Quick Chilla

My early childhood in Calcutta had no chilla in the menu. Then whatever little time I have spent in North India, strangely I don’t recall having this delicious thing either. Only recently, a friend from Delhi told me about it and then I started looking for Gram flour in Sweden. We thought we got gram flour (chick pea flour) but turns out what we had was Grahammjöl which is this very coarse fibrous wheat flour, full of kernels. While making chillas today, I realized what I should have bought instead is called kikärtsmjöl (if you are looking for it in Sweden). For others, besan or gram flour will do. This was made with the grahammjöl and still very tasty. I recommend using the real gram flour if you are attempting this. Chillas are very nutritious and you can throw in any vegetables from home and we also debuted our home grown spicy green chili and cilantro in it. Serve hot, preferably with coconut or coriander chutney! Yum.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups gram flour (besan) or kikärtsmjöl if you are in Sweden
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2 inch ginger finely chopped
  • Some spinach leaves (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Tiny hint of fenugreek powder (optional)
  • Freshly chopped green chilli (we did 2, you can add 1 if you want to go easy on it)
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • Salt
  • Water for mixing

Method

In a large bowl, add the gram flour and turmeric and salt. Then add half a cup of water and start mixing well. Add more water as needed to make a smooth batter which shouldn’t be too runny. As the batter becomes smooth, add all the veggies, cilantro and chili and whisk very smoothly. At this point, the batter may need a little more water but make sure to add little and mix so that the mixture is not too liquid. As the batter consistency is reached, leave aside for 15-20 minutes. Heat oil in a pan, and pour and smear batter in rounds and fry. I was cautious about the oil and didn’t deep fry the chillas. Also made sure the pan was hot and then fried one side, put some oil on the sides and flipped to fry the other. Chillas are golden brown, fried in medium heat and delicious with any good chutney. The ingredients provided here make about 6 big chillas. If you don’t have chutney at home, they go well with a yoghurt, sriracha and hint of garlic dip also. Just an idea! Serve hot.