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n obvious subject for this month’s column would be February 14th. Tat’s right, my Dad’s birthday! Or Valentine’s day for the rest of you. As a

conscientious food guide I should really be issuing you a step by step guide on how to concoct a beautiful and romantic flavour-fest to woo your significant other. It would inevitably involve oysters, and chocolate drizzled in inappropriate places. But unfortunately for you, I suck at romance.

Te event doesn’t go totally unacknowledged - my heart hasn’t quite frozen over yet - but, whilst I get stuck with the day-to-day pasta bakes and chicken dinners, the big fancy pants occasions tend to be the territory of the boyfriend. He swoops in whilst I’m cleaning the baby’s regurgitated fish fingers off the walls, fannies about with scallops and microherbs for three hours, and pulls something fabulous out of the bag, totally trumping my entire repertoire of one pot suppers. Poor me, huh?

Anyway, love hearts and snuggles aside, I instead decided to tackle something I’m a lot more committed to: carbohydrates. Specifically, pancake day on 17th February. Now, I’m not a religious girl - I much prefer science and a general inclination towards being nice to people - but, like any good greedy Westerner, I’m all about the celebration of Christian rituals if it means presents and eating.

Te birth of Christ: I’ll have a new Playstation and a week of solid drinking, thank you. Te re-birth of Christ: well clearly that calls for some chocolate eggs and a hunk of roast lamb! Te death of Christ: Hmm, that’s a bit of a downer, how about a four day weekend? And six weeks before that I should probably have a massive pancake feast, to prepare myself for all the things I’m not giving up for Lent...

Shrove Tuesday (I quite prefer the French ‘Mardis Gras’, which translates as ‘Fat Tuesday’) was traditionally a day of feasting and indulging in rich, fatty foods, which you would then abstain from for the period of Lent. Te consumption of pancakes is actually adopted from a pagan ritual, of banishing winter and encouraging spring, with the pancake representing the sun. And somewhere along the line the two things have combined and ended up here, with a bottle of maple syrup and a squeezy Jif lemon. Bit of a history lesson for you there.

I ummed and ahhed about what to direct you to, recipe-wise, beyond the classic lemon and sugar. Whilst I’m a big fan of the substantial, fluffy goodness of the American pancake, for me Shrove Tuesday is more about the thinner, crêpe style. I started with an attempt at Russian blintzes – pancake parcels filled with sweetened cream cheese, fried in butter, then topped with fruit sauce. Sounds promising, huh? Tink again; it tasted like baby vomit (unfortunately this is something I can say from experience). Ten I stumbled upon the idea of Dosas, a savoury Indian pancake made from chickpea flour; an excellent dish for coeliacs, vegans and generally intolerant people. Tey also provide the perfect prelude to a sweeter follow-up course.

Morgan Pickard 36 /February 2015/

Dosa pancakes with potato curry Serves 4

For the pancakes 2 cups gram flour 2 tsp mustard seeds 3 cups water

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda Large pinch salt

Potato curry

4-5 medium sized white potatoes, chopped small

1 large onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped 300g chopped tomatoes 2tsp sugar 1tsp turmeric 2tsp cumin

1tbsp curry powder

1inch sized piece of fresh ginger, minced

Slug of vegetable oil Seasoning

Minted yoghurt, fresh chilli, coriander and chutneys to serve.

Whisk together all the ingredients for the dosas and cook as you would a regular pancake, using a non-stick pan. Stack on a plate and keep in the oven on a low heat until you’re ready to use them.

For the curry, fry the onion in oil until softened , then add the ginger, garlic, spices and potato and stir for a further minute or two. Add in the chopped tomatoes and sugar then cook on a very low heat, with a lid on the pan, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the potatoes to be cooked through but still firm. If it dries out too much, add a little water, but this is meant to be a dry curry. Once cooked, pile the curry on top of the pancakes, add your adornments, roll up and serve.

Morgan writes her own, hilarious blog on

the internet. You can visit it and do a laugh wee wee at

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