Chickpea Chilla Base

Chilla is a Sindhi favorite often seen in the streets of Crawford Market in Mumbai, India. They are made with a combination of cheese, herbs and vegetables incorporated into the batter. Choose your favorites using this as your base. Way easier, yet just as delicious as a breakfast dosa. 


 batter (5-7 chillas):

2 cups chickpea [besan] flour*

1 cup room temperature water

5-6 eggs or 6 Tbsp water

6 Tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil

spices: *suggestions

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper  

1 tsp turmeric 

1-2 tsp cracked coriander 

batter (1-2 chillas):

⅓ cup chickpea [besan] flour*

⅓ cup room temperature water

1 egg or 1 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp ghee or 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

spices: *suggestions

pinch salt 

pinch black pepper  

pinch turmeric 

pinch cracked coriander 


  1. Whisk the flour with water, should have the thick consistency of pancake batter*. Add the eggs, oil, veg of choice (if using) & spices. 
  2. Put 1 Tbsp of oil into skillet & let it heat up. To make one larger pancake, scoop out ⅓ cup of your base mixture or for smaller pancakes scoop out ¼ cup. 
  3. Cook at medium heat until bubbles appear through the pancake and the edges are brown; flip over gently and cook the other side***.
  4. Top with an egg & avocado or your favorite chutneys & pickles! 
  5. Repeat for each additional chilla.


*Sift flour if it is very lumpy. Be sure to whisk thoroughly.

**These take a little longer to cook than you would expect. Be patient and let the inside cook. They are well worth the wait. 

***One trick is to put it in the oven overnight with the oven off but the oven light on. This will create a warm enough environment for fermentation.

ideas / variations

  • You could let batter (just chickpea flour & water, don’t add eggs or oil yet!) sit in a warm part of your kitchen for roughly one day (could take 2 days during the winter!) in a covered container***. It will smell slightly of rotten eggs, but this is the good fermentation bacteria! Don’t be alarmed.