Here is one of the easiest and healthiest savoury pancake recipes made with brown chickpea flour. In India, it’s called Besan Cheela or Chickpea flour Chilla. It is a traditional breakfast in many parts of India and is made with several variations.
The main ingredient is the Besan or Brown chickpea flour. This gluten-free flour is rich in protein, iron, B Vitamins Thiamine(B1), Riboflavin(B2), and Folic acid(B9). Besan flour has more protein than wheat flour, up to two times more. Recipes made from Besan flour can help to relieve constipation and can help in regulating blood sugar levels.
To make this pancake we will first have to make a batter with the besan flour to which instead of adding more spices, I will be adding a highly nutritious vegetable – Beetroot. If beetroots are not your thing, you can add carrots instead.
The Besan Cheela or pancakes can be made on a cast iron pan or a non-stick pan. Cooking on cast iron pan can be tricky if you are new to it so if you have a good quality nonstick pan, do not hesitate to use it. Cooking in a cast iron pan has its advantages, it is a great way to make your food iron and it is a type of utensil that can last for several generations.
Besan Cheela / Chickpea Pancake, SavouryCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
2 cups Besan/Chickpea flour
1 cup grated Beetroot
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
1.5 to 2 cups of Water
- Blend two cups of Besan flour, 1 tsp of Turmeric, 1 tsp salt, 1 cup of grated beetroots and 1.5 cups of Water into a smooth batter.
- Heat the cast iron pan on maximum heat for about a minute and then lower the heat to medium. The surface of the pan must be clean and seasoned for best results. You can also use a non-stick pan for the sake of convenience.
- To coat the cast iron pan’s surface with oil use half an onion and insert a fork. Dab the onion in some oil and spread it over the pan. This is also a great way to use the minimum amount of oil when using cast iron pans.
- Take a scoop of the batter in the ladle and pour it into the centre of the pan. Move the ladle in circular motion at the same time moving outwards, thus spreading the batter over the pan.
- After about 1 minute, when you see the surface of the pancake from the top is not looking raw it’s time to flip it over and cook for about 10 seconds.
- If you want to add some filling, flip it over again and add any filling of your choice.
- To make the next cheela, lower the flame, sprinkle water on the pan, clean it using a kitchen cloth, spread oil on the pan using the sliced onion, pour the batter and then turn the heat to medium when cooking.
- The besan cheela or pancakes can be eaten with sauces or salads on the sides or you can even make some delicious fillings like the one I have shown in the video. Here is the link to the recipe for the sweet potato filling.