If you have never made Somali food, one easy sweet treat to start is with malawah (aka. Somali Pancakes). These are flat thin pancakes gently spiced with some cardamom and ginger. They are the perfect delicious share for a family breakfast or as a side snack—especially with flavoured syrup. Before you go forward, make sure you subscribe to my blog for more beautiful posts like this.
How to make Somali Pancakes (Malawah)
Malawah batter is made with a hint of fall spices like ginger and cardamon. There are different ways to make malawah (aka Somali sweet pancake). The first method requires pouring the batter and distributing thinly around a well buttered pan. This is done by tilting and moving the pan in a circular motion, as you would do when making ordinary pancakes or even crepes.
This recipe requires a well buttered pan or a perfectly non-stick pan so it slides off easily when cooked. The batter cooks quickly over medium heat for about two minutes. The pancake may not require flipping to the other side but will have one golden brown side, while the other remains white and spongy. I prefer to flip mine for about 30 seconds on the other side.
In the second method, the batter is poured in and then flipped over to brown on the other side. You can pour the batter in a spiral through a piping bag which will be visibly evident when cooked. Others pour all the batter into the center of the pan and create the spiral by using a spoon.
Somali Pancake Recipe
To make Somali pancakes (Malawah) you need about 2:1(1/4) ratio of milk to flour. The eggs should be large and there should be at least 1 eggs for every cup of flour you add to the batter. Traditionally, these are made with cardamon and ginger as spices but I want to explore variations that include other fall spices such as cloves, orange and aniseed. You can also consider gluten-free alternatives to all purpose flour such as Fonio Flour but stick to the same measurement.
Somali Pancakes – Malawah
- 1 Non-Stick Frying Pan
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 3 Cups Milk
- 2 Large Eggs
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Cardamon Powder
- 1 Tbsp Ginger Powder
- 100 Grams Unsalted Butter
- 1 tsp Kocher Salt
For The Topping
- 3 Tbsp Strawberry Syrup
- 1 Large Apple/Pear Diced
- 1 Cup Berries Blueberries or Black Berries
- In a bowl beat the eggs and milk until properly combined.
- Add in the sugar and continue mixing.
- Finally, add in the dry ingredients and mix properly to form a slightly runny batter.
- Heat up a frying pan with the butter, enough to lightly coat surface.
- Ladle some batter into pan and swirl such that batter distributes to make a thin layer which spreads towards curving sides of pan
- Cook for about one minute or until slightly golden.
- You can flip to slightly cook on the other side. (This step is optional)
- Serve with toppings and fruits