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 a batter. These are a house favorite & way easier (just as delicious) than 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 

choice of vegetables 

choice of nuts &/or seeds

batter (1-2 chillas):

⅓ cup chickpea [besan] flour*

⅓ cup room temperature water

1 egg or 1 Tbsp water

1 Tbsp ghee or extra virgin olive oil

spices: *suggestions

pinch salt 

pinch black pepper  

pinch turmeric 

pinch cracked coriander 

choice of vegetables 

choice of nuts &/or seeds


  1. Whisk the flour with water, should have the thick consistency of pancake batter*. Add the eggs, oil, & spices. Incorporate the vegetables into the batter now or wait to add when chilla is on the skillet to let them stand out. 
  2. Put 1 Tbsp of oil into skillet & let it heat up. To make one larger pancake, scoop out ⅓ cup of the base mixture or for smaller pancakes scoop out ¼ cup. If adding vegetables at this step, place desired amount of veg, nuts & seeds onto the face up side of the pancake.
  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! Repeat for each additional chilla.


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

**Chickpea flour takes a while to cook. Be patient and let the inside cook.

***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

  • Let batter (just chickpea flour & water, don’t add eggs or oil yet!) sit in a warm part of the 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.