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About Besan Ka Chilla.
Besan Ka Chilla, a delightful and versatile Indian dish, showcases the culinary prowess of gram flour (besan). Also known as “Chickpea Flour Crepes” or “Besan Cheela,” this dish holds a special place in Indian cuisine for its simplicity, speed of preparation, and wholesome flavors. The crepes are made from a batter of besan combined with various spices and herbs, offering a canvas for creativity with diverse fillings and toppings.
With its golden hue and satisfying texture, Besan Ka Chilla is enjoyed across the country as a nutritious breakfast, a light lunch, or even a snack. In this introduction, we delve into the enchanting world of Besan Ka Chilla, celebrating its versatility and contribution to the rich tapestry of Indian culinary traditions.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make Besan Ka Chilla at home:
Ingredients for making Besan Ka Chilla:
- 1 cup gram flour (besan)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 small tomato, finely chopped
- 1-2 green chilies, finely chopped
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
- Salt to taste
- Water, as needed
- Oil or ghee for cooking
Instructions for making Besan Ka Chilla:
- Prepare the Batter:
- In a mixing bowl, add gram flour, cumin seeds, asafoetida, and salt. Mix well.
- Gradually add water and whisk to form a smooth batter. The batter should be of pouring consistency, similar to pancake batter.
- Add Vegetables and Spices:
- Add chopped onion, tomato, green chilies, and fresh coriander leaves to the batter. Mix thoroughly to incorporate the ingredients.
- Heat the Skillet:
- Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over medium heat. Once hot, lightly grease it with oil or ghee.
- Pour and Spread the Batter:
- Pour a ladleful of the batter onto the center of the skillet. Using the back of the ladle, gently spread the batter in a circular motion to form a thin crepe.
- Cooking the Chilla:
- Drizzle a few drops of oil or ghee around the edges of the chilla and on the surface. Cook until the bottom turns golden and crisp.
- Flip and Cook:
- Carefully flip the chilla using a spatula. Cook the other side until it turns golden and the filling is cooked.
- Repeat the Process:
- Repeat the process with the remaining batter to make more chillas. Ensure the skillet is lightly greased before pouring the batter each time.
- Serve Hot:
- Transfer the cooked Besan Ka Chilla onto a serving plate. Serve it hot with yogurt, chutney, or sauce of your choice.
- You can customize the chilla by adding grated cheese, cooked vegetables, paneer, or even spinach to the batter before cooking.
Besan Ka Chilla is a simple and delicious dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, or as a snack. Its versatility allows you to experiment with fillings and flavors according to your preferences.
Nutritional Value of Besan Ka Chilla.
The nutritional value of Besan Ka Chilla can vary based on the specific recipe and ingredients used. Here’s an approximate breakdown for a basic Besan Ka Chilla (per chilla):
Nutritional Values for Basic Besan Ka Chilla (Per Chilla):
- Calories: Approximately 150-180 kcal
- Carbohydrates: Around 15-20 grams
- Protein: About 6-8 grams
- Fat: Approximately 6-8 grams
- Saturated Fat: Around 1-2 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat: Approximately 3-4 grams
- Polyunsaturated Fat: About 1-2 grams
- Fiber: Around 2-3 grams
- Sugar: Approximately 2-3 grams (from natural sources)
- Sodium: Varies based on salt content
Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the size of the chilla, the amount of oil or ghee used for cooking, and any additional ingredients or fillings. Besan Ka Chilla is a nutritious dish that provides a balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats, making it a suitable option for a wholesome meal.
Besan Ka Chilla offers a range of health benefits, making it a nutritious and flavorful addition to your diet:
1. Rich in Protein: Gram flour (besan) is a great source of plant-based protein, essential for muscle repair, growth, and overall body functions.
2. Nutrient-Dense: Besan is packed with essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron, magnesium, and dietary fiber. These contribute to overall well-being and promote various bodily functions.
3. Weight Management: The high protein and fiber content in Besan Ka Chilla can promote feelings of fullness and satiety, helping control appetite and supporting weight management.
4. Digestive Health: The dietary fiber in besan aids in digestion, promotes a healthy gut, and can help prevent constipation.
5. Gluten-Free: Besan is naturally gluten-free, making Besan Ka Chilla suitable for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.
6. Blood Sugar Regulation: Besan has a lower glycemic index compared to wheat flour, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and prevent rapid spikes.
7. Heart Health: The unsaturated fats in Besan Ka Chilla, such as monounsaturated fats, can contribute to maintaining heart health by reducing bad cholesterol levels.
8. Energy Boost: The carbohydrate content in besan provides sustained energy, making Besan Ka Chilla an ideal breakfast or snack option.
9. Versatile: Besan Ka Chilla is versatile and can be customized with various fillings and spices to suit your taste preferences.
10. Nutrient Variety: By adding vegetables like onions, tomatoes, and green chilies, you enhance the nutritional content of the chilla with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
11. Easy Digestion: Besan is known for its lightness and ease of digestion, making Besan Ka Chilla gentle on the digestive system.
12. Low in Saturated Fat: Besan contains minimal saturated fat, contributing to overall heart health.
Incorporating Besan Ka Chilla into your diet can provide a wholesome blend of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that contribute to your overall health and well-being.
Tips and Trick.
Here are some useful tips and tricks to help you make perfect Besan Ka Chilla:
1. Smooth Batter:
- Ensure the batter is smooth and lump-free. Gradually add water to besan while whisking to achieve the right consistency.
2. Correct Consistency:
- The batter should be of pouring consistency, similar to pancake batter. It shouldn’t be too thick or too runny.
3. Preheating the Pan:
- Preheat the skillet or griddle properly before making the chilla. A moderately hot pan prevents sticking and ensures even cooking.
4. Non-Stick Pan:
- Use a non-stick skillet for easy flipping and to prevent the chilla from sticking to the surface.
5. Light Greasing:
- Lightly grease the pan with oil or ghee before pouring the batter. This prevents sticking and enhances the flavor.
6. Spreading the Batter:
- Pour a ladleful of batter onto the center of the pan and gently spread it in a circular motion using the back of the ladle to create a thin crepe.
7. Even Spreading:
- Spread the batter evenly to ensure uniform cooking and a balanced texture.
8. Moderate Heat:
- Cook the chilla on medium heat to achieve a golden color and crisp texture. High heat may result in uneven cooking.
9. Filling Placement:
- Add the chopped onion, tomato, green chilies, and coriander directly onto the batter before flipping. This allows the ingredients to cook within the chilla.
10. Flip Carefully:
- Use a flat spatula to flip the chilla gently to prevent tearing. The second side cooks faster, so keep an eye on it.
11. Minimal Oil:
- Use a small amount of oil or ghee for cooking. A little oil around the edges and on the surface adds flavor and crispiness.
12. Keep Toppings Ready:
- Have your toppings and fillings prepared before making the chilla for efficient assembly.
13. Experiment with Fillings:
- Get creative with fillings like grated cheese, paneer, spinach, or leftover cooked vegetables for added flavor and nutrition.
14. Serve Hot:
- Besan Ka Chilla is best enjoyed when served immediately to maintain its crispness.
By following these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to create delicious and well-textured Besan Ka Chilla that’s sure to be a hit at the dining table.
Here are some serving suggestions to elevate your experience of enjoying Besan Ka Chilla:
1. Chutneys and Dips:
- Serve Besan Ka Chilla with a variety of chutneys like mint chutney, tamarind chutney, or tomato chutney. Yogurt-based dips or raita also complement the flavors well.
2. Pickles and Sauces:
- Pair the chilla with tangy mango pickle, spicy chili sauce, or a zesty lemon pickle for an extra burst of flavor.
3. Fresh Herbs and Greens:
- Garnish the chilla with fresh coriander leaves, mint leaves, or microgreens to add color and freshness.
4. Lemon Wedges:
- Serve lemon wedges alongside the chilla for a refreshing tang that enhances the taste.
5. Sliced Onions and Tomatoes:
- Accompany the chilla with thinly sliced onions and tomatoes seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and lemon juice.
6. Sides of Vegetables:
- Serve Besan Ka Chilla with a side of sautéed vegetables, such as stir-fried bell peppers, mushrooms, or spinach.
7. Rolled or Stuffed Chilla:
- Roll the chilla with a filling of your choice, such as paneer, grated cheese, or spiced mashed potatoes, for a complete meal.
8. Accompanying Curries:
- Pair the chilla with a light curry, such as aloo curry, or a lentil dish for a balanced and satisfying meal.
9. Herbal Teas or Drinks:
- Enjoy the chilla with a cup of herbal tea, like ginger or mint tea, or a refreshing drink such as buttermilk.
- Serve alongside a fresh mixed salad for added crunch and a wholesome combination of flavors.
11. Sliced Avocado:
- Top the chilla with sliced avocado for a creamy and nutritious element.
12. Greek Yogurt:
- A dollop of plain Greek yogurt on the side adds a creamy and tangy contrast to the chilla.
These serving suggestions can enhance your enjoyment of Besan Ka Chilla, allowing you to customize each bite according to your taste preferences. Feel free to mix and match for a well-rounded and satisfying meal.
Can I make the batter in advance?
Yes, you can definitely make the batter for Besan Ka Chilla in advance. Preparing the batter ahead of time can save you time and make the cooking process more convenient. Mix the gram flour (besan) with spices, herbs, and water to create the batter. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a day. Before making the chillas, give the batter a good stir to ensure even consistency. Adjust the batter’s thickness if needed by adding a little water before cooking. This way, you can enjoy freshly cooked chillas without the hassle of preparing the batter from scratch.
Can I make Besan Ka Chilla gluten-free?
Yes, Besan Ka Chilla is naturally gluten-free as it is primarily made from gram flour (besan), which is derived from chickpeas. Chickpea flour is inherently gluten-free, making this dish suitable for individuals who are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease. It’s a wonderful option for those looking for delicious gluten-free alternatives without compromising on flavor and texture.
Can I make Besan Ka Chilla without onions and tomatoes?
Absolutely, you can make Besan Ka Chilla without onions and tomatoes. While onions and tomatoes contribute flavor and texture, they are not essential. You can still create a flavorful chilla by incorporating other ingredients like green chilies, fresh herbs, and spices. Customize the chilla with your preferred combination of flavors to suit your taste preferences and enjoy a delicious and versatile dish even without onions and tomatoes.
Can I make sweet Besan Ka Chilla?
Yes, you can create a sweet version of Besan Ka Chilla by adjusting the ingredients. To make sweet chillas, add a touch of sweetness to the batter using ingredients like sugar, jaggery, or honey. You can also incorporate aromatic spices like cardamom or nutmeg. Instead of savory fillings, use grated jaggery, coconut, chopped nuts, or even sweetened yogurt as fillings. This creative twist transforms the chilla into a delightful dessert or a unique breakfast option with a hint of sweetness.