Summer Bites - Watermelon Pancakes

Here is a dish straight from my grandma's kitchen. When the days really warm up in the Konkan, dishes like these are favored over traditional, heavier breakfasts. This way you get a filling meal first thing in the morning, that's also cool and refreshing enough to beat the heat.

The traditional way of making these pancakes is to soak rice and then grind it along with the rest of the ingredients. My mother however often adopted the 'short cut' of using rice flour; which is right up my alley because I often forget to soak rice and then crave dosas for weekend brunch!!

Here I must add that these pancakes are actually an ingenious way of using a part of the fruit that would otherwise be discarded - the white part just under the juicy, red slices. I am always amazed at the extent to which life in the villages is respectful to nature. People in rural India have been environmentally conscious long before the rest of the world even coined the term.

Since packaged, pre-cut chunks are more common in the supermarkets here, it's fine to use them instead of the white part. Cut into smaller pieces and give them a whir in the blender. This by the way will give you the prettiest batter ever - candy floss pink in color!


KALINGAD POLE/ GHAVAN (Watermelon Pancakes)
(makes 6)
1 1/2 cups grated white part of a watermelon or thick watermelon puree
1 cup + 1-2 tbsp rice flour (available in health stores or Indian grocers)
4-5 tbsp brown sugar/ powdered jaggery (adjust to taste)
a pinch of cardamom powder
salt to taste
oil for frying

Mix together watermelon and rice flour gradually. Use a whisk to ensure there are no lumps. Add jaggery, salt and cardamom powder. Adjust consistency with water or flour as required and make a smooth batter.

Cover and keep aside for an hour. Heat a griddle with oil, when hot drop a ladleful of batter in the centre and spread into a circle with the back of your spoon (be careful while doing this as the batter tends to bubble).

Fry till the pancake turns reddish brown, then flip and fry on the other side. Serve hot with a spicy chutney. Or do an all American with maple syrup and butter!

* use grated cucumber or pumpkin instead of watermelon
* make a savoury version by omitting sugar and adding cilantro and green chillies

Entry for:
Weekend Breakfast Series at Nandita's Saffron Trail
ARF/ 5-a-day Tuesday at Cate's Sweetnicks



Blogger Vaishali said...

Those are such pretty looking pancakes with a wonderful lacy texture, Ashwini! A great post for the summer. Btw, I too have recently made a dish with something that is usually discarded. An informal event with 'environment-friendly' dishes taking shape? :)

2:48 AM  
Blogger Menu Today said...

Hi Ashwini,
Very creative!!

3:35 AM  
Blogger Nabeela said...

oh yum yum yum....another easy recipe from you!

9:12 AM  
Blogger Krithika said...

This one looks fabulous. I have a little doubt. Will I get the same red color if I use the white part ? BTW, my entry is sweet wheat dosa which looks very similar to yours :-)

9:21 AM  
Blogger Neelu said...

Hey ashwini, they look absolutely gorgeous, the watermelon has imparted a wonderful color to the ghavans. I guess ucan add it ot thalipeeth also, will c if that works out next time i make thalipeeth. Good job !

9:32 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Vaish - lovely...cant wait to see your post. Btw we really should host an event like that. I know most every cuisine has such dishes whether its broth or stale bread pudding etc.
Thanks MT, Neelu & Nabeela
Krithika - they will be lighter in color.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good one Ashwini. I like such quick dosas :).
BTW.. what is 'ghavan', we call wheat as ghanv (n is pronounced by nose), but since this recipe does not have wheat, I thought of asking you.

10:08 AM  
Blogger Rajesh &Shankari said...

the colors are so will just gobble them up...a definite recipe to try

11:07 AM  
Blogger Priya said...

The pancakes look beautiful. I generally make a chutney with the white part/skin of the watermelon or just use it in a face pack. Will try out this recipe soon :-)

11:40 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The most gorgeous pancakes i have ever seen Ashwini- and i agree with your point about using almost every single part of the vegetable. My mom uses the watermelon rind to make a 'kootu' , and i tried it out once, it tasted soo good that i felt guilty about chucking away all the goodness for so many years

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum Yum Yum Yum Yum

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh wow!

2:17 PM  
Blogger archana said...

Wow,thank you for the recipe, never even heard of this before. I have a big watermelon sitting in my fridge ,now i know what our next weekend breakfast is going to be. Beautiful pics, loved it !!!!

8:17 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

What a wonderful idea! I will try to make these Sunday. Many thanks for this.

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting .... watermelon --- never heard of that... Thank you.. It looks easy to try..

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, yet another innovative recipe ! A fruit based pancakes...Ashwini, this is something new ,a nice recipe with water melons.Thanks for sharing!

11:42 PM  
Blogger indianadoc said...

what a happy coincidence...I got a water melon yesterday...finished off half...but kept the half thinking of making something out of it other than the u have blogged a very a beautiful looking pancake...probably I can try...If I dont become lazy by evening!!

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey ashwini,
Cool and colourful. Very creative! Nice addition of watermelon juice to regular rice pancakes.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Sumitha said...

Watermelon Pancake!!!It has a lovely colour.Did you say that we can use the white portion of the melon too?Amazing!

10:31 AM  
Blogger Meeta K. Wolff said...

Wow! They look good! And a great color too!
Ash, would you like to join my Blogger Postcards from the World game?

2:11 PM  
Blogger appalam vadaam said...

Ashwini, I tried this yesterday - was too tired of the watermelons lying in the fridge!!! It came quite good!

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love fruity pancakes.But this one totally new to me. Never heard or tasted it b4. Love the color of the pancakes, very pretty.

BTW , i tried masala bhaat last nite. Loved it ! I dint have cashews, used peanuts instead. Rest used the exact measurements.Can i make the spice powder alone and store it in a airtight container and use whenever i make this and if yes how long will it stay fresh in a fridge ?

I tried the cucumber pancakes too and it was very tasty. Have posted the pics in my blog. Love these kind of breakfast. Thank you for the recipes Ashwini !

3:50 PM  
Blogger Anupama said...

Superb superb superb!!! Have never been so impressed by just reading a recipe. I am sure it will taste just as wonderful. Am going to try it out as watermelons are really in season

3:51 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Shilpa - thanks! Ghavan is not wheat; in Malwan dosas are called ghavan instead of pole

Shankari, Priya, Nandita, Vee, LG, Archana, Lera, Anu, Choc Lady, Doc, Madhu & Sumitha - thanks!
If any of you do try the dish let me know how you like it ..

Meeta - count me in.

V dear I am so glad you liked them. Also saw that you preferred the sweet ones hmm? :-)

Priya glad you liked the masale bhaat and dhodak. The pic is lovely :-)
You know everytime I make this dish I decide to make more powder and store it but havent really dont it so far! I would say about 7-10 days in an airtight container. It has dry coconut and that tends to become rancid or oily after a while. If you do make and store it, let me know.

Anupama - you have have have to tell me how you like them :-D

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ashwini -- Watermelon pancakes!! I can't wait to try this... my daughter will flip :)

9:08 PM  
Blogger RP said...

Wow!! Look at that beautiful color.

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pancakes look gorgeous and so I tried to make them. Is there any tip to prevent getting it stuck to the pan ?

3:22 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Hi Dee, I prefer non stick pans for such dosas. Cut an onion in half, spear it with your knife and run it over the pan. Take about a teaspoon of oil and coat the pan evenly with it. Make sure the heat is high for the first couple of dosas.
If the pan isnt the problem maybe it is the consistency of the batter?
Good Luck!

3:56 PM  
Blogger Patti Auburn said...

I found your site by accident - I guess now I'll have to make these pancakes, and bookmark your blog!

3:57 PM  
Blogger Mansi said...

Hi Ashwini,

You have a beautiful blog here!! and this watermelon recipe is unique and looks pretty. I recently read about watermelon dosas on another blog (can't remember the name:)), but I like this one better, b'coz i have a huge sweet tooth!!

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: powdered jaggery -

From what I can find, jaggery seems fairly similar to palm sugar (which is readily available for me) or even brown sugar in a pinch - would either of those substitute well?

The pancakes look great, can't wait for watermelon to come in season so I can try them.

8:23 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Thanks Patti. And welcome to FFT

Mansi - Thanks. These dosas can be made in a savory version too but you are right, sweet ones taste much better :-)

Anon - yep, either palm sugar or brown sugar is perfectly okay. Just make sure it is well incorporated into the batter. Good luck.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These look amazing - they would be a great entry for the root source challenge...
You could win a cookbook!

2:19 PM  

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