141. vegetable crepes
my signature dish
Everyone is good at making a dish however complicated or simple. This signature dish is what friends and family want you to make. My family and friends love the way I make stuffed vegetable crepes. I first came across the recipe for stuffed crepes years back when I was browsing through my sister’s collection of Bella magazine. The stuffing for the recipe was chicken. So I put on my thinking cap and came up with my famous vegetable crepes. The first time I made it for my family, I had to use eggs for the crepes, but eventually found an eggless crepe recipe so that I could make this wonderful dish for my in-laws. I hope you enjoy this dish just the way my friends and family do.
Makes 12 to 14
For the crepes
2 cups plain flour
1½ cups milk
2 tbsps melted butter or oil
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 to 1¼ cups water
For the tomato sauce
7 to 8 medium tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp pepper powder
¼ to ½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsps oil
For the filling
1 cup shredded carrot
1 cup finely chopped french beans
2 cups finely chopped zucchini
2 cups finely chopped blanched spinach
1 cup cooked sweet corn
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 tbsps oil
2 tbsps garlic paste
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp pepper powder
½ cup basil leaves or oregano or 1tsp oregano
For the topping
3 cups of grated cheddar cheese
oil for crepes
Preparation of sauce :
- Cut the tomatoes into half. Put them in a saucepan. Add about a ¼ cup water. Cover the pan and let the tomatoes cook for 15 to 20 minutes till they are soft.
- Cool the tomatoes a bit. Put the tomatoes without much water into a liquidiser and puree it. Save the water and use it as a stock for soup or curry.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and stir fry them till they are light pink in colour. Add the garlic and herbs. Stir fry for a minute. Add the tomato puree. Mix well. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer over medium heat till it becomes thick.
- Add salt, pepper, sugar and chilli flakes. Keep on the side till required.
- The sauce can be prepared a day ahead and kept in the fridge.
- Chop, shred or mince the vegetables as mentioned in the ingredient list.
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Stir fry the garlic for a minute. Add the carrot and french beans and mix. Cover with a lid and let the vegetables cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add zucchini, corn, spinach, mushrooms and herbs. Mix well. Cover the pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the lid and take the pan off the heat. Let the vegetables cool down.
- When it is cold, add salt and pepper and mix well. Keep on the side till required.
- Heat the vegetable just before you fill the crepes.
- Sieve flour with salt and baking powder into a bowl.
- Mix oil, milk and water.
- Whisk the liquid into the flour to get a thick batter.Make sure there are no lumps left.
- Let the batter rest for at least half an hour before using it.
- Use a non stick frying pan. Heat the pan over low heat. Smear the pan with little oil.
- Take a ladleful of the batter and spread it out onto the pan into a circle of nearly 7 to 8 inches.
- Put a teaspoonful of oil around the crepe. Let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Flip it and let the other side cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter.
- Don’t make them too thin or too thick. If you get big holes while spreading the batter, just fill it up with batter. If you know how to make dosa or pudlas, then this is easy.
- You can prepare all the crepes and keep on the side till required.
- Place the crepe on a board or plate.
- Put about 2 to 3 tbsps of the filling in the middle longitudinally.
- Close the ends over the filling.
- Place the filled crepe into a baking dish.
- Once the dish is full with the filled crepes, spread about 2 tbsps of sauce on to each of the filled crepes.
- Sprinkle grated cheese on top.
- Place the baking dish under a hot grill and cook till the cheese melts.
- Serve immediately with your favourite salad and chilli oil.
- Taste the ends of the zucchini (courgette, baby marrow) before you chop it as some of them may be bitter.
- Can use blanched broccoli, cauliflower if you like. Just adjust the measurements of the other vegetables.
- If you are using baby spinach or palak, no need to blanch it. If you use the hardy spinach, then you need to blanch the leaves.
- Blanching is dipping the vegetable in hot water and let it sit there for a minute or so before removing it.
- Use 1 cup wheat flour and 1 cup plain flour for a healthier option. Add only 1 tbsp of oil.
- Can add grated paneer or ricotta cheese to the filling.
- If you are using canned tomatoes, adjust the amount of salt and sugar according to your taste. Canned tomatoes tend to be more sour than fresh ones.
- A ladleful is about a ⅓ of a cup.
- I like to smear the pan with oil using a kitchen towel. Too much oil will make spreading the batter difficult.
- Don’t let the frying pan get too cold or too hot. So keep on adjusting the heat to maintain medium heat.
- To prepare chilli oil, take green chilli paste an mix it in some olive oil.