Besan Chilla is an Indian-style savory crepe made with gram flour (besan), vegetables, and spices. It is an excellent low-calorie, vegan, and gluten-free Indian breakfast recipe. I am sharing with you besan chilla recipe that you can make two delicious ways with one batter. Be sure to watch the video!
About Indian Chilla
There are hundreds of chilla recipe followed across India and each one of them is equally delicious.
But unlike crepes, a chilla is purely vegetarian and egg-free. Many chilla recipes like besan ka chilla are vegan and gluten-free as well.
For those who are looking for wholesome, fulfilling vegetarian breakfast recipes – Indian Chilla is a great choice. It is low on calories, easy to digest, perfect for kids, and the batter is meal-prep friendly. Do you need more reasons to try this besan chilla recipe?
For this besan chilla recipe you need a few basic pantry staples.
Gram Flour: The key ingredient for this chilla recipe is gluten-free gram flour (besan).
Rice Flour: To give a moist texture and crispiness to the chilla I combine rice flour with gram flour to prepare the batter.
Water: This chilla batter is combined with lukewarm water: no curd or eggs are required to make the batter.
Vegetables: Finely chopped onion, spinach, bell pepper, shredded cabbage, carrot, and grated paneer (cottage cheese) works best for this chilla recipe. Feel free to add vegetables of your choice.
Seasoning: The key flavoring agents of besan ka chilla are – hing (asafoetida), ginger-garlic paste, and roasted cumin powder. Apart from these – salt, chili, and turmeric are added to the batter.
Besan Chilla – Two Ways
You can make besan ka chilla in two ways with the same batter and vegetables.
Stuffed Besan Dosa Cum Chilla: This is a crisp, dosa style besan ka chilla stuffed with vegetables, potato, or paneer stuffing.
To make this style of chilla, no vegetables or herbs are added to the batter. The chilla is prepared with a plain seasoned batter and, once crisp, layered with the vegetable stuffing of choice.
Besan Ka Pudla: This is a Gujarati style of making a slightly thick besan ka chilla or pudla. The chopped and shredded vegetables are added to the batter. This is a classic way to make cheela.
My Verdict – I feel when the chilla is made with plain batter it has a more crisp texture, and the layer of stuffing makes it really delicious. But when in hurry or for the fussy vegetable eaters especially kids – the besan ka pudla style chilla works best.
Watch Besan Chilla Recipe Video
My Tried & True Tips
Make sure there are no lumps in the chilla batter. It should be smooth and of spoon-dropping consistency. The trick is to add water in small batches and whisk the batter continuously. Do not add too much water. We need a smooth dosa-like batter.
Let the chilla batter rest for 10 – 15 minutes before using it.
Use a thick heavy bottom pan preferably cast iron or a good quality non-stick pan for making the chilla. A lightweight pan might not yield a crisp textured cheela.
Do not flip the chilla again and again while cooking. Let it get crisp and perfectly cooked from one side, flip, and cook from another side.
More Indian Breakfast Recipes
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Besan Chilla Recipe
Ingredients For Chilla Batter
- 1 Cup Gram Flour (Besan)
- ¼ Cup rice flour (chawal ka atta)
- 1 Cup Water (lukewarm)
- Salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon ginger paste
- ½ Teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ Teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
- 1 Teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 Teaspoon cumin powder
Ingredients For Chilla Filling:
- ¼ Cup sweet corn
- ¼ Cup cabbage, shredded
- ¼ Cup finely chopped bell pepper
- ¼ Cup finely chopped onion
- 2 Tablespoon chopped fresh coriander
- Salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Chaat Masala
- 1 Teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ Teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ Cup green chutney (see recipe)
- ¼ Cup tomato ketchup
- 1 Cup paneer (cottage cheese), grated
- ½ Cup grated cheese (parmesan or cheddar)
- ¼ Cup ghee (clarified butter)
Prepare Besan Chilla Batter
- In a mixing bowl combine rice and grame flour. Mix nicely. Add ¼ – ½ Cup lukewarm water at a time and whisk the batter. Keep whisking the batter till it is silky smooth, lump free, and of dropping consistency. Let it rest for 10 – 15 minutes at room temperature.
- After resting time, add the seasoning, ¼ cup more water and again whisk the batter to combine all the ingredients. The chilla batter is ready.
Prepare Chilla Filling:
- Combine all the vegetables, spices, and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix nicely. Taste and add more seasoning if required. The filling for chilla is ready.
Besan Chilla – Style 1
- Heat a heavy bottom, thick pan over high heat. Once the hot fumes start coming from the pan, sprinkle water, let water evaporate, and wipe the excess water from the pan.
- Take a ladle full of chilla batter and spread it like a dosa or thin crepe in the hot pan. Drizzle a teaspoon of ghee on the edges of the chilla. Let it cook. Do not flip.
- Spread a teaspoon each of green chutney and tomato ketchup on the chilla. Add 2 tablespoons of filling, 2 tablespoon of grated paneer, and 1 tablespoon of grated cheese. Press the stuffing gently using a spatula.
- Once the chilla is crisp, fold it into a half and serve immediatley.
Besan Chilla – Style 2
- Once the chilla batter and filling are ready, combine them. Whisk the batter and add more water to get a spoon dropping smooth consistency.
- Heat a heavy bottom, thick pan over high heat. Brush the pan with a teaspoon of ghee.
- Take a ladle full of chilla batter and spread it on the pan like a pancake. It is slightly thick and uneven. Drizzle a teaspoon of ghee on chilla, cover it with a lid, and cook for 1 – 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Remove the lid, flip the chilla, and cook from other side for 10 – 20 seconds. Serve Besan Chilla immediately with chutney and ketchup.