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Panket or Gambian pancakes

My Magazine 2022/10
3 min
Panket or panketo is translated as a pancake. It is made of corn or millet flour, mixed with water and sugar, fried in vegetable oil and sold on the street. Pancake is commonly known as street food, but sometimes it is prepared in wedding ceremonies and naming ceremonies. Gambian pancakes are not circular thin or fluffy desserts as many are used to but look like small balls created by dropping dough mixture into the hot oil.

Many prepare pancakes differently and add different ingredients to suit their taste and that of their customers. Still, the primary ingredients are flour, sugar, water, baking powder (by choice) and oil for frying. There are two ways of preparing pancakes: sweet and salty pancakes, which go with spicy sauce. The panket sauce is usually made only with onion, hot pepper, and a bit of salt to taste.

White flour Pancake: Panketu Fanrin

The white flour is measured in a bowl according to how much the vendor wants to prepare. Water is added and mixed until it is smooth. Baking powder or bicarbonate soda is added to let the dough mixture rise and to allow the inside of the panket to be cooked thoroughly. Optionally, a little salt is added to the taste. It is covered and put aside for the mixture to rise. Some will dissolve sugar in the mixture, while others add sugar by sprinkling it on top of the mixture just before forming balls and frying it. Pancakes are always deep-fried in a frying pan or cooking pot. Some vendors like to prepare it at home and then sell it on the street. Yet some will fry it while selling, so customers can buy still hot, fresh pancake and enjoy it even more.

Millet pancake or Panketu Dougub

The other type of pancake is made with millet flour, which can be bought at the market. But a lot of vendors decide to do it themselves. At the market, they would purchase cleaned millet removed from the husk and soak it in water for half an hour to moisten. After it dries up a bit, it is ready to be pounded in the machine and turned into powder. The procedure to make the mixture is the same as with Panketu Fanrin; just, in this case, a small amount of salt is added instead of sugar. Millet pancakes are also fried and sold with or without sauce.

You can buy panket on the streets around Dippakunda, Serrekunda, Latrikunda German or Latrikunda Sabiji, Coastal Road, etc. It is very affordable, costing D5 or D10 each.

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