Karachi’s rambling weather and CinnApple pancakes
Waking up to a cloudy morning in Karachi gives me a sugar rush. The cloudy skies, the greyish overcast, the breezy wind, umbrage of green foliage and that impenetrable sunlight, all lend to the heart to wander, dream, dance, sing or hit the kitchen and cook some delicious food.
As I collected my bowls and spoons, the doors creaked gently from the breeze outside and by the time I was tipping in the flour and leavening agents, the swaying trees were definitely more engaging than the half done pancake batter that lay before me.
Pancakes, I feel, are one of the most underrated breakfast; my kids have consumed them for dinner also. They are healthier than most sugar-coated cereals available in the market, absolutely divine to look at and equally scrumptious to eat.
The moment I cracked an egg in another mixing bowl, the wet muddy smell wafted through. And soon the whiff passed way, for K-Town barely receives rain long enough to enjoy that aromatic experience.
Before I could enjoy the light drizzle and my less than zealous attempt at the CinnApple Pancakes, the kids and their hungry screams descended upon me. With extreme will, I disconnected myself from the ramblings of the beautiful weather outside and concocted a quick cinnamon pancake batter, topped with apples (or bananas), stewed in brown sugar and butter. Perhaps this would satiate the junior public and they would let me enjoy the gorgeous weather outside.
Cinnamon spice is absolutely heart-warming; it is beguiling how a little pinch adds so much flavour and aroma – rich, warm and enriching, the spice runs a natural romance with apples. Hence, I decided to pair them both in my CinnApple Pancakes.
Ingredients: (Makes about 4-5 thick pancakes)
Flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Cinnamon powder – ½ tsp
Egg – 1
Milk – 1 cup (250 ml)
Butter – 2 tbsp (melted)
Extra butter for cooking
Butter – 2 tbsp
Brown sugar – 2 tbsp
Apple – 1 (cored, peeled and chopped)
Corn flour – 1 tsp (dissolved in water)
1. Tip all your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, soda, sugar and cinnamon) in a medium-sized bowl and mix gently.
2. In another bowl or mixing jug, mix your wet ingredients (egg, milk and butter).
3. Now make a well in your flour mixture and gently pour in the egg mixture. Be careful not to over mix the batter, it should be mixed just enough to coat the dry ingredients with the wet ones.
4. Take a non-stick frying pan, put on medium-heat and gently brush with melted butter, once you see those little glorious specks sizzling, pour in your pancake batter (I use a ¼ measuring cup).
5. Cook on gentle heat and once you see little holes appearing on the surface (40-50 seconds) flip them over and cook for another minute or so. Once done, lay them on a serving platter and keep them covered until you are ready to serve.
1. Tip in the butter, brown sugar and chopped apples in a small pan. Once the sugar has melted and starts to bubble up, add in a couple of splashes of water. Keep adding water until the apple pieces are just about tender but not squishy.
2. When the apples are tender, add the corn flour mixture to thicken the sauce. Stir for a bit and take off the heat.
3. Arrange your pancakes in a stack or individually and pour the decadent apple sauce on top, serve immediately.
These are best eaten fresh, especially on overcast Sunday morning, when K-Town is at its best. However, eating them on a sunny weekend morning won’t do any harm either.
All pictures: Saadia Tariq
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