Yahoo La-hooh!: Somalian Pancakes

Yahoo La-hooh!:  Somalian Pancakes

As I’ve mentioned before, Sunday morning pancakes are a Buddha house tradition.  It’s one that I started on my lonesome- it wasn’t because Mama Buddha made them every Sunday, though we did have them every so often.  I guess I first started whipping up pancakes for myself to give myself a break from the humdrum breakfasts I eat during the week.  Also, Sunday is usually the one day that I actually have time to make, eat and enjoy them without rushing off to work or the gym.  If you’ve been following me the past five months or so, you know that I’ve made a few flapjack substitutions. Some were good (Torrijas), some were not (Johnny Cakes).  Despite a few lackluster attempts, I press on, and today’s pancake substitution comes from Somalia. It’s sort of a cross between a pancake and a flat bread served with honey and sugar, just like your traditional IHOP variety.

A few ingredients make these flappers, Lahooh, a bit different.  First, the recipe I found calls for millet flour. What is millet flour you ask?  It’s a hearty flour that comes from seeds and grasses.  Though most commonly used in Asia and Africa cuisine, millet flour is slowly gaining popularity here in the U.S. since it’s gluten-free.   Second, this recipes calls for yeast.  Before starting this project, I never used yeast at all-definitely not in pancakes- due to my previous, unfounded aversion to the stuff, but I’ve gotten over it, and, after making those kick-ass Belgian waffles, I appreciate the role it plays in making the ordinary extraordinary.

After letting the batter rise for the requisite time, I went to work. The directions I found instructed that they only be cooked on one side after being spread sort of thinly. That…didn’t work for me. The batter was pretty thick and therefore 1) was not easily spread and 2) was not going to cook all the way through without flipping them.  Taking all these considerations into account, I made them just as I would American-style pancakes.  The verdict? They were good! A lot more stick-to-your ribs than normal pancakes (which is my gripe with regular pancakes- I’m usually hungry after a few hours).  However, with these, I’m pretty confident that won’t be the case.  Would I make them again? I’m not sure, given that the taste was not all that different from the pancakes that I make in less than 10 minutes.  Still, I’d consider today’s breakfast a success, and that’s good enough.

Makes about 12 4” pancakes


1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

½ cup millet flour

1 ½ cups warm water

¾ tsp yeast

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt


I was so impatient, I did not properly frame this shot.  That’s how hungry I was, so I apologize for all the crap in the background.



1.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and let sit for one hour. Stir thoroughly to avoid lumps.

2.  In a large skillet, well oiled, spread about ¼ cup batter in a small patty.  After about 4 minutes when the base is golden, flip and continue cooking on the second side.  Repeat with all the batter.

3.  Serve with honey and butter. Or sugar. Or peanut butter.  Whatever you like.

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