Besan (Gram Flour), Semolina, Potato And Onion Chilla Pancakes (Savoury & Vegan & Gluten Free)
Besan, Sooji, Alu Aur Pyaz Ka Chilla
Besan chilla pancakes are generally made for breakfast in our family, a fillin. Adding vegetables to the batter not only enhances their taste, it also makes them quite filling, a complete meal, when served with a selection of Pickles and a
Raita of choice. Makes 8-10
1 cup besan or Bengal gram flour
1/3 cup semolina
1 large potato, peeled and coarsely grated
1 large/medium onion, peeled and coarsely grated
A couple of spring onions, finely chopped
A small handful of chopped coriander leaves or mustard/cress leaves
Salt to taste
1 green chilli finely chopped
Chilli powder to taste (not required, if your green chilli is hot)
A pinch of baking powder
1/2 tsp. carom seeds (ajwain)
A pinch of asafoetida or hing
Oil to cook
Place besan flour, semolina, salt, chilli powder, carom seeds, asafoetida in a large bowl. Add chopped onions, grated potatoes, chillies, coriander/mustard leaves. Adding baking powder is not essential, but it makes the pancakes lighter.
Add enough water to make a pancake like batter of dropping consistency.
Heat a tava/griddle and add 1 tsp. oil to it. Spread it all over in a thin film. Splashing a few drops of water on the hot griddle also helps to make the oil spread evenly. This is called seasoning the griddle.
Pour a small ladle of batter in the centre of the pan and spread it in a circular motion, until you have an evenly spread pancake. Always make 1st chilla pancake small, because it sometimes sticks. After this, the griddle is seasoned and the chillas become easier to spread.
Drizzle a teaspoon of oil from around the edges and a few drops on top. Cook for a couple of minutes, until edges begin to turn brown. Covering it with a glass/Pyrex lid helps to cook it better by trapping the steam inside.
Ease it off with a flat spatula and turn it over. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side too. Drizzle a little more oil to make the other cook crisp too. Both sides should have many brown spots.
Take it out onto a plate and serve straight away, with yoghurt and pickles of choice.
Besan always makes you thirsty and yoghurt keeps the thirst down. Therefore, besan dishes are often served with natural yoghurt or a raita.
You can make various pancake rolls with these pancakes, filling them with cottage cheese, potatoes bhaji or any other fillings of choice.