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Besan Chilla

Looking for a nutritious and satisfying breakfast option? Look no further than Besan Chilla! This traditional Indian dish is not only delicious but also packed with protein and fiber, making it an ideal choice to kick-start your day. Best of all, these chillas serve as an excellent gluten-free bread for lunch and dinner, ideal for pairing with your favorite curry or dal.

besan chilla in a white platter.
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What is Besan Chilla

Besan Chilla also known as Cheela or Pudla is a savory Indian pancake-like dish cooked using a batter made with gram flour, finely chopped veggies, and seasoned with green chilies, ginger, and earthy turmeric. This eggless chilla is also known as a “Tomato Omelette” in India.

Besan, or gram flour, is known for its health benefits. It’s gluten-free, rich in protein, and contains essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. Combined with other wholesome ingredients, Besan Chilla becomes a powerhouse of nutrition.

Similar to Masoor Dal Chilla and Mung Dal Chilla recipes, Besan Chillas are ideal for vegetarians, offering a rich source of plant-based protein. They make a perfect addition to your breakfast repertoire, tantalizing your taste buds and keeping you energized throughout the morning. Traditionally served with chutneys and pickles for breakfast, these nutritious and satisfying chillas also double as a perfect gluten-free bread option for roti, parathas, and naan.

besan chilla served with cilantro mint chutney and pickles.

Ingredients

  • Besan – finely ground gram flour is the main ingredient in this recipe. It is slightly different than teh chickpea flour sold in US grocery stores. I recommend buying Besan from Indian groceries.
  • Veggies – I like to add finely diced onions, tomatoes, and green chilies along with grated ginger and finely chopped cilantro. You can also substitute with veggies such as grated carrots, beets, or finely chopped spinach.
  • SpicesAjwain (carom seeds) are often added to recipes that use gram flour as it aids digestion. lightly rubbing them on the palm of your hands will release more flavor and aromas. Anti-inflammatory turmeric adds warmth and a beautiful golden hue to the chillas.
ingredients for besan chilla.

How to Make Besan Chilla

  • Add besan to a mixing bowl. Add salt and turmeric. Lightly crush carom seeds on the palm of your hands and add to the bowl.
  • Add onion, tomato, green chili, ginger and cilantro.
  • Add water a little bit at a time mixing the batter well. The batter should be smooth with a good pouring consistency.
photos one through four showing how to make chilla batter.
  • Heat a griddle and apply oil. Pour two small ladle full of batter, about ½ cup on the pan, and spread it gently using the back of the ladle or a spoon to make a 6-inch round chilla.
  • Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. Drizzle ½ teaspoon of oil on top and around the edges.
  • Carefully flip over the chilla. Cook until the bottom becomes lightly brown and the sides start to crisp.
photos five through six showing how to cook besan chilla on a cast iron griddle.

Serving

besan pudla served with green chutney.

Storing

These savory pancakes are a perfect make-ahead recipe. Refrigerate them in an airtight container for 3 to 5 days. To reheat simply place them on a hot pan and cook on both sides for 1 to 2 minutes.

Tips

Here are some of my tips to make perfect chillas:

  1. Make sure that the besan batter is smooth and free of lumps. Gradually add water while mixing to achieve the right consistency. The batter should be pourable but not too thin.
  2. Finely chop your vegetables like onions, tomatoes, green chilies, and cilantro
  3. Adjust the amount of green chilies according to your taste preferences. You can also skip green chilies for little kids.
  4. Heat your skillet or tawa (griddle) properly before pouring the batter. It should be hot enough that a drop of water sizzles and evaporates immediately. Cooking chillas on medium heat helps them cook evenly without burning.
  5. Lightly grease the skillet with oil or ghee before pouring the batter to prevent sticking. You can use a brush or a paper towel to spread the oil evenly.
  6. Drizzle a little oil or ghee around the edges of the chilla while cooking to enhance crispiness and flavor.

Variations

  • Add your choice of veggies. Grated carrots, beets, or finely chopped spinach make for a great addition.
  • Add grated paneer or cheese to the batter for added flavor and nutrition.
  • Skip green chilies for little kids

More Indian Breakfast Recipes

Recipe

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besan chilla served with cilantro mint chutney and pickles

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Besan Chilla Recipe

Savory gluten free pancakes with gram flour, finely chopped veggies, and seasoned with green chilies, ginger, and earthy turmeric.

Prep Time10 minutes

Cook Time20 minutes

Total Time30 minutes

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch

Cuisine: Indian

Servings: 4

Calories: 197kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add besan to a mixing bowl. Add salt and turmeric. Lightly crush carom seeds on the palm of your hands and add to the bowl. Add onion, tomato, green chili, ginger and cilantro.

  • Add water little bit at a time mixing the batter well. The batter should be smooth with a good pouring consistency.

  • Heat a griddle and apply oil.

  • Pour two small ladle full of batter, about ½ cup on the pan, and spread it gently in a circular motion using the back of the ladle or a spoon to make a 6-inch round chilla.

  • Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat. Drizzle ½ teaspoon of oil on top and around the edges.

  • Carefully flip over the chilla. Cook until the other side becomes lightly brown and the edges start to crisp. Take out the chilla.

  • Repeat the above steps to make Chillas with the remaining batter.

  • Serve hot with green chutney and pickles.

Nutrition

Calories: 197kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 613mg | Potassium: 338mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 148IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg

Author: Archana

Hey there! I am a techie turned recipe developer, cooking instructor, and food blogger. I love food and enjoy developing easy and healthy recipes for busy lifestyles. I live in New Jersey with my husband and two sons.

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Source: Ministry of Curry

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