Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chickpea Pancakes

So I have officially decided to start updating my blog again. At least that's what I'm going to aim for. Things are a little easier in my schedule now, partly because I somewhat have this medical school business down (somewhat) and partly because we are in Physiology and Microanatomy, supposedly the easiest block in the 1st year curriculum.

I guess one of the biggest updates I can write about here is that I've signed up to run the San Francisco FULL marathon this summer! It's going to be extremely long and painful - more painful than I can even imagine now. I've been training for the past 3-4 months, and I'm only up to 13 miles so far...halfway there!  My biggest concern now is just watching out for my knees. During my last half marathon, I got a case of runner's knee and ignored it - big mistake. It got to the point where I literally couldn't walk anymore before I got it checked out in China. If it comes back now...I really don't know what I'll do.

I've also decided to start weight-training in addition to running. It's something I've always known I had to do, but I keep putting it off because it's just so AMAZINGLY boring. But I've been neglecting my Type I muscle fibers (the ones involved in strength) and focusing instead on my Type II's (those involved in endurance), so that I literally have no upper body strength whatsoever. Time to start toning myself...I can't just do aerobic workouts all the time. Plus, it should help with balance and knee problems too if I build up specific muscles.

 Recently, I've started looking for a solution to a long-standing dilemma I've had for a long time. In case my blog isn't enough to show it (it is probably about 75% bread and baking), I have a huge obsession with bread and carbohydrates. So much so that I often forget to eat my share of protein. So recently, I was surfing the web and I came across a great idea - Chickpea flour! This is apparently the flour they use in making falafel, a vegetarian source of protein. So I figured, I could use this flour to make pseudo-carb-like food but at the same time get more protein in my diet as well.

The other day, I came upon the blog Delectable Victuals, which has an assortment of dishes from around the world. One of them has a recipe for Ethiopian Injera bread using chickpea flour (called Yeshimbra Injera in Ethiopian). I tried making it, but it actually came out looking more like pancakes than the traditional flatbread that it was supposed to be. Maybe next time I should a little bit more water...

Chickpea Pancakes (Yeshimbra Injera) - adopted from Delectable Victuals


2 cups chickpea flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp rapid rise yeast
2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1. First combine the flours, yeast, and  water. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24-36 hours, stirring every 12 hours. If you look close enough, you can see little air bubbles in the pre-ferment (see my picture on the right). This indicates that your yeast are good to go!

2. You can tell when the pre-ferment is ready because it'll smell kind of sour.
3. At this point, heat a nonstick skillet (or pan with a flat bottom, preferrable nonstick). Coat with nonstick spray or oil.
4. Add to the dough the baking soda and salt right before cooking.
5. At this point, you should have a wet, runny batter. Pour them out like crepes and cook. They should develop pockmarks on the surface. I cooked each side over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes.

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