Mamta's Kitchen

Besan (Gram Flour) Chilla Pancake With Potatoes And Onions (Savoury & Vegan & Gluten Free)

Besan Chilla, Alu Pyaz Kaa

Mamta Gupta

Besan chillas/cheelas or pancakes were very popular in our parent's house. They are best served fresh and crisp, but are good for packed lunch too. I usually serve them with some sort of chutney, like freshGreen Mango Chutney or Freshly made tomato Chutney and a glass of

Lassi 1, Lassi 2, Lassi 3. Gram flour dishes always make you thirsty. That is why, they are often served with yoghurt or Lassi.

There is no egg in this pancake, so it is suitable for Vegans. These are quite easy to make, if you read and followed the instructions carefully.

Makes 6-8, depending upon the size you make them


  • 1 full cup gram flour or besan

  • 1 large potato, peeled and grated

  • 1 onion, medium size, peeled, washed and roughly finely or grated

  • 2 green chillies, chopped finely

  • A small bunch of green coriander leaves, washed and chopped finely

  • Spring onion greens, very finely chopped (optional)

  • Salt to taste

  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground cumin seeds

  • Water to make batter of dropping consistency

  • Oil for frying


  1. Making the batter

  2. Place all ingredients except cooking oil, in a bowl.

  3. Add water slowly and beat by your hand or an egg beater on low speed. You dont want to crush the vegetables too much.

  4. Making chillas/pancakes

  5. Heat 1/2 tsp. oil on a griddle or tava, until a little smoke rises. Splash a few drops of water and then gently spread it with a moist paper towel or moist J-cloth. This will season your pan, leaving a thin, uniform layer of oil covering the whole griddle and stop the chillas from sticking. Too much oil on the pan makes it very difficult to spread the batter, it keeps coming off the griddle.

  6. Now turn heat down to medium. The pan should not be smoking hot.

  7. Put one ladle of batter in the centre of the griddle and spread it evenly, in circular motions going outwards. Make it as thin as you can. You should make the first dosa or pancake as a test pancake only. It sometimes sticks to the pan a little. After this 1st chilla, the pan is uniformly covered by a film of oil and pancakes cook better.

  8. Trickle a few drops of oil from the edges of the chilla. This will seep under the pancake and keep the pan oiled. Also splash a few drops of oil on top. When you turn the pancake over, this will then spread on the second surface.

  9. Cook for 1-2 minutes. It will change to a duller colour.

  10. Now turn it over using a thin, wide spatula (kauncha). It helps if you dip the edge of the spatula in oil first, especially if you are new at this.

  11. Lightly brush with oil, while the other side is cooking.

  12. Flip it over a few times, until it looks golden brown and slightly crisp. If you need to, brush with a little more oil, this helps to make it crisp.

  13. Fold it over onto the plate and serve it hot and crisp, along with a selection of pickles, natural yoghurt and sweet mango chutney.

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