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Monday, February 19, 2018

SunLive - The Bay's news first
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Wrapping it up

Dazz Switalla
Flavour Secrets
No.1 The Strand Chef

There have been many festivals and events during summer and I’ve been lucky to attend two quite opposite types.

One was an alcohol-soaked music-based three-day concert; the other a family-orientated multi-themed festival with inspired events and entertainment.

The numbers attending were much the same but the demand for gluten-free produced food was more noticeable at the last event.

It was at the recent Splore festival I rediscovered the simple art of pancake-making. When I recall that more than 20-plus years ago I was making crepe suzette on a gridiron or flambé trolley at the top restaurants in town – my how things have changed.

These days I’ve been making gluten-free and dairy-free pancakes or wraps at festivals and learnt how tasty and easy they are to make.

With the addition of chia seeds they make for a versatile savoury wrap or you can leave the seeds out and have them as a sweet treat and serve with warmed berries.

With no eggs or milk to worry about, whipping up a batter is easy and you can make them thin by spreading them out as quick as you can with a spatula on a hot grill plate or heavy steel pan.

There are loads of fillings you can use for your wraps – and gluten-free falafel is a favourite.

Falafel and buckwheat wrap

Quick falafel patties

Makes 8-10

300g drained canned chickpeas
½ red onion, finely chopped
½ cup coriander, freshly chopped
1tsp cumin
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp minced garlic
1Tbsp fine polenta
Salt and pepper


Cover the chickpeas with water and boil until tender. Drain well and blend with all of the remaining ingredients. Form into shapes and cook on an oiled hot grill. The patties will form a nice crust. Once the right consistency adjust with extra polenta if required.

Buckwheat wrap ingredients

2 cups buckwheat
½ cup rice flour
¼ cup chia seeds (please note: these can cause severe allergic reactions in some people).
1Tbsp salt
2-3 cups water, to mix


Place all ingredients in a bowl and stir in water until you have a batter like runny cream. Allow to stand overnight, or for at least four hours. This allows the chia seeds and rice flour to swell and thicken slightly.

Spread the batter out as thin as you can, as fast as you can, on an oiled steel hotplate or heavy pan that’s starting to smoke.

Once the first side has browned turn over but try not to cook this side as much – keep it from going brown.

This helps to eliminate cracking as the unbrowned side is the side you can place your falafel and salad.

Cover any unused wraps for use later. They will keep for a few days in the fridge. For pancakes just leave out the seeds and add more buckwheat and a pinch of baking powder for a thicker mix.


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