Goan Pan Rolls (Happy Pancake Day)

Today is Shrove Tuesday, also known as Pancake Tuesday.  It’s the day preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.  I thought of presenting these savory pancakes that are pretty popular in Goan kitchens.  You can choose to make them with a spicy ground beef mixture, chicken, lamb, mutton or shrimp.  You can also make them as a dessert. I remember growing up with these wafer thin pancakes encased with fresh coconut and jaggery.  Whichever way you choose to make these, either sweet or savory, you can bet you won’t be stopping at just one.  It is pretty labor intensive, but the results will be worth it in the end.

  • Ingredients for the filling:
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium-sized onions chopped fine
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 2 tablespoons coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes chopped fine
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

To make the filling:

  • Heat the cooking oil in a wok or deep pan, on medium heat.
  • Add the cumin seeds and fry for 1 minute. Add the onions now. Fry till they turn a pale golden colour.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes and fry for 1 minute.
  • Add the ground beef and all the powdered spices – coriander, cumin, garam masala and salt to taste.
  • Continue to brown the minced meat, stirring often to prevent burning. This should take about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, stir and cook till they are soft.
  • Turn off the stove, add the lime juice, and chopped cilantro leaves.

Here are some step-by-step pictures on creating wafer thin pancakes.

To make the pancake batter:

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Mix all the pancake ingredients together in a deep bowl and whisk till a smooth batter is formed.
  • Set up a frying pan on medium heat. Grease it with a brush so that it is lightly coated. This will prevent the pancakes from sticking. Each Pan Roll must be filled and rolled while the pancake is still warm as this helps it ‘stick’ and prevents it from unrolling.
  • When the pan is hot, use a ladle to pour a small amount of the batter onto the centre of the pan. Swirl the pan to spread the batter into a thin pancake or crepe (see picture above). Let it cook until the batter fully sets, however do not let the pancake brown. You do not need to flip the pancake. When it is ready, take it off onto a flat plate to fill.

After the first pan roll has been rolled, the process goes by pretty fast.  When they are all rolled, pan fry each one by dipping in an egg wash and breadcrumbs.  Served as an appetizer or main meal, these pan rolls evoke some fond memories for me.  Serve with tomato ketchup or a chutney of choice.



I’m sharing these at Fiesta Friday


  1. I think I can see why these pan rolls invoke special memories for you, Loretta. They look fabulous and the flavors sound wonderful. The presentation definitely make these company worthy in my opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nancy, although a tad time consuming, I was craving these pan rolls for sometime, so had to present them on Pancake Day. Thanks for stopping by, it’s always lovely to hear from you. Stay warm!


  2. Loretta,
    What a fabulous share! I love your step by step photos and I would love the ground meat ones and the sweet coconut ones too!
    Your pan rolls, with those thin crepes are a work of art, my friend! I am pinning this recipe!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you dear Sandhya, my faithful and loyal supporter :)). I wish I had some jaggery with me, I’d loved to have made the sweet version. I read somewhere that when you cook with jaggery, you need to strain out the impurities – is this correct?


  3. These look delicious Loretta – love recipes using crepes. I am an expert (LOL) as the kids in the family always want my sausage crepes so I am making them frequently. I bet you could bake these instead of frying them but I’m sure they would not be as good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Judi, would love to see your sausage crepes sometime. I did not deep fry them, just pan fried, but I saw somewhere that you can just eat them without any kind of frying as it is all cooked anyway….however, I love the crispiness with the pan frying. I can’t be sure about baking, as I have never done it.


  4. I just love recipes like this Loretta. A little more about your culture and the food that brings back memories. These pancakes are like crepes aren’t they? I just love all of the layers of flavor that go into them. They sure came out beautifully browned and look so moist and delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Julie, yes they are exactly like crepes, very thin and can be filled with either savory or sweet fillings. Would love to try out some sweet fillings next with chocolate sauce drizzled over? 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sonal. It’s a Goan speciality :). Actually I pan fried it and used bread crumbs to get that nice crisp exterior. Thanks for the visit, I was planning to walk over to Mass for ashes on Ash Wednesday, but it looks quite slippery outside with snow and some ice, so indoors for me today. I’ll be making chocolate cupcakes as I have some friends coming over for dinner tonight. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. I guess the sky is the limit when it comes to these pancakes/crepes. I’m sure even potato baji would taste real good with these. Growing up, we also had them as a dessert with coconut and jaggery.


  5. Now I am all confused – they look amazing, read delicious … but then you mentioned jaggery … mmmmmh….
    Thank you so much for bringing them along to Fiesta Friday 106, there’s nothing like childhood foods!
    Ginger x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These sound incredible Loretta! Not only does the filling sound so flavourful, the pancakes sound tender and thin, but then they are panfried until crispy! There is something about filled things–pasties, dumplings, buns–that I find so appealing, and this is no exception.

    Liked by 1 person

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