipan.
Step 2Dust your work surface generously with icing sugar, then roll out discs of marzipan about ½cm thick that are the same size as your frying pan (so you know they’ll fit between the layers of pancake). You want these to be as thin as possible, but ½cm is ideal. You should end up with around 16 discs of marzipan.
Step 3Heat a frying pan (ours was 16cm) over a medium heat. Heat a drop of ghee and, once melted, pour in a ladleful of mixture. Tilt the pan in circles so the mixture spreads around evenly, covering the bottom base of the pan. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 1 min until pale golden brown. Carefully flip it over and cook for a further minute. Put on a plate or serving platter – whatever you’ll serve it on – then top with a disc of marzipan. Add a little more ghee to the pan, then fry the next pancake in the same way, removing from the pan and topping it with another marzipan disc.
Step 4Continue until you’ve used up all your batter (you should have around 17-18 pancakes), alternating with a disc of marzipan and ending with a pancake on top. You can help keep the pancakes warm as you stack by covering the them with a clean tea towel as you go. Serve with double cream, if you like.