Ever since I read the word this morning, I can't help but keep on saying it, with the exclamation mark at the end. 🙂 How can something with such a fun name not taste good?
A filling such as jam, fruit, potato, cottage cheese or farmer cheese, cooked ground meat, cooked chicken and even chopped mushrooms, bean sprouts, cabbage and onions (for a Chinese eggroll-type blintz) is rolled or enveloped into a pre-fried blintz and then the blintz is lightly re-fried, sauteed or baked. Such a blintz is also called nalysnyky in that form (Ukrainian: налисники) or blinchiki (Russian: блинчики).
Of course, my vegan blintzes inspired from the Veganomicon are nothing like the original. The crepes have no yeast or egg, and I decided to duck tradition completely and use chickpea flour instead of wheat, resulting in crepes that are more like the Indian pooda. In fact, these blintzes bear an uncanny resemblance to my mom's moong lentil flour poodas, which she stuffs with scrambled cottage cheese. I did a potato-spinach-cheese stuffing, but you can use any combination of veggies you like.
For the crepes:
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp paprika
vegetable oil/spray for cooking
For the stuffing:
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup shredded cheese/tofu
salt and pepper to taste
– In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, salt, paprika and cilantro. Pour in the oil and then the water, whisking constantly to get a thin batter. Let the batter stand for a few minutes.
– Heat a griddle/ crepe pan. Spray with oil. Add about 1/4 cup batter at a time, tilting the pan to spread it out in a circle. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side, until the crepes are a golden yellow. Repeat. You will get about 6 crepes from this recipe.
– In a skillet, heat a tbsp of oil. Add the cumin and caraway and let them sizzle. Then add the veggies and cheese and cook for a few minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
– On each crepe, put about 1/6th of the filling in the center. Pat it down into an oblongish shape, and roll the crepe into a packet, tucking in the ends. You will end up with blintzes that look like envelopes. Place them seam side down on the plate as you roll them.
– Back to the griddle. Heat it, spray with oil, and place the blintzes seam side down, 2-3 at a time. Cook them on one side for a couple of minutes, flip and cook the other side.
– Serve hot with ketchup/salsa/chutney.
If you like savory crepes, you will Love these little babies. The chickpea flour (available as gram flour/besan in Indian stores) gives them a great flavor and that pretty yellow color, and its actually good for you. Blinchiki!