Daal Chilla | Lentil Pancakes


I can’t tell you how excited I was when I realised how nutritious this was and the minimal prep for this kind of pancake! You can soak the lentils in the morning, go to work or do other things, and then grind it in the evening and make straight away! This is great with whatever you like but I love eating with a sweet and sour side like jaggery and a spicy tamarind based dish like Kuzhambu.  You can leave out the green chillies if you are serving it for kiddies or you can add it afterwards.  The three types of Daal make it a batter with great flavour and the daal give it such a high nutritional value (providing you don’t overdo the oil when you are frying it on the pan!!)  But you can definitely make it a more tasty Chilla if you add Ghee/Butter or Margarine if you want to keep it vegan.

I hope you enjoy it and I would be interested in what you ate your Chilla with! 🙂


What you need:

  • Mysore Daal (red split lentils) – 1 cup
  • Moong Dal (yellow split lentils) – 1 cup
  • Whole Urad Dal – 1 cup
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup – chopped finely
  • A small onion – chopped finely
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Green chillies – 2 chopped finely (optional)
  • Salt, to taste (I add about 1.5 tsp)

How to make it:

  1.  Soak all the Daal in 5 cups of water for at least 3 hours (it can be more but not any less)

2.  Grind the Daal in a food processor/mixie until it becomes a smooth batter without big lumps of Daal in it.  You can add some of the water if you need to make it into a smoother consistency but don’t add all of it straight away.








3.  Add all the other ingredients and mix well








4.  Heat a cast iron skillet ,or a non-stick frying pan, with a teaspoon of a flavourless oil like vegetable oil.

5.  Pour on the batter evenly onto the pan with a ladle and spread the batter into a circular disc, resembling a pancake (Chilla).

6. After a few minutes you will see some of the Chilla turning brown and at this point you can loosen the sides with a spatula and then turn it over to cook on the other side.









7.  After about 3 minutes or until the other side is cooked through you can take the Chilla off the pan and serve!  Usually the Chilla is served as a soft pancake but if you like it crispier you can leave it on the pan for longer.








Serve with a chutney or side dish of your choice! 🙂