Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Mung Dal Cheela II (Mung Bean Crepes/Cakes)

Delicious Mung Dal Cheelas, crepes, or pancakes are eaten all over Asia by many a name! There are many versions in India as well as other countries. They are quite easy to make and may be eaten any time from dawn to dusk and beyond :) Added bonus: I add lots of veggies to the batter and make tiny cakes to offer as starters; these make fabulous party fare!

Cheelas, similar to the Dosas, may be made into thin delicate crepe-like pancakes or thicker. You can grind your own batter using whole mung beans or the split dal. In an effort to use whole grains more, I usually use the whole beans. I posted the recipe Cheela w/Mung Flour using readily available flour a while ago. Make cheela simply or with the added veggies and herbs, and you will have an amazing meal.


Instead of the fresh fenugreek leaves, dry fenugreek leaves, chopped spinach, chard,  kale, Malabar Spinach or other leafy greens may be added.

Sometimes, I also like to serve the cheelas stuffed with one of our favorite curries - Yum! Try Basic Potato, Scrambled Tofu, OR Sweet Potato Curry for stuffing; place a couple of spoons of the filling on one edge and roll up.

Mung dal, asafetida, chiles, fresh fenugreek leaves (dry fenugreek leaves = kasoori methi), etc are available in Indian Markets. 


1 cup Mung Beans or dal
1/2" knob fresh Ginger, chopped coarsely
1- 2 Jalapeño/Serrano chiles, sliced
1/4 tsp Turmeric
1 pinch Asafetida
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 small Handful fresh Fenugreek leaves (methi), chopped
Oil for cooking
Fresh Chutneys and/or Raita for serving

Optional Ingredients

1-2 Shallots or 1/4 Red Onion, thinly sliced
4 Scallions/Green Onions
1 small Bell Pepper, finely chopped
1 small Carrot, grated
1-2 cups Zucchini/Opo sqash, grated
1 handful Cilantro including the stems, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Red Chile Powder


Pick over the mung beans/dal, rinse and soak at least for 5-6 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse well and drain.

Process the mung, ginger and chile using a food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade until fairly finely ground; it doesn;t need to be smooth.

Add the salt, turmeric and asafetida to the mung mixture and process until combined well; spoon into a bowl.

Tip in one or more of the optional ingredients if preferred.

Add a little water, a tablespoon at a time, and mix well. The batter should be pourable and/or easily spreadable.

Heat a seasoned griddle or a non-stick skillet over low-medium heat; coat lightly oil (it is helpful to use a brush or a wadded up paper towel to smear the pan very lightly with oil).

At our homes, a tiny first one was made to check the temperature of the pan as well as the seasonings. Use one tablespoon of the batter for this; no need to spread. When the cheela is no longer wet and top changes color, flip over to cook the other side. When done, remove to a plate, cool a bit and taste. Adjust seasonings and add a bit more water if batter is too thick.

Pour about 1/3 cup of the batter into the hot pan and quickly swirl the pan or spread with the back of the spoon make an 8" circle. If you like, drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges of the cheela. Cover and cook for about a minute on low-medium heat adjusting the heat as necessary.

Loosen the edges of the cheela with a thin spatula and flip over to cook the other side.

Cook just for a few seconds or so until a few small brown spots appear; it will not get very brown. Do not overcook - the cheelas will dry out and will not be soft. Remove from heat and place on a plate.

Wipe the pan with the oiled brush or paper towel. Continue with the rest of the batter; any extra batter or leftover cheelas may be chilled in the fridge or frozen.

Serve hot.


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