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My family loves pancakes for weekend breakfasts; whether they be the thin French style crepes, topped with fruit and drizzled with golden syrup, or thick and fluffy American style pancakes, doused in cream and maple syrup. But there is another type of pancakes popular in our house, the soft and lacy, aromatic Arabian Dairy Free Pancake. These come in specially handy when we don’t have milk and eggs at home but kids still want pancakes.

These are called Atayef in the Middle East and are traditionally served in the month of Ramadan stuffed with cheese or cream, but you can also serve them like any other pancakes with your favourite toppings. Mine is a mildly sweet and amazingly fragrant Rosewater Syrup. To give it a more traditional touch, we sprinkle some chopped pistachios on top but if you are allergic to nuts, you can replace them with your favourite seasonal fruit. This dairy free, egg free quality makes these pancakes a perfect vegan recipe and suitable for people with egg allergy or dairy intolerance.

The pancakes are melt in the mouth soft and usually when I’m making these, my younger daughter stands beside me and keeps gobbling them up in big bites without even drizzling any syrup on top. To make the stuffed version, dip hot pancakes in syrup, add a spoonful of your favourite stuffing, fold in half and press the edges to make them stick together.


For Dairy Free Pancake Batter:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
Lukewarm water to make the batter

For Sugar Syrup:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Rosewater
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil for greasing the pan

For Topping:

1/4 cup pistachios, roughly chopped
Any seasonal fruits of your choice

This Is What You Do

In 1/4 cup lukewarm water, dissolve yeast and sugar. Cover and leave to froth for 10 minutes.

Add the flour in a big mixing bowl, make a well in the centre.

Add the yeast mix and bring in the flour. Add more lukewarm water gradually and mix to make a smooth batter.

Cover the bowl with kitchen towel and leave in a warm place for one hour, until the batter becomes bubbly and rises.

Meanwhile make the syrup. Bring sugar and water to a boil.

Add cardamom, rosewater and lemon juice. Reduce heat to a simmer and let it thicken up to a honey like consistency.

Cool it to room temperature

Lightly grease or spray with oil a heavy bottomed or non stick frying pan.

Heat it on medium low heat.

Pour half a ladle or cup in the centre of the pan. Tilt the pan to spread out the batter.

When bubbles appear on the upper side, flip it and cook the other side. Pancakes should be nice and golden.

Dip the hot pancakes in Rosewater Syrup and garnish with pistachios.

Serve warm.Makes 5-6 small pancakes

Serves 2