Mung Bean Pancakes

MAKES: 4 to 6 servings

TIME: 40 minutes with soaked beans

Delicious, highly spiced, and nutritious pancakes (called bindae duk in Korea, where they’re from) that are easy to love. Make them as large or small as you like and serve them with Soy and Sesame Dipping Sauce and Marinade, Korean Style, or soy sauce mixed with an equal amount of vinegar.

Mung beans come whole, split, or peeled. For best texture in this recipe, use split and peeled mung beans, called moong dal in Indian markets. It’s also important to soak the beans for 2 to 3 hours ahead of time, or they won’t pure to the right consistency for the batter.

Other beans you can use: split peas, red or brown lentils, channa dal, or urad dal.

1 cup split mung beans without skins (moong dal), washed and picked over , soaked overnight if you have time and drained

2 eggs

1 tablespoon minced garlic, or to taste

1 tablespoon minced fresh chile (like jalapeo or Thai), or to taste, or hot red pepper flakes or cayenne to taste

1/2 cup chopped scallion

1 large carrot, finely julienned or grated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup or so dark sesame oil, peanut oil, or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

Put the mung beans in a blender or food processor and add about 3/4 cup water. Pure until a smooth and somewhat thick batter is formed; add more water if necessary.

Transfer to a bowl and stir in the eggs, garlic, chile, scallion, carrot, and a large pinch of salt and pepper. The batter should be the consistency of pancake batter.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with oil. Ladle in the batter to form several pancakes or one large pancake. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the bottom is browned, about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Repeat with the remaining batter.

As the pancakes finish, remove them, and, if necessary, drain on paper towels. Cut into small triangles or serve whole with a dipping sauce.

Variations

Mung Bean Pancakes with Kimchi. Approaching fiery: Replace the chile and carrot with 1 cup chopped or sliced Kimchi.

Mung Bean Pancake, Southeast Asian Style. Serve this with Fishless Fish Sauce or Basil Dipping Sauce or any of their variations: Add 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or Thai basil leaves. Cook with the neutral oil.

Brown Lentil Pancakes. A basic lentil pancake that is a fabulous foundation for a delicious yogurt sauce (see Basil Dipping Sauce): Replace the mung beans with brown (regular) lentils and add 1 to 2 teaspoons any ground spice you like (cumin, coriander, caraway, or fennel works nicely). You can delete the chile or scallion, as you prefer.

Spiced Red Lentil Pancakes. Accompanied with just about any chutney, these are utterly fantastic: Substitute red lentils for the mung beans; add 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger and 11/2 tablespoons or so curry powder, chaat masala, or garam masala (to make your own, see Garam Masala).