The thin, soft savory bean pancakes known as "cheela" are a Gujarati delight, served with breakfast, lunch or dinner as breads for rolling and dipping in tasty chutneys or sauces. Although they can be made with besan, or chickpea flour, the genuine articles are made with soaked split mung beans, or "moong dal", which give the cheela a hearty consistency as well as a beautiful gold-green-red color when fried.
The basic ingredients and process are very much the same wherever you look, but these masala cheela adapted from Yamuna Devi's marvelous Lord Krishna's Cuisine are especially fragrant and savory with the addition of coriander and fennel seeds. I also took Yamuna Devi's suggestion to serve them with cashew chutney for dipping — it was such a perfect combination that people couldn't stop helping themselves to it, even though they're quite filling.
Although the preparation is very simple and takes very little time, the pancakes are fried one at a time in a fairly time-consuming process. Be prepared to dish them up to your family or guests as they come out of the pan and wait until you're done to eat yourself!
|Savory Mung Dal Pancakes (Masala Cheela)|
|Recipe by Lisa Turner|
Adapted from Lord Krishna's Cuisine: The Art of Indian Vegetarian Cooking
Published on October 9, 2007
Thin, soft and delicious savory gluten-free pancakes made with split mung beans — perfect for wrapping rice or dal dishes or chutneys