Surnoli is served for breakfast amongst the Saraswat Bhramin community from West Coast of India. It is a spongy pancake and is served with freshly churned butter and curry leaves dry chutney(called Pitti chitni) The secret of the spongy and light surnoli is the slice of bread that aids in the fermentation. This was my late Channi Masi’s trick to get the lightest of Surnolis!!
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 cup buttermilk
1 slice bread
1 cup beaten rice ( Poha)
2 cups rice
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
1/2 to 1 1/2 cups of jaggery
1/4 tsp turmeric
A pinch of salt
Soak the rice and the fenugreek seeds in water for about 2 to 4 hours.
Soak the bread and the poha in the buttermilk – mix together and set aside.
Grind to a slightly not too fine paste-the soaked and drained rice, fenugreek seeds, the buttermilk soaked poha and bread, along with the grated coconut. Add minimal water, as the dough has to be very thick, it will thin down, when the jaggery is added. Add the turmeric & salt. Mix well. Cover and place in a warm place to ferment. Once the dough rises, usually overnight, add the jaggery to taste.
To make them into Surnolis, heat a tava or griddle. Oil it well.When hot, take a laddle of the dough and in a circular motion, pour the dough onto the tava or griddle. Put a little oil around the surnoli, let it cook covered for a 2 to 4minutes on a medium flame. The surnoli should have holes in it and edges should have caramelized. There is no need to flip the Surnoli over as it has already cooked.
Serve with butter and pitti chitni or any kind of Indian pickle. Some like it with mango or lime pickle, either spicy or sweet and sour
P.S. – One can omit the turmeric and the jaggery if you want plain unsweetened Surnoli.