Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and my daughter Apoorva is always very curious to know that what good breakfast she is getting today. Kids generally don’t care whether it’s healthy or not – it should be tasty! It sounds funny but in my childhood during winter season my mother used to prepare some of the breakfast menu options for dinner. These included different types of stuffed parathas, very popular south Indian breakfast – dosa and different types of cheela (Indian style pancakes). The reason for converting breakfast menu as dinner was that early morning we all used to be in a hurry to go out to college, school or office and so no one had time to relish them sitting comfortably and enjoying the taste. So in the evening we all used to snuggle in the kitchen with whole day gossip and chit chat with hot stuffed parathas, or cheela.
Among all different types of cheelas, besan (gram flour) ka cheela is the most and simple dish to prepare. Just prepare a batter of gram flour with water and some spices, spread in small quantity on hot tava, roast it with some oil and it’s done!!! So, over a weekend, I decided to prepare this for lunch and Manish enjoyed it a lot along with his favorite butter milk.
3 cups besan (gram flour)
1/4 cup finely chopped green coriander leaves
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1+1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1+1/2 tsp salt (adjust as per your taste)
4-5 finely chopped green chillies
1/8 tsp hing (asafoetida)
1/2 tsp carom seeds
Water to prepare batter
In a bowl take besan (gram flour) and add all ingredients except water. Mix everything well.
Now start adding water and keep mixing besan till you get a dropping-consistency batter. Remember, if batter is too thick, spreading it on tava would be difficult, and if it is too thin then taking out cheela from tava would be very difficult.
Now grease hot tava with little bit of oil.
As tava is hot now, turn the heat to sim and take one big size spoon full of batter and spread it on tava evenly. If you feel it’s less, take one or half more spoon of batter, spread it and increase heat to medium. Pour little bit of oil on the sides of the cheela and when it starts looking a little dry, scrape it from all the sides with the help of a flat spatula and turn it on to the other side.
Apply little bit of oil all over the roasted side of cheela and again turn it to the other side and apply oil there too.
After applying oil keep pressing it with spatula from all sides for even roasting.
When it is oiled and roasted from both the sides, serve hot with any chutney or sauce. Cheela tastes best when they are hot – cold ones become slightly dry. So serve them hot and relish!!