Rajasthani Besan ka Chilla

Spiced Indian pancakes with turmeric, chilli and fresh coriander


A weekend of late breakfast and spicy pancakes are the perfect fix. There is a such a brilliant variety of Indian breakfast options and more than that a delicious variety of vegetarian dishes to choose from. The most common one’s of course for a spice fix tend to be a masala omelette or spiced scrambled eggs. Which I really enjoy and are quick to make with store cupboard staples.

With pancake day there is usually the appearance of sweet pancakes at home. But given the idea of a savoury alternative this Indian recipe with chickpea flour is my go to option. It’s a really simple recipe and is perfect for those looking for a gluten free or vegan option too. I use chickpea/ gram flour which is readily available in most stores. My recipe is the most basic one that we make at home although feel free to add some vegetables to the batter as well. The key to cooking these is the heat in the pan must be low which will help them go crisp and light brown. My favorite way to serve this is with some coconut chutney or even a really simple Dal. When I’m in a hurry just a simple salad and spicy pickle is good too.



  1. Add the besan to a mixing bowl along with the powdered spices, baking powder, ajwain and salt. Add the water a little at a time and using a whisk stir well to make sure there are no lumps. The batter should have a single cream consistency. Now add the chopped chillies, coriander, onions and tomatoes to the besan mix. Mix well and set aside.


  2. Heat a small non stick frying pan on a low heat and add a tsp of oil. Give the pan a swirl and using a ladle pour the batter in the hot pan. The besan ka chilla must be as thin as possible so using the back of the ladle spread it slightly if needed.

  3. Fry for 3-4 minutes on a low heat on each side until light brown and crisp around the edges. Keep warm wrapped in foil or a tea towel while you make the remaining. Serve warm with pickle and a salad or a green chutney.


  • http://www.whatsforlunchhoney.net/ Meeta

    Totally cool and great minds think alike. I had similar cheele for breakfast yesterday! Love it always!

  • paemsn

    Love these pancakes Maunika! Great for weekend breakfasts and super versatile. Made them yesterday with fennel leaves instead of coriander and added some chopped celery stalks. Served with homemade tomato, onion and raisin chutney and sourdough. Also included in my chickpea flour baking post http://www.thebreadshebakes.com/2013/08/baking-bread-with-chickpea-flour/ Thanks again 🙂

    • Maunika Gowardhan

      THAT sounds wonderful! So much more flavour with fennel in the pancakes, love that idea and so glad to hear you like it. Thank you for the mention x

  • Ghee

    Have you ever added egg to this recipe? Looks awesome. Saw your IG post and wanted to check this out.
    I wonder too if this could be an easy alternative to making pakora for kadhi….break bits of this into the yogurt sauce and no need for deep fried pakoras.


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