Besan Cheela/ pooda or Chickpea Flour pancakes are a popular weekend brunch around here. Though I have to say, my mother-in-law was an authority on them. this time round, I tried to get as close I could to her recipe, But with the addition of amazing purslane or kulfa ka saag!
As you know, our mothers hardly ever cooked with a recipe. Everything is intuitive, a little bit of this , a little bit of that! I cook like that too. Baking is where I go by the measurements.So for this recipe, I relied on my husband's memory, his taste for his mom's cheela. I'm happy to report, it was quite close to the original, despite the purslane in there.
Now, this purslane or kulfa ka saag, is a succulent green leafy vegetable. Its grows widely as a weed and I have to remind my gardener not to throw it out! Its, of course, available with the local vegetable vendors as well during summer months.
This hardy plant requires less water and grows well in sunny climates. It's slightly sour in taste and the entire plant ( stems, leaves and flowers) is edible. I usually add it my dals and it gives a lovely piquant flavour.
Purslane is an exceptionally nutritious plant, very rich in dietary fiber, minerals and vitamins. It contains the highest amount of Omega -3 fatty acids than any other leafy vegetable. It also contains an abundance of vitamins A , E & C. You can read more about this wonderful plant HERE .
Back to the recipe, it's really very simple. You can add any vegetable you like and spices according to your taste. I added some finely chopped cauliflower to the batter as well. It gave the cheela that extra crunch. Do cook it on low - medium heat to make sure it cooks through, especially as these pancakes are a bit thick. This also ensures you get a crispy exterior.
As delicious as they as are on their own, we love them with some tomato ketchup and Raw Mango Mint Chutney on the side. I've included the recipe for the chutney below.
So take a look in your garden, you never know what all treasures are growing there. Hope you enjoy this old family recipe as much as we do. I’d love to hear from you. Please do rate and comment below! You can also FOLLOW ME on INSTAGRAM , PINTEREST and FACEBOOK for more fabulous recipes!
Besan Cheela w/ Purslane
- 1 cup Besan/ Chickpea Flour/Gram Flour
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Ajwain/ carom seeds
- 1 tsp Turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Coriander powder
- 1.5 tsp Garam Masala
- 1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder Or according to taste
- 1/2" Ginger, grated
- 4 cloves Garlic, grated
- 1 Green chilli, finely diced Optional
- 1/2 -3/4 cup Water
- 3/4 cup Purslane/ Kulfa ka Saag, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Onion, diced finely
- 1/3 cup Cauliflower, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- 2-3 tbsp Vegetable oil
- Mix besan with all the spices, grated ginger garlic and chopped green chilli. Add 1/2 cup water to make a smooth batter.
- Stir in the vegetables. Mix more water if the mixture is too thick. The batter should be a soft dropping consistency.
- Grease your tawa or frying pan well. Drop a small ladleful of the batter, spreading it out a bit. Cook on low-medium heat. When the top looks a bit cooked, drizzle a little oil on the edges and the top and flip it over.
- Let it cook for another 3-4 minutes, till golden and crisped on both sides.
- Repeat with the rest of the batter.Serve hot with mint chutney and ketchup. Enjoy!
Raw Mango Chutney
- Blend together one raw mango ( peeled and diced), handful of fresh mint leaves, a small handful of fresh coriander ( cilantro) leaves ,one green chilli, 2-3 cloves of garlic and salt to taste. Once blended, taste and adjust for salt. Add some lemon juice for extra kick, if you like!
For more fabulous PURSLANE recipe ideas, do visit these blogs :