This is one of my favorite breakfast all winter long. Not only because its scrumptious but also because you can fix it in minutes.That sounds like a blessing when you have a small kid around & you are pressed for time.
Besan/ gram flour/ Chickpea flour is an indispensable food ingredient in Indian cooking.You can dish out appetizers, fritters, curries, paranthas (Indian flat bread) or even desserts using this faint yellow flour.
Chilla is an Indian pancake made from besan. Traditionally it’s cooked in a skillet using a good amount of oil or butter ( which you don’t have to !). It’s important to use the right amount of heat for the Chilla to be perfect. If the skillet is too hot then Chilla will be over cooked or sometimes burnt from outside but uncooked inside.Cooking on very low heat may result in a dessicated pancake. So take care of the heat when you plan to cook this one !
Makes: 4 Difficulty level: Medium
Preparation time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes
1 cup Besan
2 tablespoons Semolina (Sooji) ….. ( Optional )
1/4 teaspoon Carom seeds( Ajwain)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 cup water
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 small green chilli, diced (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro or spinach leaves, torn into bite size pieces
1/4 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup methi leaves
2 tablespoons oil
- Mix besan, sooji and all the spices in a mixing bowl. Add water to make batter.
- Add all the veggies into the batter.
- The final batter should neither be very thick nor watery.
- Heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a medium skillet. Pour about 1/3 cup of batter in the pan.
- Spread it all over the skillet. Let it cook for couple of minutes on medium flame.
- Now toss it & cook the other side on medium flame for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve with mint sauce or ketchup.
- If the batter is thick, ‘Chilla’ will be thick, uncooked from inside.So make sure it has the right consistency.
- As a beginner, you may keep varying the flame from low medium to high medium. Once you are comfortable stick to medium heat.
- If you don’t have fresh methi leaves, you may use 1/2 teaspoon Kasoori methi ( dried). You might be tempted to use more but that will make the taste bitter.
- These pancakes tastes even better when you savor them with masala chai !
- You can cook them in advance & reheat them just before serving.
- You may add broccoli, cheese, carrots. Just make sure they are diced/grated.
- This will change the entire name of the dish but I’ve done that too..so you too can replace besan with whole wheat flour …just in case you want to be more creative !
- These are packed with dietary fiber, folate & manganese.
- Low in saturated fats & cholesterol.
Good to know
- Gram flour/ besan can be added to some curries to make them thick.
- Consuming besan during winters is believed to maintain your body temperature, hence keeping your internal body system warm .