Crunchy Dill Chickpea Pancakes with Lemon-Garlic Aioli
How is 2019 treating you so far? Scrolling through Instagram would have me believe that we’re all killin’ this New Year thing, but something tells me I’m probably not seeing the less than stellar starts to the year. I know ours was nothing like we expected. Emotionally draining to say the least, and I had to give myself a break from the shiny social media highlight reels for a bit. Half-way into January, I’m now feeling ready to turn this year around and I’m hopeful it will be a really great year.
Maybe you, like me, were more than ready to leave 2018 in your dust, but the start to the year hasn’t gone as you hoped—please know that you aren’t alone! Life challenges don’t adhere to a calendar format and they certainly don’t pause for holidays. All that we can do is put those lessons in our back pocket and carry them with us going forward. Progress, not perfection…am I right?!
My passion for chickpea pancakes has reignited lately. I forgot just how quick and easy these savory cakes are to whip up for a light lunch or dinner. While I don’t see myself burning out on soup and toast anytime soon, these are a pleasant change from the usual winter fare. I’ve also been really into the bright and tangy combo of lemon-dill lately (must be that drab winter weather!) so I decided to make those the standout flavours in this recipe. Served with a rich Lemon-Garlic Aioli, crunchy chopped dill pickles, green onion, and fresh dill…this dish brightens up any day. Even though my brain can’t quite comprehend it, I know not everyone is a big dill pickle fan. If that’s the case, I’d recommend trying my reader-fave Jumbo Chickpea Pancake recipe instead!
Calling all dill pickle fans! Chickpea flour, which forms the base of these easy-to-throw-together savory pancakes, is an earthy-tasting flour, so I like to brighten it up with fresh lemon and dill. Chopped dill pickle gives these pancakes a delightful tangy crunch, and grated carrot lends a touch of sweetness as well as an extra boost of nutrition. Topping them with my 3-ingredient Lemon-Garlic Aioli is a must for mega flavour and richness, so don’t skip it. (Uh oh, I’m getting bossy again!) Ready in 30 minutes or less, these pancakes make a light breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This recipe is adapted from my Jumbo Chickpea Pancake.
For the Lemon-Garlic Aioli:
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) soy-free vegan mayo
- 1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves, grated on microplane
- 1 to 2 teaspoons (5 to 10 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste (I use 2)
For the pancakes:
- 1 tablespoon (15 mL) coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced (1 heaping tablespoon)
- 1/2 cup (42 g) grated peeled carrot (1/2 medium)*
- 1/3 cup (47 g) finely chopped dill pickle (2 small)**
- 1/2 cup (63 g) chickpea flour
- 2 tablespoons (10 g) nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) water
- Fine sea salt and pepper, to taste (I use 1/4 teaspoon)
- Sliced green onion, chopped dill pickle and fresh dill, aioli
- For the Lemon-Garlic Aioli: In a small bowl, stir together the vegan mayo, minced garlic, and lemon juice (to taste). Set aside.
- For the pancakes: To a large skillet, add the oil and sauté the garlic for a couple minutes over low-medium heat, stirring frequently, and being careful not to burn. Add the grated carrot and finely chopped dill pickle and sauté another minute or two until the carrot has softened a bit.
- Preheat another large non-stick skillet (I use a flat pancake skillet) over medium heat. Or, simply use the same skillet as before if that works for you!
- In a large mixing bowl, add the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, water, salt, pepper, and sautéed veggies. Whisk until combined and let the batter sit for 1 minute.
- When a drop of water sizzles after hitting the pancake skillet, it’s preheated and ready to use. Spray the skillet with oil.
- To the skillet, add 2 tablespoons of batter for each pancake. Use the tablespoon to spread the batter out until it’s about 3 inches in diameter. Space the pancakes an inch or two apart on the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, until a golden brown crust forms on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. I prepare the toppings while the pancakes cook.
- Place the pancakes on a cooling rack, grease the skillet again, and cook the remaining pancake batter using the steps above.
- Serve the pancakes warm with a big dollop of Lemon-Garlic Aioli and generous sprinkling of minced fresh dill, chopped dill pickle, and sliced green onion if you’re feeling fancy! We haven’t found these to freeze or reheat very well, so I recommend making and serving the pancakes fresh.
* I use the standard-sized grate hole on the box grater.
** It’s important to finely chop the dill pickle as larger chunks feel a bit too chewy in these pancakes.
Want to increase the garlic flavour even more? Use garlic-flavoured dill pickles for a fun twist!
If you’re using fresh dill as a garnish, feel free to also add a bit of minced dill to the batter.