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Ananda Caesar Salad with Cornmeal-Chickpea Pancake

['1 cup plain low-fat yogurt', '1/8 teaspoon dried Guntur red chile,* seeded and finely chopped', '2 large leaves basil, cut crosswise into thin strips', '1 clove garlic, finely chopped', '1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt', '1/4 cup onion, finely chopped (from 1/8 medium onion)', '1 1/2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated', '1 tablespoon sherry vinegar', '1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce', '3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil', '1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt', '4 (1-inch-thick) slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed', '2 cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half', '1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil', '1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped', '2 large leaves basil, coarsely chopped', '1/4 cup chickpea flour**', '1/4 cup fine yellow cornmeal', '1/8 teaspoon baking powder', '1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt', '1 large egg, lightly beaten', '1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk', '2 cups iceberg lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces', '1 (2-ounce) piece Parmesan cheese, shaved', '*Guntur red chile, native to southern India, is available at Asian and Indian markets. If unavailable, dried ancho or chipotle chiles, or ground ancho chile powder make good substitutes.', '**Chickpea flour, also called gram flour or besan, can be found at Middle Eastern and Indian markets or at', 'two 12-inch squares cheesecloth']

Line fine-mesh sieve with double layer cheesecloth and place over medium bowl. Transfer yogurt to sieve, then pull up and tie together edges of cheesecloth, wrapping yogurt into bundle. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to drain in refrigerator at least 8 hours or overnight. Discard liquid.
In medium bowl, stir together drained yogurt, chile, basil, garlic, and salt. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. (Cheese can be prepared up to two days in advance and refrigerated.)
In blender, combine onion, Parmesan, capers, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Blend until smooth, then with motor running, gradually add olive oil and blend until fully emulsified. Stir in salt and transfer to nonreactive, airtight container. Refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Preheat broiler.
Working in 2 batches, arrange bread slices on large rimmed baking sheet and broil, 3 inches from heat, until golden, about 1 minute per side. Rub each slice on both sides with garlic. Cut each slice into 1-inch cubes and keep warm until ready to use.
In heavy, 12-inch, nonstick skillet over moderately high heat, heat olive oil until hot but not smoking. Add onion and saut until onions are translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in basil and cook 30 seconds more. Remove from heat.
In medium bowl, whisk together chickpea flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. In small bowl, whisk together egg and buttermilk. Add to dry ingredients and stir gently just until mixture is smooth, then gently fold in sautéed onion and basil. Let batter rest at room temperature 15 minutes.
Wipe skillet clean and heat over moderate heat until drop of water dropped into pan sizzles. Pour in batter and cook, turning over once, until light golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer pancake to cutting board and cut into quarters.
In large bowl, toss together lettuce, dressing, and croutons. Divide salad between 4 medium plates. Top each mound with 1 pancake wedge and 1/4 of yogurt cheese. Using vegetable peeler, shave curls of Parmesan atop each salad. Serve immediately.

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