Since many people in India are pure Vegetarians who do not consume eggs, they have come up with a great #vegan alternative to the omelette, using chickpea flour (sold as besan or gram flour in Indian markets). Known in Gujarat as Pudla and in many other Indian states as cheela, it’s a protein packed way to start the day – a great alternative to eggs. Gujarat has a large Jain community therefore, is the most Vegetarian state of northern India.
Although I did a 100% chickpea flour version here, other versions of cheela are sometimes mixed with rice flour and/or semolina. The basic version usually only has onion, however I am not a big onion person as a vegetable, only as a seasoning. Since I had a bunch of veggies in my fridge I needed to utilize, this was a great way to use up the excess veggies. It’s an adaptable recipe that you can adjust with whatever veggies you have about.
Mixed Vegetable Besan Pudla
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 1 small peeled and grated carrot
- 1 peeled, cored and grated chayote
- 1 finely chopped bird’s eye red chile
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon dhana-jeera powder (or 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin & 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander)
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- a pinch red chili powder (cayenne pepper)
- 1 1/2 cups besan (chickpea flour)
- ghee (or oil to keep it #vegan)
In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except the ghee/oil together. Slowly add water a little at a time, until you have a thin batter (approximately 3/4 cup).
Heat a skillet, preferably non stick. Spray with non stick spray.
Using a ladle, pour some batter into the skillet, spreading it with the back of the ladle so that it forms a very thin pancake. After it starts to set, brush a little ghee (or oil) around the perimeter of the pancake.
Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (some prefer their cheela a little more crisp and you can fry in more oil, if you prefer)
Notes: I forgot to use any ground turmeric, requisite for all Indian cooking, so feel free to add 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric to the batter.
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