Sunday, January 2, 2011

Besan Chilla (Spiced Indian chickpea bread)

Besan chilla (or besan ka chilla) is a lovely Indian flatbread laced with onions, chili pepper and cilantro.
It is a wonderful accompaniment to any Indian meal and is very easy to make.

Because the only flour used is chickpea (garbanzo) flour, this bread is also a great gluten free alternative to naan, chapati or roti in an Indian meal.

This is a slightly simplified version of this recipe.

Besan Chilla 

Ingredients (for about 8 large pieces of bread): 

- 2 cups of chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1 large onion, very finely chopped 
- 1 green chili, very finely chopped 
- 1 bunch of cilantro leaves, very finely chopped 
- 1 tsp black pepper 
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala 
- 1 tsp ground coriander seeds 
-  salt, to taste
- 1- 1.5 cups of water 
- oil for cooking 

1. Place all of the ingredients except for the water and the oil into a bowl and stir well. 
2. Start adding a little water and mixing, adding more water until to you have a batter of the appropriate consistency. The batter should be quite thin, like crepe batter (thinner than pancake batter). 

3. Oil a large pan or griddle and heat. When it is heated, pour a ladle of batter and spread it around to make a fairly thin crepe. When it starts to look golden-brown and crunchy on the sides (this will happen quite quickly), oil the top of the "crepe" a little and flip it over. Cook for another minute or so until it also looks quite golden on the other side. Continue doing this with the rest of the batter. 

Small tip: I recommend tasting a little bit of your first besan chilla, to make sure that the seasoning is correct. I felt I had to add more salt after the first one. 


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