The Modern Pantry go all out when it comes to pancakes. Served with aubergine, currants, cherry tomatoes & mint these are the ultimate way to do pancake day with punchy Middle Eastern feel. 

Ingredients (Serves 4)

The ingredient list may look daunting, but rest assured your efforts will be repaid 10 fold.

For the pancakes

110 g plain flour

A decent pinch of salt

200 ml buttermilk

100 ml milk

50 g melted butter

2 eggs

½ a bunch coriander, including stalks and finely chopped

1 ½ tsp black onion seeds (also known as kaloonji or nigella) lightly toasted.

For the aubergine salad

2 aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes

2 tbsp currants soaked in 100 ml apple juice overnight (add a tsp of pomegranate molasses and half a tsp of rose water if you happen to have


1 small red onion, sliced finely into half moons

The zest and juice of 1 lemon

20 cherry tomatoes, quartered

½ a bunch of mint leaves, roughly chopped plus extra for garnish

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

For the buttermilk dressing

250 ml buttermilk

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tsp lemon juice

¼ tsp black onion seeds, lightly toasted and ground

½ tsp black onion seed, lightly toasted and whole

A pinch of salt and pinch of pepper 


For the pancake

  1. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the center. 
  2. Whisk the buttermilk, milk, melted butter and eggs together and then pour into the well and whisk thoroughly until completely blended and lump free. 
  3. Add the coriander and black onion seeds, whisk again and set aside.
  4. Place a plate at least the size of your frying pan over a pot of very gently simmering water with a lid. 
  5. Melt a small knob of butter in a pancake pan or other frying pan (preferably one that is not too heavy) over moderate heat. 
  6. Using a large spoon or ladle pour 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter into the pan. The volume will depend on the size of your pan but you will soon work that out! As soon as the batter is in the pan tip it around the surface from side to side. Once evenly coated return to the heat and cook for a minute or so until golden then using a palette knife loosen the edges of the pancake and flip it over. 
  7. Cook for another couple of seconds and slide onto the plate and cover with the lid. Repeat the process until you have used up the batter – allowing for a disaster or two you will get approximately 8 pancakes from a 16cm pan.

For the aubergine salad

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C. 
  2. Put the diced aubergine in a bowl and toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. 
  3. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until the aubergine is tender and beginning to caramelise. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. 
  4. Place the sliced red onion in the bowl you used for the aubergine and add the finely grated lemon zest and juice. Add a pinch of salt and mix well. 
  5. Once the aubergine has cooled add this to the bowl along with the soaked currants and a little of their juice, the cherry tomatoes and mint. Gently mix and check the seasoning adding a little more salt and pepper if required and a little more olive oil if the salad seems a little dry.

For the buttermilk dressing

  1. Whisk all together in a bowl and set aside. 
  2. When you are ready to serve lay a pancake on a plate, scatter some of the aubergine salad over it then roll it up. 
  3. Spoon over the buttermilk dressing and serve immediately with a scattering of mint leaves.

Thanks to the Modern Pantry for contributing the recipe.
Photo by Helmut W. Klug.