Chhatisgarhi Cheela: A Rice Pancake From The Heartland
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The state of Chhatisgarh is highly underrated and relatively lesser known for its food, compared to most other regions that surround it. Occupied mainly by tribal and village populations, the ‘rice bowl of India’ is known for its frugal but delicious meals that are mostly put together with ingredients that are foraged or commonly found at home. Due to this, most of the food is centred around rice-based dishes, curd and leafy vegetables. Most recipes originating from the heartland of the country do not have a lot of spices but are heavy on chillies. The dishes are simple, steamed for the most part and use very little oil.

The Chhatisgarhi cheela, a popular breakfast dish made with rice flour slurry, is one of the few staples in most homes. Typically eaten with a tomato or spicy green chutney, this simple dish is basically lacy pancakes that are soft yet crispy. Similar to the neer dosa from southern India, the cheela is an easy, gluten-free option, that takes only a couple of minutes to cook. Although unassuming, with only a handful of ingredients, the slurry of the cheela must be carefully hand-poured on to the hot pan in circles – a technique that may take a few tries to get right. Nevertheless, don’t let that stop you from making this super quick dish for breakfast.


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  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to grease pan

Image Credits: Rukhmani


  • Add the rice flour and salt to a bowl and pour in water gradually to make a lump-free slurry. The consistency of the batter must resemble that of milk. Ensure that there are no lumps or clumps of flour stuck to the bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the chopped coriander and mix well. Meanwhile, heat a tava and apply a few drops of oil, using a silicone brush or spoon. Spoon the slurry using your fingers, from the bowl, and pour on to the hot surface in a circular motion in order to form ribbons.
  • Continue to fill up the gaps and turn the flame to a medium-high to ensure that the cheela cooks on one side. Add a few more drops of oil on top before flipping over and cooking on the second side for another minute.
  • Take off the heat and continue to repeat the process with the rest of the slurry. Serve hot with tomato chutney or spicy green chilli chutney.