Crepes may be a French food but Indian cuisine has managed to twist it according to its own flavours. Chilka roti is proof of the same. This soft roti-like crepe is made from rice and chana dal and served hot for breakfast in Jharkhand. The Eastern state in the country has a large part of the population lying in the rural areas. Comprising of several villages, Jharkhand is also home to a very rustic fare that simple yet flavourful. The cuisine comprises of delectable dishes that follow a simple method and basic ingredients. Not too elaborate or extensive, the meals largely comprise of the local produce, including fruits, vegetables, rice and legumes. A large chunk of the population also resides in the tribal areas, who prefer to preserve their culture and cuisine. 

Both the states, like Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand follow a rice-centric diet, wherein this grain is consumed during almost all meals of the day. While the food may not be hot and spicy, it is definitely tangy and flavourful. The emphasis is on the use of green leafy vegetables. Rice is the most produced crop during kharif season in Jharkhand and forms an essential part of Jharkhand’s cuisine. Not just for lunch and dinner, rice is also a great ingredient for breakfast. Chilka roti is an example of that. 

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Soft, mushy and savoury crepes made from a ground mixture of rice and chana dal that have been soaked overnight is what makes this heavenly breakfast. Chilka roti is usually served with a chana dal chutney in the morning. However, this breakfast staple is also a festive treat, prepared on special occasions in the region. Then, it is served with a luscious mutton curry or elephant’s foot yam. This breakfast recipe is not just a delicious treat to the taste buds but also a healthy option. 

Loaded with carbs and proteins, the Chilka roti provides a great amount of nutrition and energy to the body to function during the day. To make chilka roti at home, all you need is some Bengal gram or chana dal, rice flour, salt and mustard oil. Begin by soaking the lentils and rice in water for an entire night. In case that is not possible, four to five hours can also suffice. Next, you need to grind the two into a thick paste with water. Sprinkle some salt as per taste and make the paste thick or thin as per preference of the crepe. The paste is then spread on a non-stick pan that has been heated along with some mustard oil. 

Once cooked on one side, the crepe is flipped on to the other till it turns light brown. Fold the crepe into half from both the sides like a parcel. Serve hot and crispy with some chana dal chutney. If you’d like to try this dish, here’s a recipe for Chilka Roti. 

There’s another delicious deep-fried dish from Jharkhand’s breakfast menu called Dhuska which is also made from a similar batter.