Chai-Spiced Pancakes with Star Anise Plums

This is one of our favourite recipes here at Rooted Spices HQ (along with Golden Pancakes!) The gentle spicing is reminiscent of chai-tea, so beautiful and fragrant. Of course, hot melted butter is a lovely topping, as is a dollop of cream or creme fraiche, but a lovely spicy compote is a delicious way to add one of your five-a-day and the star anise-spiked plum compote, is a great way to use up a late-summer glut.


300ml milk
4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
2 Tellicherry peppercorns, lightly crushed
4 cloves
1tsp loose tea (preferably Celyon or Assam)

400 plums, quartered
80ml water
2tbsp sugar
3-4 star anise
200g self-raising flour
¼ tsp nutmeg, grated
½ tsp ground cinnamon
50g caster sugar
2 eggs, whisked
1tbsp oil


Pour the milk into a small saucepan, and add the cardamom pods, peppercorns, cloves and loose tea. Heat for five minutes — only gently — so the flavours infuse, but not so that the milk boils. Strain the flavoured milk into a new container, and chill.

Meanwhile, put the plums into a pan, add the water, sugar and star anise. Bring to a rolling simmer for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the heat and set it aside, leaving the flavours to infuse.

When you’re ready to make the pancakes, sift the flour into a mixing bowl, and stir in the nutmeg, cinnamon and caster sugar. Make a well in the middle and pour the eggs and chai-flavoured milk into the dip. Beat with a fork until it forms a thick batter with a dropping consistency.

Heat a frying pan to a gentle-medium heat, and use a wad of kitchen roll to wipe a thin layer of oil round the pan. Spoon a ladle of the batter into the pan. When bubbles start to rise to the surface, flip the pancake with a palette knife, and cook it for another 30-45 seconds on the other side until cooked-through and fluffly.

Serve with a generous dollop of the plum compote, and a teaspoon of creme fraiche.

spices used

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