or Besan ka chilla or savoury gramflour pancakes
Besan ka chilla or besan ka puda is a rustic, simple-flavoured Indian breakfast or chai time snack recipe, popular in Northern and Western India. A healthy one too, as long as you limit the quantity of ghee used to pan-fry.
Like Thalipeeth, these savoury gramflour pancakes make for a gluten-free, low-carb, protein-rich replacement to wheat chapati / roti.
The recipe below is that of a basic besan ka puda. Add more nutrition to your already nutritious besan ka chilla with some thick grated carrots, zucchini or pumpkin. Add finely chopped spinach or any leafy greens. Finely chopped mushrooms too make a flavourful addition to besan ka puda. Replace the onions with spring onion greens, if these are readily available. Tomatoes too can be added, though they make the savoury pancakes less crisp. On cooler days, you could also add a little grated ginger to your besan ka chilla mix.
Putting this recipe of besan ka puda together is quick and easy and really doesn’t need to be prepared ahead. I actually wouldn’t recommend making / mixing the batter a few hours ahead, as the gramflour and veggies mix tends to develop a slightly slimy texture. If it saves you time, chop your veggies the night before and mix the batter only when you’re ready to cook.
I add a couple of tablespoons of rice flour or rava, for crispier besan ka puda.
Makes 6-7 medium size besan ka chilla / puda
Time taken: 20-25 minutes
Ingredients to make Besan ka Chilla / Besan ka Puda
2 cups gramflour / besan (preferably coarse ground)
2 tbsp rice flour
1 cup water (or as required)
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 green chillies, finely chopped
A handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp carom seeds / ajwain
A pinch of turmeric powder / haldi
Salt to taste
Ghee, to cook / pan-fry
Method of making Besan ka Chilla / Besan ka Puda
Mix all the dry ingredients first and add water to make a batter – the consistency of the batter would be similar to that of pancakes or dosa, or slightly thinner if you prefer, making it easier to spread on the pan.
Let the batter rest for 10-15 minutes, give it another good mix and you’re ready to go.
Heat a flat bottom pan, add a teaspoon of ghee or cooking oil and pour a ladle of the batter on to the hot pan. Lightly spread the batter using a spoon or simply twirl the pan to spread the batter evenly.
Once the edges start to brown, flip the Besan ka Puda and cook on the other side. Add more ghee, as required - I would say just another teaspoon, no more.
Serve Besan ka Puda hot off the pan with mint chutney, tomato ketchup or condiment of choice.
As much as Besan ka chilla is a meal by itself, it can also be served with a side of potato sabzi or paneer bhurji.
Visit the breakfast section for more nutritious breakfast recipes.
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