Moong Dal Ke Cheelay (Split Green Gram Pancakes)

I was first introduced to Cheelas (a kind of dosa made out of mixing one or more flours - famous in Northern India) when I moved to Mumbai. To me it was a hybrid between the South Indian dosa and an Omlette. A base & a topping - a complete meal by itself, you can either have it by itself or with a chutney or sauce. The base can be made of different kinds of flours used individually or in a blend with two or three other flours. My most favourite & regular blends are Ragi & Soya flour as I stock these all through the year. The topping again can be anything you can think of, but the most standard of them all being a mixture of onions & tomatoes. While I had tried Cheelas which required mixing of flours (mind you, as tasty as they are - they are very slow to cook - especially those containing Ragi flour) I had never tried anything which required an ingredient to be soaked & ground. Although I had seen this recipe some time back, I was never inclined towards actually making it. I am glad I gave it a try this time!


Since I wasn't so much into different types of Dals before I got married, I saw Moong Dal in a new avatar once my son was in the weaning stage. I tried lots of dishes with Moong Dal, all of them turned out good & baby friendly. I then realised that it was time to introduce this into our diet as well. Just recently while I was using up stuff from my pantry while doing a routine clearance, I ended up with some Moong Dal on my hands which required to be put into a proper use - so here it was, a delicious and nutritious breakfast option with little effort. It was definitely an alternative to an Omlette (which I end up making every so often when my brains refuse to kick start for a brand new day and ideas don't tumble out - making it extremely difficult to decide the first item on the day's menu).

Since it is said that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why not make it interesting & healthy? A good breakfast is said to help you overcome binge eating throughout the day as it provides all the necessary nutrients for your body - so you can pardon yourself if you skip any other meal during the day but never skip your breakfast.

As usual I skipped through my collection of recipe books (I have vowed not to buy new cookery books till I've tried at least 90% of the recipes in the books I own after which they will be donated to make space for new ones - ha ha!)

Moong Dal Ke Cheelay
Recipe Source: Khazana of Indian Recipes by Sanjeev Kapoor

You Need: 
split green gram, skinless (moong dal) - 1 cup

jeera (cumin seeds) - 1tsp

green chillies - 2 (or 1 if you prefer less spicy)

asafoetida (hing) - a pinch

salt to taste

cottage cheese (paneer) - 100gms

chopped onion - 1/2 cup

chopped tomato - 1/2 cup

chopped coriander leaves - 2 tbsp

red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp

oil for frying

1. Clean the Moong dal and soak it in 2 cups of water for about 2 hours.
2. Grind it to a fine paste with cumin seeds & green chillies. Dissolve hing in 2 tbsp water and mix it into the dal. Add salt to taste & mix well.
3. Grate paneer and mix chopped onions, tomatoes & coriander. Add salt to taste & chilli powder. Set aside
4. Heat 1 tsp oil on a tawa/frying pan and spread 1 ladleful of batter in the centre and gently spread to make a palm size pancake. Let it cook for half a minute on medium heat.
5. Spread 2 tbs of paneer topping over the cheela. Sprinkle some oil to the sides and cook for about 15-20 seconds and flip over. Cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle some more oil to the sides of the Cheela and turn it over again. Cook for another minute or so and then remove
6. Serve hot with mint chutney or Tomato Garlic Chutney.

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