WHAT iS CHILLA or CHEELA?
Chila or Cheela is a savoury pancake which I guess I would call the North Indian version of a dosa. They are packed with plant-based protein, easy to make and taste great served up in so many ways! They are made solely of lentils and a few spices so you can easily modify them to your taste. You can also make them as thick or as thin or as crispy or soft as you like.
A little bit of prep but a lot of uses!
So I guess the only downside to making these is that you have to soak them at least 3 hours, but they are worth the planning. I often soak them overnight so they are ready to blend up in the AM. Post soaking them come together really fast.
How and when do I enjoy my Chilla?
I love these served up so many ways, but my top uses are
- as a light vegan protein packed breakfast
- Used as a wrap
- served as a replacement for chapati
- as a quesadilla
- or I like to make mini ones to serve as a base for canapés when entertaining.
What do I serve my Chilla with?
In regards to macronutrients the chilla is predominantly protein and carbohydrates as they are made lentils so I like to make sure I get some good fats along side.
Serve these up with
- Ri’s sambal
- Classic coconut chutney
- Guacamole or sliced avocado
- Served up with Kebabs like my hariyali chicken tikka
No matter how you serve these up, these are light, flavourful and nutritious.
Moong Chilla /Cheela
A delicious Indian style “pancake” that can be served on it’s own or as a side.
- 1 cup moong dal (splint moong lentils) or masoor dal (red lentils)
- 1 green chili
- 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
- pinch of hing (asafoetida) - optional
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp water
- Avocado oil, olive oil, or ghee for cooking
- In a large bowl cover your daal with water leaving about an inch of water at the top. Soak the dal for a minimum of 3 hours (you can do this overnight too).
- Drain the water and transfer to a blender.
- Add the chilli, ginger and cumin seeds and blend to smooth paste adding a little water if needed.
- transfer the batter to a bowl and add the turmeric, chopped coriander, hing (asafoetida) , salt and about 3 tbsp of water. Mix to form a thick batter.
- Heat your non-stick pan (I love my nontoxic greenpans!) well and add about 1 tsp of oil/ghee. Once hot, add about 1/4 cup of the batter and spread gently
- pour ½ tsp of oil/ghee over chilla, cover the pan and allow to cook on a medium flame for about 1 minute. Flip the chilla and cook the other side.
- Repeat to make about 4-5 chilla.