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Why I hid Zucchini in Your Pancakes

August 7, 2014

When you hear the word pancakes, you might conjure up an image of a mile high buttermilk stack of fluffy goodness oozing with maple syrup. I love pancakes as much as the next person, but all the sugar makes me crash and burn hard. Instead of feeling energized, I get sleepy! I still don’t want to give up on pancakes, and when I crave something savory instead of sweet, I whip up a batch of zucchini pancakes otherwise known as a’ajeh. This dish is popular throughout Levant part of the Middle East. The recipe for these pancakes came from  a need to conserve every part of the vegetable. For instance, one very popular dish is kousa mahshi, or zucchini stuffed with rice and meat. Once you take the pulp out of the zucchini, what do you do with it? Hence these pancakes were born.

Camera 360

Actually, the traditional preparation for these require deep frying, more like fritters to be exact. In order to keep these healthy (they are veggies after all) I use the pancake method, which retains flavor without all of that oil. These pancakes also require a bit of flour. To give these pancakes a low-glycemic twist, I used chick pea flour instead. Chick pea flour gives these pancakes a flavor similar to felafel, which I love, plus it is made out of legumes, so overall it’s a less processed,  healthier choice. Have fun with these–make them mini style and serve with creme fraiche and salmon with a spig of dill. Slather on my tzatziki sauce from my last post.. Tex mex them up with some salsa and sour cream. Use them as a veggie substitute for chicken parmigiana–add marinara and mozzarella cheese and broil till bubbly. Eat them plain! With all of the fresh herbs you won’t even miss the sweet style pancakes, if you try them let me know what you think! Here is the video!

As you can see these are all simple ingredients, taking something familiar to western cuisine, like pancakes, and adding a bit of snazz to turn them into something more exotic. Even the most novice cook can make these, and get the flavors of the middle east on a plate in minutes.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Fred Jernigan permalink
    August 8, 2014 1:54 pm

    Hi Blanche-

    Thank you for this post.

    I’m sure people who read your blog are horrified by what the people in Gaza are trying to live through. I would encourage anyone who wants to do something but is unsure of an appropriate charity to research these agencies for themselves. I’m confident they will donate to the relief effort.

    Oh, and love the recipe. I haven’t had these in years and had no idea how to make them.

    • August 15, 2014 9:54 pm

      Thank you Fred for your feedback! Yes whenever donating it is good to research the agencies. I have seen firsthand the incredible work of the brave people from these organizations, and love that they prioritize the children, who are the most vulnerable in these sieges and deserve a good quality of life and the chance to dream. 😉

  2. Huma permalink
    August 22, 2014 9:43 pm

    Hi. Loving ur recipes. I was wondering if u have a meat MANSAF recipe here?
    My husband is a Palestinian I want to surprise him with MANSAF 🙂
    Thanks

  3. Huma permalink
    August 22, 2014 9:44 pm

    Hi. Loving ur recipes. I was wondering if u have a meat MANSAF recipe here?
    My husband is a Palestinian I want to surprise him with MANSAF 🙂
    Thanks a lot

    • August 25, 2014 1:14 pm

      Ahhhh mansaf!! I was planning on doing a video on that one in the future. Now the version I do uses yogurt-not the traditional kishek if that is ok with you 😉 Your husband is a lucky guy!

  4. s davis permalink
    August 23, 2014 8:41 pm

    all your recipies are “keepers”, greatly appreciate your incredible food. I will have to make this zucchini dish soon, it looks delicious!!! I just finsihed reading “Exile” , fictional story of a couple but tells us so much REAL history of and what the Palestinians have gone through since the 1940’s. I have known about their history, but I was reminded with this book and with current events. I am so sad at how they have been displaced/exiled, massacred and in some ways ignored by the rest of the world. The media can be so “one sided”. Hope all people, especially Middle Easterners can help Palestinians in some way…imagine if UAE, Qattar, Saudis helped the Palestinians with infrastructure, great housing, schools, etc….
    you have done a great deed by bringing this issue to light on your blog….

    • August 25, 2014 1:11 pm

      Thank you for your sweet comment! Oh yes, I hold those oil rich countries just as accountable for their lack of action–it is all so heartbreaking really. I really appreciate your feedback so much, comments like yours are what keep me going! 😉

  5. shirley davis permalink
    August 26, 2014 12:06 pm

    Blanche ,you do a great job of sharing these delicious recipes….you are documenting and showing us the beautiful traditions of your parents/grandparents …… may The Lord bless you with extra time to put a great cookie recipe out there for us a couple of months before Christmas. Yes, we all have many cookie recipes, but middle eastern ones have you know….FLAVOR. You are truly appreciated….. S Davis

  6. August 26, 2014 2:22 pm

    Thanks so much Shirley—I actually have just the cookie in mind! Will work on perfecting it before releasing it for Christmas! 😉

    • S davis permalink
      August 31, 2014 4:21 pm

      I am looking forward to the cookie recipe. Thank you

  7. Shirley davis permalink
    September 9, 2014 8:51 pm

    THANK YOU SO MUCH for providing a place where we may donate to the Palestinian people. I really could not find a place to donate and remembered it was with your recipe! It’s truly so sad what they go through…in this day and age…as I just skimmed through the book “Goliath: life and Loathing In greater Israel “, wow… SD

    • September 10, 2014 5:29 pm

      Thanks so much Shirley, it is kind hearted people like you the world so desperately needs! And that book is incredible and its author Max Blumenthal is my hero! I will be running a 5k race to benefit the children of Gaza, if you know anyone interested in contributing, please share! You can see all the info in this link: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/blanche/gaza5k-sf

  8. Shirley permalink
    September 10, 2014 7:32 pm

    After skimming through this book, I was left shell shocked. I looked for his speeches on you tube, amazing work…and am so thankful for him. Blanche, he is a hero to many others as well. So BRAVE!! He is a gifted writer and has used his talent to speak up for those in great despair. He has gone against his own peeps and the “mighty” institutions. He has a lot at stake, yet did the right thing. Thank you for the donation website, will tell others. Blanche, Thank you for making a difference. Sorry, it’s supposed to be your food website and I am off the subject. Sd

    • September 11, 2014 10:01 pm

      No problem Shirley…thank YOU so much the donation, which will make a tremendous difference in these children’s lives, bless your heart! And yes, Max is literally putting his life on the line to speak the truth and bring justice. He is one of the few true real journalists out there, and I am so grateful for him! Love you Shirley!!

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