Masala Pancake

I love breakfast the most. The first meal of the day is not only important to keep the body running for the day’s hectic chores, it is also the meal promising tasty treats which are to follow for lunch and dinner 😛

The following recipe is a fun and interesting twist to the Indian pancakes (also refered as chilla/cheela)

I prefer to have savory food for meals and is always on a lookout for interesting, simple and nutritious options. In my kitchen, we usually go through the routine of vegetable idlis, chilla, poha and upma but its always more interesting to take routes less travelled. I tried a couple of variations and came around with Ratatouille crepes, Bhaji rava pancake, savory crepes and bread poha and had great fun. Today again, i was in mood to bring some good fusion to the breakfast table and thought of giving a twist to the Indian pancakes.

Though i love making indian pancakes for the simplicity and quick renderation of the recipe, i always find these pancakes a little dry and eating them without chutney/ketchup or a filling is tough at times. Also, we tend to eat this using our hands which can be a bit messy at times. Masala Pancake is a new take on our perception of indian pancakes and though the basic recipe remains fairly similar, the tempering adds a zing to it.

Masala Pancake - besan chilla

  • Servings: 2
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Masala Pancake copy


Preparation time : 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Makes : 2 servings

  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 inch ginger – grated
  • 1 medium green chilli – finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fresh coriander- chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh mint – chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • 1 tsp oil + oil for making pancakes

For tempering

  • 1 onion – sliced lengthwise
  • 2 spring onion – finely chopped. Keep the white and green parts separately.
  • 1/2 cup green bell peppers – sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tsp sichuan sauce (recipe here) – can substitute with hot chilli sauce, sriracha sauce (available in most Asian stores) or paprika flakes as well.
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste/chutney (find recipe here)


  1. In a bowl, take the chickpea flour. To this, add all the dry ingredients and mix well. Now add in the coriander, mint and ginger.
  2. Add little water at a time and mix well to form a homogenous batter. You may have to adjust the quantity of water depending on the thickness of the chickpea flour and the consistency of the batter.
  3. Now take a non-stick griddle/ tava and keep on medium heat. Take a ladle full of batter and pour on the griddle. Spread in a circular shape. Keep the pancake thick (about 5mm).
  4. Grease with a little oil on the sides of the pancake and cook on medium flame till golden brown on both sides.
  5. Remove on a plate and keep aside. Repeat and make pancakes with the entire prepared batter.

Once all the pancakes are made, cut each pancake into quarters and keep aside.

For tempering,

  1. Take a saucepan and add 2 tsp oil. Bring to medium heat.
  2. Once the oil is slightly hot, add onions, spring onions and bell peppers and saute till the onions are transparent and slightly golden. This will help release the sweetness from the onions and caramelize them a bit.
  3. Now add the sichuan sauce and tamarind chutney to the pan and mix well.
  4. Add in the chickpea pancake quarters and saute well till the tempering is mixed well.
  5. Simmer for 2 minutes and serve hot.

Masala Pancakes are fun to eat and have really interesting fusion flavours. The sichuan sauce and tamarind chutney brings an oriental flavour to this Indian recipe. The “sweet-sour” combination works really great with these pancakes and there is no need to add further sauces/chutneys to compliment the meal.

Serve them as complete breakfast meal or as appetizers in a party, they work well both ways. Since the pancakes are cut into bite size quarters, they also work well as finger foods and are not messy. Bring the fun element to your next batch of Indian pancakes and let the praises follow !! Enjoy 🙂

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  1. this is mouth watering..even without hunger..! huh ..! spicy stuff

  2. Pingback: Recipes | Divine Spice Box

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