Chilla, Cheela or Pudla are simple Indian breakfast pancakes. These Vegan Chickpea flour Pancakes are crepe like savory breakfast. Add veggies to the batter or serve with roasted veggies and a dip. Gluten-free Soy-free Nut-free Recipe. Jump to Recipe
This is my Mom’s chilla/ cheela recipe. It is also known as pudla. The classic Indian pancake made with besan (which is split chickpea flour) or chickpea flour (white chickpeas ground) is a popular breakfast in North India. These pancakes in the simplest form are easy and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or a side flatbread. For a veggie omelet version, add less water for a thicker batter and add leavening such as baking powder and some kala namak (Indian sulphur black salt) for eggy taste. Add finely chopped vegetables such as zucchini. Serve topped with roasted potato/veggies or avocado and a dressing of choice.
Recipe from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen . Also Read about the differences between besan and chickpea flour here.
Tips for no stick pancakes every time
- The most common problem with these pancakes is that they stick to the pan. Thin batter like this which is like a crepe batter will stick to any pan that is not a good non stick. Use a good non stick skillet or cast iron skillet.
- If it sticks to the non stick pan, then the problem is with the pan. These pancakes are the best test for choosing a non stick skillet :).
- If you cook other things on the skillet, then the non stickness is affected by the stirring, veggies or ingredients. Keep a dedicated pan for pancakes and crepes and use that for these chickpea pancakes.
- Adjust the batter consistency to thin or thick to preference. Indian pancakes are more crepe like and thin for crispy edges. Thicker batter will take longer to cook and will also tend to make dry pancakes if too thick. Add juicy veggies like peppers, zucchini, tomato to counter the dryness.
- To make these oilfree, you would need a good non stick skillet. Store under a kitchen towel and Serve with dips and dressings
Vegan Chickpea flour Pancakes - Besan Chilla
- 1 cup (120 g) chickpea flour garbanzo bean flour, or besan (gram flour)
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
- 3/4 teaspoon (0.75 teaspoon) salt
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) carom seeds ajwain or cumin seeds
- 1/2 cup (80 g) finely chopped red onion
- 1 hot green chile finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce heat)
- 1/4 cup (4 g) packed chopped cilantro
- 1 to 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon safflower oil divided
- 1/2 cup (62 g) shredded zucchini or other vegetables optional
- 1/8 tsp (0.13 tsp) Indian Black Salt kala namak
- In a bowl, combine the chickpea flour and 3/4 cup water. Whisk to get a smooth consistency. Whisk in another 1/2 to 3/4 cup water to make a thin lump-free batter. (If using besan, you will need less water to get the same consistency).
- Add the salt, turmeric, cayenne, carom seeds, onion, chile, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of oil, and mix well. Add zucchini if using. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, drizzle a few drops of oil on the skillet. Spread the oil using a paper towel. Pour a ladle full (1/4 to 1/3 cup) of the batter onto the skillet. Spread the batter by moving the skillet to make a 6 to 8-inch pancake. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the edges of the pancake.
- Cook until the edges start to leave the pan and the bottom is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Continue to make the rest of the pancakes. Serve hot with ketchup, chutneys or sriracha. Chilla can also be stuffed with roasted veggies or potatoes.
My Awesome Vegan Indian Cookbook is now available in Print and digital (kindle) versions.
- Andrews McMeel Publishing
- Barnes And Noble , IndieBound
- Chapters Indigo
- India – Amazon.in and Flipkart (Print book will be available May 20)
- Amazon.ca (canada), Amazon.co.uk , Hive.co,uk, Bol.com (eu) Amazon.de (Germany), Thalia.de (Germany),Amazon.it (Italy), Amazon.jp, Amazon.es, Booktopia (aus), Fishpond.nz
- Wherever Else Books are Sold!
These are delicious! Thank you! I mixed in some leftover vegetables as well.
Can I make these with kala Chana flour ?
Amazing. Was a big hit at lunch today. Definitely going to have this one more often. So full of flavour and great crunch. Thanks for the recipe!
Made these today to fill with your garlic potato spinach stir-fry and OMG they are absolutely delicious!! Packed with flavour. I was surprised at how easy they were to make but even more surprised at how hard it was to not eat them as they came off the pan. <3 Immediate addition to my weekly repertoire.
For anyone else reading, I don't have a cast iron pan so I used a frying pan and it worked great!
Wow – so easy and quick to make! We loved it – finished off the lot in one sitting. Thanks Richa – don’t know why it’s taken me so long to try these. Have a wonderful day!
Thank you for this detailed recipe. My chilla came out perfect and very tasty.
These pancakes are absolutely delicious. Even my picky child who hates veggies loved these! I plan on making these again! Thank you for this tasty recipe. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
These were such a success. I made the batter pretty thin and the moment I ladled them into the pan, I moved it around quickly so it would spread out and had a more interesting shape. I served these with a thicker dal recipe I found with a lot of spinach in it. Was looking for a replacement for rice and naan, and this was it! I’ll will def make these again and often as they so easy to make. Thanks for this recipe 🙂
We didn’t have everything called for in the recipe every time, but we’ve really enjoyed these in every variation.
Thanks for the starting point!
We’ll continue using this often as our food supplies change. The versatility has been so helpful!
Whoops, forgot to rate before.
These came out perfect! Served with dhal fresh coriander, chopped tomato and mango chutney, DELICIOUS!
Delicious! Far easier to make than “regular” pancakes too!
I have made these several times now for lunch and the whole family loves them! I never get more than three out of the batter (might be because of my large frying pan) but it doesn’t matter, one big pancake is quite filling. Today I tried adding finely grated courgette (zucchini) and nobody noticed a thing. 😂 These pancakes tick all my boxes!
Awesome! double the recipe!
It’s Pancake Day in Britain today and I’ve just had a couple of these as an early lunch. Very nice and simple. (The idea of pancake day is to use up perishable foods such as eggs before Lent begins, so vegan pancakes don’t really make sense. Who needs sense?)
Soooooo delicious, my kids and I devoured them! Thank you!!
How many servings are in this recipe?
7-8 pancakes. See Servings on top of the recipe area near the prep times
I love this recipe so much! It’s one of my favorites of yours. Since I’m more of a savory breakfast person than sweet, it scratches that itch for pancakes while also giving me a filling, hearty start to the day. So good and my husband is always excited when he sees me making them. It’s also handy when I want something like naan for a side but don’t want to go to the effort of making bread.
Thank you Cadry! We’ve been eating these since forever at home. and variations with different lentils. Its a handy breakfast that all moms seem to make for the kids, no spills, no sugar, decent protein 🙂
Thanks for this recipe, Richa! I love it! I’ve been making it often for breakfast and have also made it as a vegan omelette.
I’m writing a blog post on the versatility of chickpeas. Would you mind if I featured this recipe? I will link back to this post, of course.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Thank you Richa for this easy resipe. My 17 month son loves dosas and I was looking an alternative for rice dosas, this besan chilla is great. It only took me 10 min to prepare one. We have recently decided to go completely vegetarian and as much vegan as we could do. So, your website is like a blessing for me with delicious and nutritious recipes. Keep up the great work .
Hi! What is the texture supposed to be like?
like a thick crepe. crispy on the edges. you can make it more crispy by cooking longer
I love these besan chillas – tastful and easy to make. Thank you for great recipes!
So delicious! If I didn’t have to go to work, I’d stand at the skillet all day making these and eating them right off the heat.
I adore these. I typically avoid repeating recipes because I don’t like to eat the same thing twice, but I have made this recipe about 4 times this year alone! I typically replace the red onion with green onion because it’s what I have on hand, and I don’t pre-cook it. Thank you for an awesome, versatile recipe.
Do these reheat well once cooked?
somewhat. The texture changes slightly
Can you freeze or refrigerate the batter to use at a later date? Thanks
yes you can refrigerate the batter for upto 2 days. If you keep the veggies separate then upto 4 days.
Delicious – kids loved them. Doing elimination diet and this fits as no gluten/dairy/soy/egg…
So easy, so quick and soooo amazing! Thank you 🙂
Just made these from your cookbook, and they are wonderful. Definitely going into regular rotation, thank you! One note: I had Bob’s Red Mill Chickpea and Fava flour on hand, and it worked out great.
Just made these. Savory and tasty! Thank you.
These are amazing! I could eat them everyday!
Delish! thank you. Whats the difference between chickpea flour and besan? Is one raw and one roasted?
Chickpea flour in the US is generally ground white chickpeas, while Besan is ground brown chickpeas (Kala chana). Besan is also ground finer than chickpea flour. Because of these differences, chickpea flour generally makes a thicker batter and needs more water to achieve the similar consistency as besan batter if the recipe was written with besan. The reverse applies to recipes written with chickpea flour. In general this does not matter much and both can be used interchangeably in recipes. However, if used in baking keep this in mind to adjust the liquid.
Great explanation! thank you for taking the time to set me straight!
Could you tell me what is 0.13 teaspoon? I am used to use halves and quarters when it comes to cups and spoons. Thank you
its 1/8 tsp, use a big pinch instad
Thank you for clearing up the distinction. This explains why a recipe I tried before (not yours) turned out really bad. Too thick and gloppy and could have used more liquid.
I spent all morning making this and it was definitely worth the time and effort. It came out so tasty! I change it up a little bit and made my own homemade ketchup to go with it, gave you a little shout out on my blog. Thanks for the recipe!
I loved this recipe, it tasted wonderful. One thing I would recommend is definitely to cut the added veggies really finely, so that it doesn’t interfere with the pouring of the batter.
I made these tonight from your cookbook and they are amazing! My new favorite thing! So delicious. I am wondering how chilla is pronounced, though. Is it a long e as in seen, or simply chill with an “uh” sound at the end? Thanks!
Awesome! is chill- ah.
Susannah (Lemon and Coconut)
Going to make these right now, thanks Richa, I love your recipes, got my eye on your cookbook for Christmas too, hints being dropped at regular intervals! 🙂
Awesome!! Yes, it is definitely a great gift. for you and for me 🙂
so simple and they make perfect snack or even side flatbread!