Life definitely got into the way of our blog. Although we have been busy, there has still been a lot of cooking going on behind the scenes. This is a meek attempt to try and resurrect this little project between me and my Prague sisters, A & N.
On a recent visit, my dear Filipino mom ventured off to a section of Prague known locally as Sapa or Little Hanoi. It’s definitely off the beaten track. It’s a hub of warehouses and shops located about a half hour drive from Prague’s center. The businesses are largely owned and operated by members of the Czech Republic’s large Vietnamese immigrant community. As a native New Yorker, it reminds me a bit of Chinatown, but on a much smaller scale. You could call it Viet-town. Here you will find wholesale items from toiletries to handbags to the latest Italian fashions. You will also discover some of the best tasting Vietnamese restaurants in town, as well as a number of Vietnamese grocery stores selling fresh blocks of tofu, yellow mangoes and you guessed it — purple yam!
My mom enjoys shopping at Sapa because the produce and the shopping experience (she is able to haggle for prices and she’s good at it) reminds her of the Philippines. It’s also the best place that will guarantee egg roll wrappers, fresh okra or lemongrass will be on sale! On one her visits, she found these purple yams that resembled Ube, also a purple yam used in many Filipino dishes. Knowing that it is a favorite root of mine, she happily brought some home to me. Love my mom!
So, when I got out of bed today and the usual pancakes were being requested by our twins, I felt the need to be a bit more creative with this Sunday morning staple. Just the night before, I had boiled the yams without any plans to use them. I thought that I would just slide the skins off, mash them up and freeze it for future use. Instead, this turned out to be a great moment to give them a try. Plus my girls are also big fans of ube!
Prague’s October skies have been grey lately, sprinkling us with rapid showers and the need to bundle up! Therefore, this autumnal change has made me yearn for some of the season’s comforting flavors. And that’s how I came up with a purple yam pancake with a fall twist.
Purple Yam Pancakes (Gluten and Dairy Free)
- 1 cup purple yam, boiled, peeled and mashed
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- 3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 cups dairy or non dairy milk (I used almond milk)
- 1 Tablespoon coconut sugar
- 3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
- Optional: Top with roasted chopped pecans and maple syrup
- Place purple yams in a medium saucepan of boiling water, and cook until tender but firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, and immediately immerse in cold water to loosen skins. Drain, remove skins, chop, and mash.
- In a medium bowl, sift together gluten free flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. Mix mashed yams, eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and coconut oil in a separate medium bowl. Blend yam mixture into the flour mixture to form a batter. Enjoy that purple hue!
- Preheat a lightly greased griddle over medium-high heat. Drop batter mixture onto the prepared griddle by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook until golden brown, turning once with a spatula when the surface begins to bubble.