Sunday, 20 March 2011

Savoury flavours for crumpets

Oh my goodness, who would have thought that my home made crumpets would have got so many of you wonderful people excited, as well as evoke childhood memories. I know those of you who love your crumpets simply with butter may raise your eyebrows; perhaps the crumpet purists amongst you may even shake your heads and wag your finger at me with disapproval, but I did not want to limit myself to just butter, jam and honey. I wanted to make the most of my homemade crumpets, not just with sweet toppings but also savoury ones - not Marmite or cheddar cheese, but one with spiced vegetables. I started thinking about about Moroccan pancakes: known as Baghrir. Baghrir look very similar to Scottish crumpets which are like pancakes, but with a honeycomb texture - lot of holes to absorb flavours. The Scottish crumpet like the Moroccan Baghrir can be described more like crepes. Both these are traditionally eaten for breakfast with sweet toppings. Then I remembered reading about Derbyshire Oatcakes and Staffordshire Oatcakes. Derbyshire and Staffordshire oatcakes look like large flat pancake crumpets. Unlike the Scottish crumpet, the Derbyshire and Staffordshire oatcakes are eaten with egg, sausages and bacon or melted cheese. This further reminded me of Injera - a tangy Ethiopian flatbread traditionally made from Teff. I've eaten Injera twice, at an Ethiopian restaurant in San Fransisco and only ever made it from scratch once. I made the entire Ethiopian menu from Celia Brooks Brown World Vegetarian Classics, as well as the accompanying savoury tangy flatbread Injera, which took days. Anyway, it occurred to me with the crumpets being quite plain, I am sure like the Injera, Derbyshire and Staffordshire oatcakes it would lend itself as an excellent base for savoury toppings; and it sure did. I topped my crumpets with Houriya and a mint-feta mash. These are Lebanese dips. I wanted a little crunch so instead of cooking the carrots and pureeing them in a blender, I just grated them. I wanted to share these, but I do have many other savoury topping ideas going through my head.
For the crumpets

Follow recipe here

For the Raw Houriya (Carrot Dip)

200g carrots, grated

1 teaspoon cumin, freshly ground

2 teaspoon Harissa paste

1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon runny honey

4 tablespoons olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


Simply combine all the ingredients together. Set aside for an hour or so for the flavours to mingle.

For the Mint- Feta Mash

75g feta cheese

300g Greek Yogurt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 fat garlic clove, crushed

3 tablespoons mint, minced


Simply mash all the of the ingredients together. It should be quite lumpy. Both recipes are adapted from Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons by Diana Henry


  1. Hi Mangocheeks
    I can definitely comment on Derbyshire oatcakes as I am Derbyshire born and bred and lived in this beautiful county for 40+ years! Lovely eaten with cheese !

  2. Wow, your kitchen must smell like heaven all the time. This one is another I'll have to try soon. Looks & sounds lovely.

  3. Thanks Jane.
    I must try crumpets with cheese.

    Thanks Dee.
    Heaven - I wish. Its smelling like chocolate today though.

  4. I missed the crumpets post but I am heading straight back to find it! Love the sound of these accompaniments too. I've only eaten injera once, at an Ethiopian restaurant in Kentish Town, north London. It was a memorable evening, not least because there was a fight on the bus we took to get there and we were all turfed out (with the fighters!) in the middle of (comparative) nowhere while the bus driver fled to safety!

  5. Mangocheeks, I never cease to be amazed by the range and breadth of your food knowledge! Those Baghrir sound wonderful, and I've never heard of them before...

  6. We have Staffordshire oatcakes with cottage cheese and sliced tomato!

  7. I am certainly not mad, looks quite tasty

  8. Thanks KitchenMaid.
    Quite amused to read of your evening, although not completely related to eating 'injera' itself. I remember many days of fights breaking out on buses, esp. when I lived in Maryhill, Glasgow - something that I am sure still happens. A little unnerving I must admit.

    Oh Thank you so much Mark.
    I have to confess I am learning all the time.

  9. MorningAJ.
    I do like the sound of Staffordshire oatcakes with cottage cheese and sliced tomato. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks Jennifurla.

  10. I love these crumpets, well special and the touch of Harissa hot chilli sauce makes them so moreish.
    Great post ♥

  11. Thanks Ana.
    Sure was flavour packed.

  12. you are such an inspriration! I look forward to reading your blog. I must have know this was coming up - I bought some harissa for the first time on Friday.

  13. Wow. Looks yummy. Very pretty, too!

  14. Thank you so much Duchess_declutter.

    Thanks you Vanessa.

  15. I think i may have to make these crumpets for breakfast this weekend :)

  16. Emma,
    You must - homemade is far more better.


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