Moong Dal Cheela: Savory Lentil Pancakes

26 Nov

We normally make cheela – a savory pancake popular as breakfast food in India – with besan (gram flour), but my taste buds prefer the more delicate flavors of moong dal cheela. Moong dal has the added edge of being less taxing to the tummy than gram flour.

On to the recipe…and a bonus: I’ve managed to get step-by-step pictures this time!

You Need:Moong Dal Cheela: Savory Lentil Pancakes

  • Moong dal – 1 large cup
  • Green chili – 1
  • Asafoetida powder – 1/3 teaspoon, dissolved in a tablespoon of water
  • Cumin seeds, dry roasted – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/3 teaspoon, adjust to taste
  • Oil – for shallow frying (approx. 1 teaspoon per cheela)

How To Make Moong Dal Cheela:

Wash moong dal in several changes of water till the water runs clear. Soak it in 3 cups of water for two hours.

Moong Dal Soaked

Put the moong dal, asafoetida, cumin seeds, green chili and salt in the food processor and grind to paste. Add a few tablespoons of water to bring it to batter consistency.

Moong Dal Grinding

Heat a teaspoon of oil on a wide non-stick pan. Spread the oil around using a wooden spatula so that the pan gets coated evenly.

Using a round ladle as in the picture above, spread some moong dal batter evenly on the pan, shaping it into a disk of about 3-inch diameter. Let the chilla cook on one side undisturbed for 3-4 minutes on medium-high flame.

Cheela, Side 1

Drizzle a few drops of oil over the cheela if it feels dry (I don’t always do this) and gently pry it away from the pan using a wooden spatula. Don’t scrape or jerk – if the cheela refuses to budge put a drop of oil at the place it’s stuck and give a gentle push with the spatula.

Turn to the other side and let it cook for half a minute, pressing lightly.

Cheela, Side 2

Moong dal cheela is ready to eat. Serve immediately. Moong dal cheela goes well with green chutney or Sriracha sauce [thanks to Kalyn for introducing me to this delicious Thai hot sauce, it’s a regular in my kitchen now].

Moong Dal Cheela: Savory Lentil Pancakes

2 Responses to “Moong Dal Cheela: Savory Lentil Pancakes”

  1. Prerna June 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM #

    Made this for tea today- P.E.R.F.E.C.T!

    • S June 23, 2012 at 12:25 PM #

      Haven’t made this myself since a while…must do this weekend :)

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