Step by step instructions and photos to make Moong Dal Chilla, an Indian breakfast recipe featuring Moong dal. Also called as Cheela, Pudla, Poli or Puda, these thin savory crepes are popular in Gujarat and Rajasthan regions.
They taste delicious on their own or when filled with a soft crumbled paneer filling. These naturally gluten free Desi style crepes are healthy, nutritious and protein-packed, making them just perfect for brunch, high tea, a light snack with Chai or even as a lunch box recipe.
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I tasted these cheelas for the first time in a small hole-in-the-wall eatery in Gujarat. Paneer stuffed moong dal ke cheela made in ghee and served with a spicy green chutney was our dinner on one too many nights during those golden days. Eventually, I made friends with the cook there and he was sweet enough to share his recipe for moong dal cheela.
And that is what I have in this post, with my own tweaks added here and there.
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Here is a small video. You can find more video recipes on our Youtube channel.
What is the best thing about these cheelas? It uses basic pantry staples.
Moong Dal– Yellow split moong dal is the key ingredient.
Ground spices– This is a kid-friendly recipe. So, I have not used any green chilis. Instead, we will be adding red chili powder and ground turmeric for the heat and color.
Aromatics and whole spices– Garlic, ginger and cumin are all used here. All these three ingredients help in easy digestion.
The Paneer filling has crumbled paneer, roasted cumin powder and finely chopped coriander leaves among other things.
Whole green moong cheela
Make these chillas with whole green moong instead of yellow moong for a healthier version of the same recipe. When you use whole green moong, make sure to soak them for 4 hours after washing.
Better yet, you can also make sprouted moong dal chilla using moong bean sprouts.
Add other grains or lentils or millet
Add 1 cup steel cut oats along with the yellow moong dal while soaking to make oats moong dal cheelas. Adjust the spices and aromatics as necessary. You can also add Dalia or Millet Rava to the dal while you soak.
Moong Dal Chilla with vegetables or cheese
Looking for a vegan moong dal ka chilla? Simply, swap the paneer filling with grated veggies. Carrots, cabbage and beets all make a very crunchy filling.
If you are packing these in the lunchbox or making them as a quick snack, you can add some shredded cheese along with the veggies in the filling. Season the filling with some chaat masala, Peri-peri seasoning or even taco seasoning for a fusion version.
You can also add some finely chopped spinach ( Palak) or your choice of greens in the batter, mix well and make Palak moong dal chilla. Fresh moringa leaves or fenugreek leaves or even dill leaves are other options.
1.If you forgot to soak moong dal in advance, wash and drain the dal well. Place the washed dal along with 4 cups hot water in an air tight container or a hot pack on in the Instant pot. If you are using the Instant pot for this purpose, do not switch it on. Place the dal and hot water in the inner steel insert. Keep the pot in the IP, close with the lid and let it sit..Close it and let it sit for 1 hour. And your soaked dal is ready.
2.You can make this chilla without adding garlic and onions too. These Sattvic chillas can be eaten on fasting days too.
3. Prepare the filling just before you are ready to make the cheelas. Chopped onions tend to release water. This will make the filling soggy.
Shelf life and storage
Store ground batter in an air-tight container in the fridge for upto 2 days. You can also freeze the ground batter in small portions in freezer-safe silicon bags. Frozen dal cheela batter keeps well for upto 1 month. Before using, leave it in the fridge for 4 hours or 2 hours at room temperature to thaw.
Method- Step By Step Photos
Soaking the dal
To begin with, place the yellow moong dal in a colander. Wash this well under running water. Transfer the washed dal to a mixing bowl. Add 4 cups water and let it soak for 3 hours.
Grinding Dal Chilla Batter
When the dal has soaked, drain it in a colander. To a blender jar, add 1 teaspoon each red chilli powder and turmeric powder, salt, ginger and cumin seeds. Now, add the drained dal and 1/2 cup water. Grind soaked moong dal along with the other things to a smooth paste.
Add 1/4 cup water more if you find the batter too thick. The batter should be similar to dosa batter in consistency.
In a mixing bowl, combine the crumbled paneer, 1/2 cup finely chopped onions, 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves, 1 tsp each roasted cumin powder and red chili powder. Mix well and set aside.
Add the finely chopped coriander leaves to the batter and mix well. Heat a cast iron griddle or an Iron Dosa pan. Pour a ladle of the batter and spread it into a thin circle, like how you would, Dosa.
Cook this on low medium flame for 40 seconds to 1 minute or until you see no raw batter on the top. Drizzle oil around the edges and cook for 20 secs. Now, flip and cook the other side for 30 secs on medium flame. Flip over. You will see some golden brown spots on the cheela. Time taken to cook one cheela is approximately 2 mins on medium flame.
Now, place 1.5 tbsp of the paneer filling in the middle. Fold over and serve hot with chutney or tomato ketchup.
Explore more Indian breakfast recipes
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Moong Dal Chilla
- Mixing bowls
For the batter
- 1 cup yellow split moong dal
- 5 cups water
- 2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 inch knob of ginger
- 3/4 cup water
- 1.5 tsp Salt or to taste
- 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
- 1 cup crumbled paneer
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
- 3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp roasted cumin powder
- 1 tsp Salt or to taste
For cooking the cheelas
- 1 tsp oil for each cheela
Soaking the dal
- To begin with, place the yellow moong dal in a colander.
- Wash this well under running water.
- Transfer the washed dal to a mixing bowl.
- Add 5 cups water and let it soak for 3 hours.
Grinding Dal Chilla Batter
- When the dal has soaked, drain it in a colander.
- To a blender jar, add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, ginger and cumin seeds.
- Now, add the drained dal and ½ cup water.
Grind to a smooth paste.
- Add ¼ cup water more if you find the batter too thick.
- The batter should be similar to dosa batter in consistency.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the crumbled paneer, onions, chopped coriander leaves, roasted cumin powder and red chili powder.
- Mix well and set aside.
- Add the finely chopped coriander leaves to the batter and mix well.
- Heat a cast iron griddle or an Iron Dosa pan.
- Pour a ladle of the batter and spread it into a thin circle, like how you would, a Dosa.
- Cook this on low medium flame for 40 seconds to 1 minute or until you see no raw batter on the top.
- Drizzle oil around the edges and cook for 20 secs.
- Now, flip and cook the other side for 30 secs on medium flame.
- Flip over.
- You will see some golden brown spots on the cheela.
- Now, place 1.5 tbsp of the paneer filling in the middle. Fold over and serve hot with chutney or tomato ketchup.
For Instant Pot & Air Fryer Recipes
Instant Pot timings may vary based on your geographic location. Air fryer settings and timings may vary based on the capacity and the model of the Air fryer.
Nutrition values are provided here as a courtesy and are only a rough guide. Please consult a health care provider if you have any concerns.
Do you love lentils? Then check out these lentil based recipes for your plant-protein fix.