This moong dal cheela is a healthy, nutritious and tasty pancake made with moong lentils.
While besan chilla (made with gram flour)is quick to prepare, for the moong dal chillas the mung lentils need to be soaked overnight or for some hours.
If you plan to prepare moong dal chillas for breakfast then soak the moong lentils overnight or at least for 1-2 hours.
Moong dal chilla can be made with both split & husked moong or whole moong. In this recipe, I have used yellow mung lentils, some spices and herbs for added flavour. This moong dal chilla is one of the first recipes learnt from mom. She would often make it for breakfast and stuffed it with paneer.
Chilla are also known as pudas, pudlas and polis in India. chilla are very popular towards north India, Rajasthan and Gujarat region. Similarly towards the south part of India Pesarattu dosa is made from whole green gram. Moong dal is one of those lentils which is tridoshic – balances all the three doshas.
Chillas can be made either soft or crisp. If the batter is poured and not spread much just like uthappams then soft chillas can be made. If the batter is spread across evenly and thinly then you can make crisp chillas.
Serve moong dal chilla with green chutney or chili garlic chutney.
You can also serve the cheela stuffed with some crumbled or grated paneer. To make them more nutritious you could also add some grated carrot, shredded cabbage, chopped capsicum and some grated beetroot. Moong dal chilla can be made as a breakfast, snack or even packed in lunch boxes.
Preparation to make moong dal cheela recipe
1. Rinse 1/2 cup moong dal 3 to 4 times in water.
2. Then soak moong dal with 2 to 3 cups of water for about 1 – 2 hours.
3. The moong dal will swell or double up in size. Discard the water.
Making moong dal chilla batter
4. Add the moong dal in a food processor or a mixer. Grind with ¼ cup of water. Don’t add too much water else the moong dal won’t grind very well. In case you are not able to grind the moong lentils very well, then you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water. Grind to a smooth batter.
5. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and fennel seeds
6. Add 1 teaspoon salt or as required.
8. Chop coriander leaves, onion, chilies, ginger and keep them ready. You will need some chopped coriander leaves, some finely sliced onions, 1 teaspoon grated ginger and 1 to 2 green chilies (finely chopped).
9. Add the chopped ingredients to the moong dal batter if you wish but I like to top my cheela with these.In this way the cheela are thin with a crunchy topping of onions.
10. Mix it well
11. Add a pinch of hing (asafoetida)and incorporate.
12. Allow the batter to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Check the consistency of the batter. If it’s too thick then add 1 to 2 tablespoon of water. I added 1 tablespoon of water to make it to a pouring consistency. Adding too much water will not be good as the batter will not spread evenly on the skillet. The consistency of the batter has to be of a medium pouring consistency, neither too thick nor too thin.
Making moong dal chilla
13. Heat a cast iron skillet. This is important as the pan has to be hot before you make the cheela. Add a scoopful of batter towards the center of the pan.
14.Then rotate the batter with the back of the spatula giving a round and even shape. Cook chilla on a medium flame.
15. Drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges of the chilla.
16. Cook the chillas on medium flame. After a minute they will look crisp and brown.
17. Flip the chillas and cook the other side for a minute, till golden brown and crisp
18. Once the chillas appear crisp and brown, fold them
19. You could stuff the chillas with crumbled paneer to make it more filling and protein rich.
Moong dal ka cheela
- ½ cup yellow moong dal split yellow Peas soaked for 1-2hrs.
- ¾ cup water
- 2 green chilies or to taste
- A small thumb of ginger
- 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 clove garlic optional
- A small pinch of hing asafoetida
- A pinch of turmeric
- 1 spoon of red chili powder or to taste
- 2 teaspoon cornflour/tapioca flour
- 5-6 teaspoon mustard oil/peanut oil to cook
- Finely sliced onion
- Coriander leaves chopped
- Green chillies
- Coriander mint chutney
- Garlic chutney
- Wash and soak the moong dal for a couple of hours. Drain.
- In a food processor /electric mixer empty the washed moong dal, green chilies, ginger, garlic is used and add ¼ cup of water. Blend it smooth (no grain should be felt). Add a little more water if needed.
- Empty the blended batter in a bowl
- Add the remaining water
- Add salt, asafoetida, chili powder, and tapioca flour. Mix it well.
- Mix everything to a smooth potable batter.
- Add more water to make it pourable if needed.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet and rub mustard oil
- Pour ⅓ cup of batter and move in a circular motion to make a 6-7 ” pancake.
- Add the topping to the wet batter.
- Press it down lightly so the filling sticks to the batter.
- Flip over when one side is done.
- Cook the other side.
- Allow the onion to caramelize lightly.
- Serve warm with coriander mint and garlic chutney
- It’s better to use the batter when it’s prepared as it does not keep well the next day
- Blend the batter to a smooth paste, not course. The smooth paste gives thin pancakes.
- Do Not add all the water in one go as it may not let the batter blend smooth.
- Use cast pan for the cooking the pancakes for best result
- Cook on medium heat
- Some grated veggies like carrots, beetroot, cabbage, and capsicum can be added to give a nutritional boost in the chillas.
- For a gluten-free moong dal chilla, skip adding asafoetida (hing).