Besan To Paneer: Try 7 Different Healthy Chilla Varieties

Chilla is especially important when it comes to religious fasting. Chillas that follow the dietary restrictions of fasting are made with ingredients like water chestnut flour (singhare ka atta) or buckwheat flour (kuttu). In some parts of India, street chilla is also a popular dish. Street vendors frequently make and serve chilla on the spot, providing onlookers with a satisfying and reasonably priced snack. India's states and regions each have their own distinctive chilla varieties. For instance, a popular dish in Andhra Pradesh is the South Indian pesarattu, a kind of chilla prepared with green gram (moong dal). This is a list of chillas that we simply must try:

1. Besan Chilla: Besan chilla, sometimes referred to as pudla or gram flour pancake, is a well-liked and adaptable Indian dish. You can alter its flavour by adjusting the ingredients and seasonings. Besan, also known as gramme flour, gives the chilla a nice flavour that is slightly nutty.  The chilli is made savoury and earthy by adding spices like cumin, turmeric, and coriander. The texture of cooked besan chilla is light and airy, making it a delicious and simple dish to eat.  Besan chilla is a flexible foundation that lets you play around with different fillings to suit your taste preferences, like chopped veggies, paneer (Indian cottage cheese), or herbs. It complements many chutneys, sauces, or yoghurts well, which elevates the flavour profile overall.

2. Moong Dal Chilla: A popular and wholesome Indian dish, moong dal chilla, is made from batter made from split green gram, or moong dal. The mixture of ingredients in the batter as well as any extra spices or fillings affect its flavour.  The flavour of moong dal chilla is earthy and mild. Moong dal's naturally mild flavour makes it a versatile partner for a wide range of spices and fillings. Depending on how finely or coarsely it is ground for the batter, the moong dal gives the chilla a hint of nutty flavour. Moong dal chilla's adaptability comes from its capacity to absorb the flavours of other ingredients. For extra zing, you can add spices like cumin, coriander, and green chillies. 

3. Paneer Chilla: Besan (gram flour), spices, and paneer (Indian cottage cheese) are combined to make the savoury Indian pancake known as paneer chilla. The flavour of the chilla is savoury and slightly spicy because it is seasoned with a mixture of spices like cumin, coriander, green chillies, and occasionally chaat masala. The addition of paneer gives the chilla a rich, creamy texture that improves the flavour profile overall. Besan, or gram flour, adds a nutty flavour to the chilla that balances the creamy paneer. To give the chilla a herbaceous and aromatic touch, you can add fresh coriander leaves or other herbs. The flavours created by the paneer, gram flour, and spices are well-balanced, gratifying, and delicious.

4. Cabbage Chilla: Shredded cabbage is used to make cabbage chilla, which has a mild, slightly nutty flavour. The cabbage gives the chilla a nice crunch. The taste of the chilla is savoury and spiced thanks to the addition of spices like cumin, coriander, and green chillies. To give the chilla herbaceous and aromatic notes, you can add fresh coriander leaves or other herbs to the batter. The flavour profile of cabbage chilla is well-balanced, especially when paired with chutney or yoghurt, which offers a contrast. One way to customise cabbage chilla to their own tastes is to change up the amount of spice or add other vegetables to the batter.  Dietary fibre from cabbage is high, which helps to maintain digestive health and increases feelings of fullness.

5. Palak Chilla: The savoury Indian pancake known as palak chilla, sometimes called spinach pancakes or spinach chilla, is made with gram flour (besan) and spinach.  Earthy and savoury flavours are produced when gramme flour and spinach are combined. The taste of fresh spinach gives the chilla a hint of herbaceousness and grassiness.  To add warmth and depth to the flavour, the batter is usually seasoned with a mixture of spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, and green chillies. Some recipes call for ground nuts or seeds, which give the chilla a subtle nuttiness. For extra flavour and freshness, chop some coriander or add other herbs. The texture of palak chilla is soft and pancake-like, with a hint of crispiness on the edges.

Video Credit: Youtube/ Indian Yumm

6. Tomato Chilla: Because tomatoes are used in the batter or as a topping, tomato chillas tend to be savoury and slightly tangy in flavour. Chilla recipes benefit from using common Indian spices like cumin, coriander, and green chillies, which add flavour and balance to the dish. A tomato chilla can have a slightly crispy texture on the edges and an interior that is soft and moist, depending on the recipe. Because of their great versatility, chillas can be made with various ingredients, such as tomatoes, onions, cilantro, and more. This makes a wide variety of tastes and nutrient profiles possible. Chillas are a convenient option for breakfast, lunch, or a light dinner because they are relatively quick and simple to prepare.

7. Methi Chilla: Fenugreek pancakes, or methi chilla, are a tasty and wholesome dish.  Methi, or fenugreek leaves, give the chilla a distinct bitter-sweet flavour that gives the dish more depth and complexity. Ginger, cumin, and green chillies are a few more spices that accentuate the savoury and herbaceous profile that besan (chickpea flour) and methi create. Chickpea flour gives the chilla a subtle nuttiness that balances the earthy fenugreek notes. Methi chilla becomes aromatic and enticing when cumin, coriander, and other aromatic spices are added, elevating the overall flavour profile. A well-balanced taste that is neither overly salty nor overly bland is ensured by using salt and other spices appropriately.