24 March, 2016
Chana dal cheela: Savoury Husked split desi chick peas pancake. GF
Ki Shundor, How beautiful. Ki Shundor we kept repeating these two words.
N, my husband and I took a break from the harsh Prairie winter and travelled to India last month. We had a fantastic time with our family. We also managed a few days in the Pink city, Jaipur. More about the trip later.
Shundor rong, beautiful colour. That’s what it was. There was colour everywhere. Having spent the last four months in the great white Northern Alberta, our eyes were taking in the surroundings, as parched throat takes to water.
I think it was the walls that were painted pink throughout the city and the brightly coloured saris and turbans of the locals that stood out. Or was it the resident peacock with his iridescent blue neck roaming around the property unabashedly?
No, No. It was the brilliant colour of the flowers carpeting the walls with the playful Hummingbirds busy gathering nectar.
I am confused. You see what I mean? After all it isn’t called pink city for no reason.
We did the Palaces and Museums which were breathtaking. The food blogger in me always longs for local food and produce markets. I don’t mean the big supermarkets, but the village lady hawking fresh vegetables in her big wicker basket or the basic kitchen gadgets from the weathered hands of the Iron smith.
There was a lazy day when we had breakfast in the hotel lawn. The white wrought iron chairs neatly arranged in the well tendered garden. We had these Cheelas served with a spicy potato curry.
The hot masala chai took care of the early morning nip in the air.
There was something else in the air. The Pergola in the middle of the lawn housed the flutist. Adjusting the big turban on his head he blew air in the little piece of wood. Out came the notes. Exhilarating in one, melancholy with the other. It felt like he held the strings to my soul.
I had to pinch myself….
Made 16 small pancakes.
Chana dal 1 cup
Shallot cut in small pcs 1
Cilantro 1/4 th cup
Green chillies 2 ( optional )
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Ajwain / Carom seeds 1/2 tsp
Salt To taste
Water As required
Canola oil For frying
Soak the chana dal in water for about couple hours and grind it to a paste with little water. Cut the shallot, green chillies and Cilantro in small pieces.
In a bowl mix the ground dal, shallot, green chillies ( if using ), cilantro pieces, turmeric, baking powder and carom seeds. Add salt to taste. Add water to form a crepe batter consistency.
Heat one tsp oil in a non stick pan on medium heat. When hot pour a ladle of the batter on it. With the back of the ladle spread it to about 21/2 inches in diameter. Cook for about 4 minutes one side. Add a tsp of oil on top and sides. Flip over and cook for another 4 minutes.
Collect them on a plate. Serve them hot with chutney, pickle or yoghurt of your choice.
I served them with Gongura chutney which I made recently. Here is the recipe for it.
If you are wondering whether Maple syrup can be used. You betcha.
If the batter thickens towards the end, sprinkle a bit water to bring the desired consistency back.
These pack well for kid’s lunches and camping trips too.
Make it into a wrap with the filling of your choice.