Where I can, I like to keep grains whole in order to slow their transit through the body. When I cook wholegrain rice, I soak it overnight in water then wash and cook in the usual way.
One weekend morning in my unvarnished, day-off state, I rather overcooked the rice for breakfast. Instead of the usual fluffy grains, I had a small pan full of rice porridge - arg! Not wanting to admit defeat, I thought I'd try using the rice to make a pancake, and the result was infinitely better than expected. The pancakes were not the most co-operative, but they formed a nice crisp buttery edge and were pliable enough to roll up. Because they didn't employ rice flour, there was no uncooked grain taste, just that fragrant cooked rice flavour - slightly sweet and nuttily complex.
The taste reminded me slightly of naan bread - although I couldn't really say why. I just instantly imagined some cumin scented, dry curry wrapped up in one of these, with a dollop of cool yogurt. Rice and curry - it's just one of those combinations I guess? Finn imagined them with banana and honey and Nick ate his thoughtfully, just as it was.
If you do eat grains, but are reluctant to use too much flour, I suggest you try these. Rice is a notoriously fast releasing starch, but combining it whole, with eggs, butter, milk and ground nuts is a good way to slow it right down and prevent any unwanted blood sugar rise.
Whole Rice Pancakes
(Makes about 8 smallish ones)
Because rice should not be kept for long once rehydrated (due to naturally occurring bacterial spores), you need to use this batter within 24 hours of making it up.
60g / 2oz wholegrain rice
2 large eggs
30g / 1 oz ground almonds (or gluten free flour such as sorghum, chestnut or teff)
200ml liquid (made up of 100ml rice water and 100ml goat milk in my case)
unsalted butter or duck fat to fry
Soak the rice overnight in plenty of water with a half teaspoon of vinegar added if you like (it helps remove enzyme inhibitors).Drain and wash the rice and cook in plenty of water until really soft. Allow the water to evaporate, but make sure there is at least 100ml left in the pan. Drain and reserve 100ml of the rice water.
Allow the rice to cool before making up the mix. Rice should always be cooled as quickly as possible, so I usually spread it on a plate and put it in the fridge.
To make the pancake batter, put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until as smooth as you can get it. If you're using gluten free flour rather than nuts, then you may need a little more liquid to get a batter consistency. For the other 100ml of liquid you could use any type of milk - nut milk, cow's, goats or coconut milk, or just plain water.
Fry very gently in butter (or Duck Fat / Coconut Oil if you prefer) in a heavy bottomed pan over a lowish heat and take great care when lifting the edges of the pancake. Allow it to form a mid brown crust and then use a palette knife to loosen the pancake from the edge all the way around before flipping it over gently. Cook for a minute or so on the other side and then transfer to a wire rack or waiting plate.
I defy you to resist breaking off a little piece of buttery crust to munch before it gets to the table!