Rava, samolina or suji is a very versatile ingredient. With rava we can cook savoury breakfast, fry snacks, prepare sweets, add it with other flours to give crunch, and can even can bake bread too!
In North India we prepare different types of “cheela” for breakfast. Cheela is very similar to South Indian dosa, but the biggest difference is that cheela batter is not fermented. Cheela can be prepared with your choice of daal (lentils), gram flour and rava. Moong daal cheela with paneer is a very popular snack stall during marriages.
During winter season at my parents’ house my mother used to prepare rava cheela by adding grated vegetables in it for dinner with coriander and tomato chutney. Sitting, chatting and having dinner with all family members in the kitchen used to be very cosy and warm.
Initially we used to prepare cheela on iron tava but then non stick tava was introduced and my mother also bought one. But right from the beginning I never liked non-stick tava. One has to be very careful while using them and while cleaning you can’t scrub them completely to clean the oil. Call me old fashioned, but my preference always remained solid iron tava. Slowly, I became so good in preparing thinnest dosa or cheela that you give me any thin or thick iron tava – I can give you the best cheela or dosa from it. Not boasting, but practice makes you perfect!!
Don’t you agree….
Rava, salt, red chilli powder, a small pinch of asafoetida powder and turmeric powder, onion, carrot, coriander leaves, cabbage, ginger, and oil.
In a bowl take rava and add water in that to soak it for half an hour. In the meantime grate carrots, ginger and finely chop onions, cabbage and coriander leaves. After half an hour add all chopped and grated vegetables in soaked rava.
Mix everything well. If batter is thick cheela will be thick and crisp, if it is thin, cheela would be thin and soft. If you are a beginner, better start with thick batter.
Heat thick bottomed or non-stick tava and slightly grease it with oil. Once tava is hot, reduce the heat to sim and with the help of the ladle take batter and place it on tava.
Slowly spread it with ladle evenly and increase the heat to medium to high.
Slowly cheela would start looking dry – spread very little oil all around it on tava and reduce heat to sim. With the help of flat ladle slowly start with the edges and without breaking turn it to the other side.
Apply oil all over it and again turn it on to the other side and apply oil.
Slightly press with the laddle on both sides while it is getting cooked until completely done.
Serve hot with chutney or sauce.