French Toast

I promise that you will not miss eggs nor will you be short on protein with my amazing vegan French toast. Read on to learn about the soul of spice (SOS secret tips) that go into the making of this fabulous treat. Make it anytime, Sunday brunch or otherwise & choose from my sweet or savory options. Note: teenager approved!

10 AM was a break time that all staff eagerly anticipated in the Unesco office in New Delhi. Shivcharan, man of all trades, would hop on his bicycle to get a platter of pakoras, funded by the office kitty. Indian kitty parties involve a contribution from each staff member from which treats are purchased. The nepali chaiwallah would synchronize arrival of said pakora platter as he did his tea rounds, Balancing tiny cups of strong and sugary tea which made it the perfect pairing for the pakoras. Ten rupees (20 cents Canadian) would fetch Shivcharan a large mixed platter of a dazzling array of street food pakoras-onion, spinach, potato and cauliflower would vie with each other. I invariably found myself reaching for the bread pakora, slices of white bread separated by a spicy potato filling draped in batter and deep fried. Served with tantalizing green chutney that would be a sacrilege to even try to replicate.

When I turned vegan, I was reminded of shivcharan’s bronzed face contrasting with his bright sparkly smile, & weathered hands that did so much office repair work, offering the pakora platter around the office. Today I’d like to share my take after many gastronomical twists and turns to achieve vegan French toast by doing the unthinkable, making it eggless and also taking the pakora and stripping it of deep fried nature so that it is healthier but still manages to retain flavor.

I’m so happy with the result that I feel that you must definitely try it. Two of my Secret ingredients that you must source to get the perfection I did are – chickpea flour & Indian black salt. Kala namak or black salt produces the yummy taste we associate with eggs. Dopamine-content, and yet managing to keep your blood sugar from spiking with the miracle food chickpeas are, you will likely reach for these French toasts again & again.

You need
Basic ingredients
6 slices of bread, cut in half (I used gluten free seeds & grains bread from Costco, you can use any)
1 cup chickpea flour
2 cups water
½ tsp kala namak (black salt)
½ tsp turmeric powder

Savory batch (Indian style French toast)
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp pomegranate seed powder
Pinch hing

Sweet batch (traditional French toast)
½ tsp sugar
½ cup blueberries or fruit of choice
Icing sugar for dusting

In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour with spices. Slowly add water ¼ cup at a time, using a fork or a whisk to mix. Continue adding the water till all water is used up & you have a smooth batter like beaten egg.
Divide the batter into two batches.
In one batch, mix in the savory batch ingredients.
In the second batch, mix In the sweet batch ingredients.
Heat griddle. Grease lightly with oil.
Dip bread slice in savory/sweet batter and let cook. Flip when bottom is done & let the other side cook. Drizzle some oil around the French toast to get a crisp exterior.
Repeat with remaining slices.
Serve the savory French toast with tomato and green chutney.
Serve the sweet French toast topped with fruits and icing sugar

How about that? Something for everyone, spicy for those with a spice penchant and sweet for those with a sweet tooth. Go ahead, give it a try, if you’ve always been sweet, try going spicy. On the other hand, if you’ve always been spicy, try going sweet!

Pix courtesy – Punita Sastry

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