Moong Dal Chilla (A North India Favourite)
Hailing from the North of India, the Moong dal Chilla is a different take on the regular Dosa or Pancake. India is a land of legumes and lentils. There are a variety of lentils available that have multitude uses. Lentils are known to be rich in protein and fibre while being low in calories.
So, what is a Chilla? How is it different from a regular pancake or flapjacks? A Chilla is a flat pancake made on an iron skillet using batter made of a combination of lentils. Your regular flapjacks are made of flour, egg and a few other ingredients. Chillas are made purely of lentils. It is a pure vegetarian dish.
While there are many different types of batter, today we will highlight the Moong Dal Chilla.
Flavourful and Nutritious
Moong dal, by itself, is a green bean, that has many uses and benefits. It can be used as a whole green bean, a split green bean or then in its peeled and skinned form, as a yellow lentil. It is light to digest and easy to cook. With the right tempering and additions, it transforms into a delicious dish. The Chilla is a nutritious and healthy breakfast option besides being fast to make. It combines the goodness of lentils and roots like ginger.
Your Chilla, Your way
This is a Chilla that is quick to prepare and works very well as a breakfast item. It does make a very nice and light tea-time snack too. There are no hard and fast rules about when you can eat the Moong Dal Chilla. It goes well with chutney, pickles and jam etc.
But no Chilla is complete without its favourite accompaniment, the ubiquitous chutney. Along with your Chilla recipe is an accompanying coconut chutney recipe to make your meal complete.
Moong Dal Chilla
How to make a Moong Dal Chilla
Initial Preparation for the moong dal chilla
You need the following ingredients.
- Two measures split green lentil beans
- Three measures water to soak the lentils.
- A vessel large enough to fit the above
- 2-3 Finely cut green chillies (depending on how spicy you like your chillas)
- Finely chopped green coriander
- Half inch piece of ginger, grated
- Salt to taste
- 1 onion finely cut
- 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
- ¼th teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4th teaspoon red chilli powder
- Pinch asafoetida powder
- 1-2 tablespoons of oil or as required
How to make
Wash the beans gently without scrubbing them too hard else the green skin will get sloughed off. Put in to vessel, bowl or container, add warm water which should cover the lentils and be about an inch or two above the beans.
Set aside and let soak in the warm water for about an hour or so. The longer you soak the easier it is to grind.
Once done with soaking, drain excess water but don’t throw it away. Put the soaked moong dal into your grinder and grind till it is a batter. The batter should not be coarse, you need a smooth lump-free batter that is not thin so add water carefully. You can use the water you soaked the dal in.
Once your batter is ready, add turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin powder, and salt. Mix well till everything has blended in. Then add green chillies, green coriander, ginger, asafoetida and onion. Mix well and keep for 15-20 minutes. Your Moong Dal Chilla batter is now ready for use.
Add its companion… the Chutney You need…
One measure grated fresh coconut
One measure chopped green coriander
Two green chillies roasted on an open flame and chopped
2-4 flakes of garlic (more if you like it stronger)
Salt to taste
You have to…
Put all ingredients in a small grind and grind to a coarse paste. Don’t grind it fine. Keep aside.
For the tempering you need…
2 tsp oil
¼ tsp mustard seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida powder (hing)
Few curry leaves
2 dried red chilly or then pinch red chilly powder
Take a small wok…
Add oil, let it heat
Add mustard seeds, let crackle
Add asafoetida powder
Add curry leaves
Add red chillies
Let it all crackle and sizzle a bit, remove from flame or hob and pour over the coconut coriander garlic green chilly mixture you had kept aside. Add salt to taste.
Mix well into the mixture and your chutney is ready. If you like, you can add four tablespoons of beaten curd into the chutney to give it a soft consistency.
For your Chilla You need…
One medium to large flat skillet
Two tablespoon cooking oil in a little bowl with a small spoon in it
A deep ladle for your batter
How to make a Moong Dal Chilla
Heat your skillet on a medium flame. Don’t turn up the heat else your skillet will become too hot.
Pour one ladle full of batter on the skillet, place your ladle on the batter dead centre, let your batter spread a little. It should be the size of a saucer or a tad bigger than that.
Take half a tsp of oil that you have set aside. Sprinkle a few drops all along the outer rim of your pancake or Chilla and few drops in the middle. Let cook.
You know it is done when you can lift the Chilla, using a flat head spatula, without it sticking to the skillet. Flip it over for about 2 minutes and remove from heat. Keep aside on a plate.
Your Moong Dal Chilla is ready. Eat with chutney or pickle or just plain.
Given below are approximate values of what you can expect from your Moong Dal Chilla. The figures would differ depending on what quantities of ingredients you use.
- Calories 100
- Sodium 290 mg
- Total Fat 4 g
- Potassium 265 mg
- Saturated 1 g
- Total Carbs 10 g
- Dietary Fibre 8 g
- Sugars 1 g
- Protein 6 g
- Vitamin A 4%
- Calcium 2%
- Vitamin C 25%
- Iron 11%