If you are from the South of Vindhyas, cheela / chila is not a much heard of term. It is a staple North Indian breakfast dish. To put it in simple terms, it is like an instant dosa made using besan. However unlike adai, which is a lentil based dosa preparation, cheelas are much thinner and crepe like.
These can be made by soaking and grinding lentils into a batter or using ready flours like chickpea flour. Moong dal cheelas are very popular. Moong dal soaks up water in no time, and even a couple of hours of soaking are enough to allow you to grind it into a smooth batter. While cheelas can be had plain, with accompaniments like chutneys or pickles, stuffed them with paneer bhurji as in this recipe, makes it more filling and keeps you going straight until lunch time.
Packing these stuffed cheelas in a casserole type lunch box ensures that they stay warm and soft until lunchtime, which is what I do for my kid’s lunchbox.
If you are looking for a gluten-free accompaniment to curries / vegetable dishes OR if you simply don’t want to make or eat the traditional wheat-based Indian bread, cheelas are the perfect solution for you. The best thing I like about these besan cheelas is no soaking, no grinding, no fermenting required. Perfect for last minute people like me 😀
Recipe for Besan Chila stuffed with Paneer Bhurji
[Savoury chickpea crepes with paneer stir fry filling]
Prep time: 15 minutes
Time taken: Under 30 minutes