Indian breakfast’s tend be an elaborate affair that include a staggering variety of preparations. Quite honestly there really isn’t one standard fare, given the fact that there are several regional fares with each contributing to an array of hearty and scrumptious breakfast ideas. Each of these portray an incredible cultural diversity seen via food habits followed by different regions.
For instance Northern Indian breakfast would have a variety of Parathas,Aloo puri, Poha,Chole bhature,Paneer toast etc where as Dosa’s, Idli, Wadas and Upma’s form an integral part of mainstay breakfast options in the southern parts of India.
Having lived a large part of my childhood in Mumbai and raised by parents of Hindu- Catholic decent, our food habits seem to have nuances that have a bit of both sides incorporated into our lifestyles. Having now lived away from India for over two and a half decades, my palette often craves for flavours that I grew up with and my Canadian kitchen here in Toronto recreates several recipes that are deeply rooted in our culture.
So often enough, when I’m craving some comfort food that brings back memories of my childhood breakfast which my mom diligently cooked for us, I’m reminded of this recipe for a “Chilla”.This is essentially a savoury pancake most often made with either Gram flour (Besan), Green Moong Flour or even the Yellow Moong flour as I have have recreated in this recipe. All these varieties of flours are easily available at most Indian groceries here in Toronto and some select stores of Loblaws, Freshco and No Frills too seem to stock them in the International food isle sections.
Most mornings breakfast is a hurried ritual with coffee, fresh fruits and toast sufficing. However on weekends,I enjoy making up something more elaborate that the family can enjoy! Last weekend I decided to make up some Chilla’s and used some of the Scotch Bonnet peppers too! Mind you they are quite fiery and not for the faint hearted. We quite enjoyed the heat of the peppers and the family relished these wonderful savoury pancakes.I served these with some yogurt and a coriander chutney, however a nice Tangy Onion Chutney would work really well too.
Recently a dear friend sent across some wonderful fresh produce from her kitchen garden that included a variety of Jalapeno peppers, Scotch Bonnet Peppers, Chilies and Beefsteak Tomatoes. She had cultivated these during the summer and had large varieties of each of these to giveaway. Lucky me to receive homegrown fresh produce!
This is an absolutely healthy and nutritious breakfast made with minimal ingredients and a great way to incorporate some vegetables too.The tomatoes and a very small portion of the fiery scotch bonnet peppers were added to the batter for the Chilla (savoury pancake). You may omit the chili entirely if you like and perhaps even substitute this with finely chopped bell peppers, zucchini or grated carrots.
Recipe as follows: (Makes 4-5 Small Chilla’s)
- 1 Cup Yellow Mung Flour
- 3/4 th Cup water (enough to make a batter)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground turmeric or powder
- 1 small carrot (grated)
- 1 small tomato (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons Coriander (chopped finely)
- 1 small scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
- Salt to taste
- Oil for frying
- Add the flour to a small mixing bowl and mix with water to form a batter similar to pancake batter.
- Next add in the grated carrots, chopped coriander, and finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper.
- Season with salt.
- Heat a small pan and drizzle some oil onto the pan.
- Now spread some of the batter into the pan.
- Cover with a lid till some bubbles appear.
- Turn over and cook till both sides are browned.
- Serve hot with yogurt and coriander chutney.