I always have chickpea flour (besan) in the cabinet - often for socca, sometimes for Indian dumplings, other times for breading okra before frying. When reading through Julie Sahni's Classic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking, I found my new favorite for breakfast - chilla. According to Sahni, "chilla is a spicy delicacy, a delightful breakfast treat form the eastern regions of India"
She had me at spicy and breakfast.
I mixed these together and pulled out our warped crepe pan for lunch Saturday. According to Sahni, "to best enjoy chilla, serve them with a lot of hot steaming tea, Indian-style," so I put a pot on the stove for my favorite chair recipe while the crepes cooked.
I adore this cookbook and am only through the tiffin section, but still need some urad dal in order to make the other recipes I'm interested in. Several of you asked for the recipe when I told you about it, so here it is as it appears in Sahni's book:
Chickpea Crepes with Ginger and Hot Chiles (Chilla)
1 cup chickpea flour
1 cup water
1 T chopped ginger
2 hot green chiles, chopped
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1 t coarse sea salt
2 T light sesame oil or light vegetable oil*
extra oil for frying
1. Mix the chickpea flour and water and make a smooth, lump-free batter using processor, blender, or wire whisk. add all the other ingredients except extra oil mix well.
2. To cook the crepes, heat a nonstick frying pan over medium heat until very hot. Then brush the pan lightly with 1/2 to 3/4 t. oil.
3. Pour about 1/4 c of batter into the pan. Tilt the pan to coat it evenly with the batter. Cook the crepe until the underside is browned (about 2 min) Turn and cook the other side for 30-45 seconds. Pour on 1/2 to 1 t. oil during cooking to give the crepe a fried taste and texture. Remove and serve immediately or keep warm, while you make more crepes with the remaining batter. For a crispier taste, use 2-21/2 t. oil per crepe.
*Sesame oil is the Indian kind - light - (Til, I think it's called) - not the darker one found in Asian aisle of stores.