Friday, January 23, 2009

Besan / Chickpea Flour Pancakes and Parathas

I was wondering what to cook for lunch, I was not in the mood for rice or the regular roti and yet wanted something that was easy for me to make. I remembered having heavenly Pudla (Bihari/ Gujurati besan pancakes) a long time ago and thought maybe I should try that. Pudla is simply put a spicy chickpea flour pancake. So here is a mishmash of the recipe based mainly on Madhur Jaffery's Pudla recipe, I liked the idea of peas in Pudla. I have added, modified - you can say basically killed her recipe to make two versions of the same mix. I can't call the recipe authentic Pudla, so I am sticking to the generic name of Besan Pancakes and Parathas. These are the measurements I used.

Chickpea Flour/ Besan - 1 1/4 cup
Shelled Green peas - 1/2 cup (I used frozen)
Red Pearl Onion - 1 to 2 finely chopped
Wheat Flour - 1/2 cup
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 2 pinches
Chili Powder 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste -1 tsp
Coriander Leaves - a fistful finely chopped

Microwave bowl of 1 cup of water and peas for 6 minutes. In another mixing bowl combine the 1 cup of Besan, turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder, coriander leaves, salt, ginger garlic paste, chopped onion. Once the peas are done, mash them in the same bowl with the water and then transfer just the mashed peas to the mixing bowl.Combine well and then separate the mix in two bowls. One will be used for the pancake and the other will be used for the parathas.

So in the bowl you want to make pancake batter add the rest of the water from the bowl that the peas were cooked in. Then add 1 more cup of plain water and make a loose batter. Let the batter sit for at least 1/2 hr.

In the bowl that you want to make the parathas dough knead in the wheat flour and the rest of the Besan you had saved earlier little by little. You won't need to add any more water as the peas would have made it soggy enough. Knead the dough well and add 1 tsp of oil, knead once more and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.

For the pancakes..
On a flat griddle with a handle over a medium-high heat, drizzle in a little oil. When the griddle is hot, pour in a ladle of the besan batter, tilt the griddle around to spread the batter, to let it cook for 2 minutes. They should be golden underneath and start crisping on the edges. Drizzle the uncooked side with another drop of oil before flipping and cooking for a further 2 minutes. Remove and serve hot. You can have it as is or with a side of yogurt and pickles.

For the parathas..
Divide the dough into balls the size of golf balls. Dust the balls first with a little wheat flour and then apply oil to roll them out using a rolling pin into 4" diameter discs. You would need the oil to make sure the dough don't stick nor become too dry from the flour.Heat a tawa or a non stick pan on medium to high, and place the paratha carefully in it. Turn it after 3 - 4 minutes when you see the underside slightly browning. Add 2 to 3 drops of oil on the flipped side and flip it back again. Then add couple more drops of oil on the other side. Remove from heat when both the sides are golden and well cooked. This should only take up to 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately with plain yogurt and pickles.

For both the pancake and the paratha don't worry too much about the shape, they taste great just the same. If you are adamant about the shape use a cutter for the paratha to get the size or shape you want. I used the Appam chatti( a small shallow wok - see pic) uncovered for pancakes to make it thin and crispy. Either way these two dishes are simply delicious.

My entry for JFI:Chickpea


Asha said...

Cool! Two in one! Both look yummy.
Don't we call one similar Besan dose with tomatoes, spices etcon top as veg Omelette in B'lore? Pudla looks delicious.

I have to go and make parathas now, time for dinner almost! See you Monday!:))

Smitha said...

yes they are similar to the besan dosai...and as you can see a mishmash ....see you on Monday!! have a great weekend!

Ashwini Kenchanna said...

wow, both look too good...lovely pics too..

ms said...

I was just thinking of making the same,I like pudlas as well. Thank you for a lovely entry to JFI Chickpea!


Priya Sriram said...

I can smell it from here... (sigh)!! :)


Smitha said...

Thanks Ashwini, MS, Priya.

Anonymous said...


Do you think there is a way to replace the wheat flour w. something else? I'm allergic to wheat (along w. rice, rye, oats, barley, rye, and corn).
This looks really good and I really want to make it!

vincent said...


We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM YUM.
We would like to add it to the

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Anonymous said...

Wheat can be deleted from recipe completely with adjustment of water content.

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