Besan Cheela or Chilla as it is also known has been cooked in my home since I was a tiny tot. I remember my maternal grandfather asking my mother to cook it every time she visited her home after marriage. It was a favourite of his. We had these savoury veg pancakes for breakfast or as an evening snack. And now my kids have taken a liking to it especially my elder son who asks for it to be made. The recipe is really simple and versatile. It is also tasty and quick to cook. Great,no?
So here is the simple recipe:
- 1 cup besan (gram flour)
- ½ tsp. cumin seeds
- ½ tsp. ajwain seeds (carrom seeds)
- 1 tsp. ginger paste
- 1 tsp. garlic paste
- 2-3 green chillies made into paste (optional)
- ½ tsp. garam masala powder
- ½ tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 cup chopped veggies like onion, tomato, mushroom etc.
- some finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
- 1 tsp. chilly powder
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Mix gram flour with all the dry masalas like cumin seeds, carrom seeds, garam masala, turmeric, chilly powder and salt. Now add water and make a batter which is not too runny, something slightly thicker than a dosa batter in consistency. Make sure that the batter is smooth and does not have any lumps of gram flour. Now add in the ginger, garlic and chilly paste. Mix well.
- Keep aside for 5 minutes. Just before making the pancakes add in the chopped onion, tomatoes, mushroom, chopped coriander leaves and any other veggies.
- Heat a tawa or a flat pan. Apply some oil and spread the besan cheela batter to form a not very thick pancake. Cook on medium heat till air bubbles appear. Now reduce the heat and cover the pancake so that it cooks well. After a couple of minutes, uncover and flip. Let it cook on the other side and get brown spot. Your crispy besan ka cheela or savoury veg pancake is ready to serve.
- Serve it hot with tomato ketchup, green chutney or guacamole as we’ve done here. This is a pretty filling breakfast and quite tasty as well. Sometimes I pack it in my kids’ lunch box too. Do try and let me know how you liked it.
2. Use any vegetables you like eg. capsicum, grated carrots, beans. Just make sure that they are cut in small pieces.
3. Don’t cook it on very high heat or it will be burnt from outside and uncooked inside.
4. You can reduce or eliminate chillies depending upon your taste.