Besan ka Chilla (Gram Flour pancake)

Besan ka Chillas (gram flour pancakes) are one of the easiest Indian breakfasts to make. And quite healthy too. Gluten free, contains veggies, lightly spiced and easy to eat. Easy to eat many!

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Growing up I wasn’t very healthy in terms of eating breakfast. We used to rush to school in the morning and I could never get myself to eat that early. Weekends were for lazing and eating breakfast at around 9 AM. And those days we wouldn’t want to eat eggs. So our grandmom and our nanny/help (who has been with us forever) used to experiment, learn new things and we developed favourites along the way. Poha, paranthas, aloo puri, rolls and chillas are some of the results of those weekend breakfasts. And they remain favourites to this day!

Back then we used to have plain chillas, no veggies. But over time I have started incorporating some veggies to add flavour, texture and a little more nutrition. The traditional recipe calls for onions but since I am not a fan of raw/crunchy onions I leave those out. Feel free to experiment with whatever easy to cook veggies you like 🙂

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The ingredients are simple and will be found at most Indian homes at any point in time.

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The batter needs to be a little runny but not too much. Just enough that it spreads easily, but not so much that it has no substance. I tend to keep the tomatoes a little chunky because I like the char and texture they get, but feel free to dice them small so they get mixed in better with the batter.

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Once the pan is hot, add the batter and spread it around for a bit. As the sides start to cook and lose their liquid state, you know it is working 🙂 Once it cooks through enough you can flip it without it sticking/breaking/leaking. Then cook till done on the other side. Flipping one more time mid way isn’t a bad idea.

I don’t worry too much about shapes, so mine are rarely perfect circles. But if you swirl the pan just right, you’ll get nice circles 🙂

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We used to eat the chillas with ketchup or pickle. They go really well with green coriander chutney as well. Since these come together so quickly, I recommend making a nice big stack. Trust me, it will be over before you know it!

Try this out and let me know if it makes it to your weekend breakfast menu 🙂

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Besan ka Chilla

  • Servings: 6-8 Chillas
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


2 cups gram flour (besan)

2 green chillies – diced

2 tomatoes – diced

4 tbsp fresh coriander – chopped

3/4 – 1 cup water

1 tsp carom (ajwain) seeds

1/2 tsp turmeric (haldi) powder

3/4 tsp ginger powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

Oil for cooking


  1. Mix all the ingredients, except oil, in a bowl. Whisk well so that there are no lumps and the batter is well combined.
  2. Heat a flat pan/tawa. Add 1 tsp oil. Once hot, pour a ladle (1/3 cup) of batter into the centre of the pan.
  3. Swirl the pan to get the batter to spread and form a circle (or oval :))
  4. Put a few drops of oil around the edges of the chilla
  5. Let is cook on med-low heat for 3-4 minutes. Once the batter is not wet and sides start pulling away, flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  6. Cook till the chilla is cooked through, golden brown with a few darker char marks here and there. Don’t cook too long else it will become dry and burnt.
  7. Take it off the pan and eat with some pickle, ketchup or chutney.  Repeat for the rest of the batter.

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A baker, a dancer, a marketeer. Sometimes lazy. Always up to try new food, read interesting books and meet amazing people :)

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