Rice-Flour Pancakes

  • Serves

    makes 16-20

A Christian specialty, these pancakes are often served with nonvegetarian curries such as Coriander Chicken.


  • 1 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 14 cup farina (such as Cream of Wheat)
  • 1 cup finely grated fresh coconut or finely shredded dried unsweetened coconut (see Cracking a Coconut)
  • 5 12 tsp. sugar
  • 23 cup fresh "first milk" coconut milk or 2⁄3 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 12 tsp. salt


Step 1

Mix yeast with 1⁄2 cup warm water in a small bowl, and set aside until yeast dissolves and little bubbles begin to appear on the surface, about 10 minutes.

Step 2

Meanwhile, heat rice flour in a wok or large skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly, until flour is hot to the touch and turns from bright white to a creamy off-white, about 5 minutes. Do not brown. Remove wok from heat, and set aside to cool.

Step 3

Combine farina and 1 cup water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, 2–3 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and stir until cool.

Step 4

Put cooled rice flour, coconut, 4 tsp. of the sugar, cooled farina, and proofed yeast in a large bowl, and whisk in enough water (about 1 1⁄2 cups) to make a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm, moist place (in a turned-off oven alongside a bowl of hot water, if you like) until batter expands slightly and becomes bubbly, 5–8 hours. (Batter may be refrigerated for several hours; return batter to room temperature before frying.) Whisk coconut milk, salt, and remaining 1 1⁄2 tsp. sugar into fermented batter. It should be the consistency of foamy cake batter; thin the batter with a little water, if needed.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 200°. Heat a nonstick griddle or large skillet over medium heat. For each pancake, ladle about 1⁄4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle, and cook until the underside has browned to the color of cinnamon, about 3 minutes. Flip pancake over with a spatula, and brown other side, about 2 minutes more. Pancake should be about 1⁄2" thick and laced with fine holes. Transfer to a platter, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and keep warm in oven. Repeat with remaining batter.

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