Moms Chickpea Flour Pancakes

This is Richa Hingle’s Mom’s chilla recipe. The classic Indian pancake recipe is probably the one from which most chick­pea flour omelets are derived. These thin pancakes, made with a runny batter using unleavened chickpea flour or besan, are a popular breakfast in North India. These chillas in the simplest form are easy and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or a side flatbread. Stuff them with roasted vegetables or vegan feta. Serve with ketchup or chutneys. For a veggie omelet version, Richa usually adds leavening to the batter, less water for a thicker batter, and finely chopped vegetables. Richa’s Mom calls it puda, but it is also known as cheela, chilla, and pudla.

Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes

Chilla (Pudla)

Prep: 15 minutes | Active: 25 minutes | Inactive: 20 to 25 minutes | Makes 8 to 10


  • 1 cup chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour, or besan
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon carom seeds or cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 hot green chile, finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce heat)
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped cilantro
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon safflower oil, divided


  1. In a bowl, combine the chickpea flour and 3/4 cup water. Whisk to get a smooth consistency. Whisk in another 1/2 to 3/4 cup water to make a thin lump-free batter. (If using besan, you will need less water).
  2. Add the salt, turmeric, cayenne, carom seeds, onion, chile, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of oil, and mix well. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, drizzle a few drops of oil on the skillet. Spread the oil using a paper towel. Pour a ladle full (1/4 to 1/3 cup) of the batter onto the skillet. Spread the batter by moving the skillet to make a 6 to 8-inch pancake. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the edges of the pancake.
  4. Cook until the edges start to leave the pan and the bottom is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Continue to make the rest of the pancakes. Serve hot.


Vegan Richas Indian Kitchen

Recipe from Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen Copyright © 2015 by Richa Hingle. Used by permission from Vegan Heritage Press, LLC.

Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen will be available on May 19th. Preorder now from Amazon or Barnes and Noble.