Besan Chila/ Besan Puda/ Indian Gramflour pancake

Gram flour (Chickepea flour/ Garbanzo flour) is an important component of a north Indian kitchen, it is nutritious as it is rich in protein, fibre minerals and gluten free. It may perhaps be an acquired taste for many has it has a bit of a strong after taste specially the non roasted chickpea flour. 

That said most of the packaged flour today doesn’t taste half as good as freshly ground ones my mum used in her kitchen – perhaps I should warn you guys, am also a sucker for the olden ways of the kitchen; the concept of eating locally grown and freshly made food, no fridge, no cold storage and no re-heats.

I have always loved Besan in its many avatars and dishes that my mum would spin out of it. Am so glad, my girls, have taken after me on this and relish this flour as much as I feel it is an acquired taste for many people. Here’s three different versions of making the humble Indian savory pancake. The photographs and video show option 1.

Prep Time: 15 Mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins
Recipe Level: Easy
Spice Level: Low

Serves: 4 People
Shelf Life: Eat fresh
Serving Suggestion: By itself with chutney or use as a tortilla for stuffing

UTENSILS: 

Three mixing bowl, whisk, chopping board, knife and frying pan

INGREDIENTS:

OPTION 1

  • 1 C garbanzo flour
  • 1 tbsp cup Rice Flour
  • 1 tbsp yogurt
  • Water to make a slurry
  • Salt – to taste
  • 1/2 medium onion – chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seed powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • A handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
  • oil or ghee as needed 

OPTION 2

  • 1/2 cup besan ( chickpea flour/ gram flour)
  • ½ tsp ajwain / carom seeds
  • Salt – to taste
  • A pinch turmeric
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped finely
  • 1 small tomato chopped finely
  • 1 green chili chopped finely
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • A handful coriander leaves chopped
  • 1/2 – 1 cup water 
  • oil or ghee as needed

OPTION 3

  • 1/2 cup Gram Flour (Besan)
  • 1 tbsp cup Rice Flour
  • 1 tbsp oats flour
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water to make slurry
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Green Chilies
  • A handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • oil or ghee as needed

METHOD:

  1. Add all dry ingredients to the mixing bowl. Mix everything well.
  2. Add all the wet ingredients and mix again. Pour enough water and make a slurry – thick but pourable consistency. 
  3. Heat a pan and brush it with oil or ghee.
  4. Allow it to turn hot and reduce the flame to medium.
  5. Mix the batter well ensuring none of it is sticking at the bottom. Pour from the bowl onto the pan.
  6. Drizzle some oil around the edges of the batter.
  7. Allow to cook until the edges leave the pan.
  8. Flip it to the other side.
  9. Press down the edges with a spatula. Cook until the cheela is cooked completely and gets golden spots.

TIPS:

  • Rice flour makes the pancake more crispy
  • You can add pureed spinach/ beetroot/ pumpkin to make colored pancakes

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