Besan Chilla is made from chickpea flour. You can add vegetables of your choice. I have added spinach, tomatoes, and onions in this recipe. You can add carrots, and mushrooms as well. This recipe is very easy and is something that you can whip up really quickly. I often pack this as a school snack / lunch for my kids.
People often also label besan chilla / cheela as a vegetarian omelette or a vegetarian pancake.
This recipe makes about 4 vegetarian chickpea spinach omelettes / besan palak chilla’s.
What is chickpea flour?
As the name suggests, chickpea flour is made from chickpeas, which falls into the category of legumes and pulses. Unlike all-purpose flour, this flour is high in protein, and a good source of vitamins, minerals, and is gluten free. It is also known as gram or garbanzo bean flour.
It is available in Asian stores, health food stores, and all leading grocery stores in the U.S.
How do we make Besan Palak Chilla?
It is very simple. Mix 1 cup chickpea flour with 1/4 cup rice flour and 1 and 1/4 cup water. The rice flour makes the chilla crisp. Mix water and both the flours well and make sure that there are no lumps. Then throw in all the toppings, like cilantro, spinach, Serrano peppers, onions, and tomatoes.
We then throw in some spices like red chili powder, carom seeds, and asafoetida. Give it a good stir.
We then use a non-stick omelette pan to make the chilla. Super easy and very flavorful.
Besan Palak Chilla / Besan Palak Cheela / Chickpea Flour Spinach Omlette
- 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
- 1/4 cup rice flour (chawal ka atta)
- 1 and 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 tomato finely chopped (1/3 cup chopped)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp asafoetida powder (heeng)
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric (haldi)
- 1/4 cup onion finely chopped (white, yellow, or red)
- 1/4 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
- 1/4 cup spinach finely chopped (fresh baby spinach)
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro finely chopped (dhainya ke patte)
- 1 serrano pepper, small, finely chopped (green chili pepper) (optional)
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne pepper) (optional)
- 2.5 tsp oil per chilla
- Wash and chop the onions, spinach, cilantro, tomatoes, and serrano pepper.
- Add the chickpea flour and the rice flour in a bowl. Add water gradually and mix the water with both the flours. Ensure that there are no lumps. You can mix the ingredients with a spoon or a whisk. You don’t need a blender.
- Add all the other ingredients except oil.
- Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium-heat. When the pan is hot, add about 1/4 cup batter with a ladle in the center of the pan, spreading it outwardly. It should look like an omelette but not too thick or layered.
- Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes until the edges are brown and the chilla can be lifted and turned easily.
- Flip it over and cook on the other side. It needs to be well cooked and golden brown. Use a flat spatula for flipping the chilla.
- Transfer the cooked chilla/cheela in a plate.
- Continue making additional chilla’s until you run out of batter.
- Serve the cooked besan spinach chilla hot with ketchup or cilantro chutney.
- Typically this is not made with spinach, but I like to add spinach in it to make it packed with vegetables.
- The rice flour adds a crunchy, crisp texture to the chilla.