Cheela

Yellow Split Moong Lentil Pancakes


By Renu Jain Chandarana

Yelllow Split Moon Lentil Pancakes (Cheela) with Cilantro and Mint Chutney 

Making a moong daal (lentil) crepe is a great way to gently introduce lentils into your diet if you aren’t too keen on making soups and curries. My parents make all sorts of crepes – never the ones made from an egg batter because as vegetarians, we don’t eat eggs. They’ve used cream of wheat batters to make very quick savoury and sweet crepes; chickpea flour batters for savoury, dense crepes, and lentil batters for savoury, soft and fluffy crepes.   They always serve them with an array of dipping sauces like cilantro chutney, ketchup (a kid favourite) and a sweet and sour tamarind sauce.

YELLOW MOONG DAAL CHEELA

 

For me, being vegetarian means finding unique ways to get our daily protein and I’m very thankful that our Indian diet lends itself well to that with such a variety of recipes that involve a huge variety of lentils. I’m also grateful that my parents were very adventurous in the kitchen, introducing my sisters and I (and now all of our kids) to these wonderful flavours and dishes that are not found in restaurants. McCormick’s 2016 Flavour Forecast points to pulse proteins as one of the and this recipe is one that may inspire some great conversation at your breakfast table!

 

Cooking Tips:

  • Like any pancake or crepe, the first one you put in the fry pan can be hit or miss, so don’t fret if they come out too thick at first, or if the batter gets holes as you spread them. The key is to make sure the batter is cooked through, so keep the heat on medium and be patient! batter

 

  • If you don’t have the time (or remember!) to soak these lentils overnight. You can soak them in the morning and make these crepes at night. I’d say 6 hours is the least amount of time they need to be soaked, but overnight is best for a very smooth batter.

 

  • A little goes a long way with the spices so I don’t use a large quantity of each. McCormick spices offer some spices that are roasted, like the ground cumin, which really makes these two dishes authentic. As you know, Indian spices are almost always roasted before using. You can taste the nutty flavour of the lentils while the cilantro with mint chutney is so fresh tasting, you’ll want to put it on everything!

Ingredients: 

6-10 Tbsp      Grapeseed or Canola Oil for cooking the crepesScreen Shot 2016-01-22 at 4.44.36 PM

2 cups             Yellow split moong daal soaked overnight in water and then ground into a batter

¼ cup             Finely grated carrot

¼ cup             Finely grated zucchini

1 Tbsp             Finely grated fresh ginger

1 Tbsp             Chopped cilantro

¼ tsp              Club House Ground Turmeric

¼ tsp              McCormick Gourmet Roasted Ground Coriander

¼ tsp              McCormick Gourmet Roasted Ground Cumin

¼ tsp              McCormick Gourmet fennel seed (ground)

1                       Chopped de-seeded jalapeño (optional) if you’d like to add some spice

Salt to taste (I used just about 1 tsp)

 

Cilantro and Mint Chutney: CHUTNEY INGREDIENTS

½ bunch        Fresh Cilantro with stems

½ bunch        Fresh Mint with stems

2 inches          Fresh Ginger

½                     Lemon or Lime juiced

½ tsp              Salt or to taste

pinch               Black salt (Kala Namak in Hindi)

½ tsp              McCormick Gourmet Roasted Ground Cumin

½ tsp              McCormick Gourmet Roasted Ground Coriander

1                       Jalapeño (optional) for extra spice

2-3 Tbsp        Water

METHOD:

  • Soak 2 cups of the yellow split moong lentils in water overnight, covered in a bowl. The water should be about 2 inches higher than the lentils. YELLOW LENTIL PANCAKES
  • Next day, pour the entire soaked mixture (including the water) into a blender and blend until you get the consistency of pancake batter, slightly thick yet smooth and will coat the back of a spoon. Add more water as needed to reach this consistency.
  • Add all remaining ingredients (except the oil) to the batter and stir until everything is mixed – check salt level and add if you need more at this point.
  • Put the mixture aside and get a griddle pan or nonstick frying pan heated on medium heat. Add 1 Tbsp of oil and spread around. Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 4.45.02 PM
  • Once the oil looks quite warm but NOT smoking, dollop about ¼ cup of the batter into the center of the pan and using the back of your spoon or measuring cup, spread the batter out using circular motions. You want the crepe to be as thin as you can make possible without making any holes.
  • Let it sizzle in the pan until you see the edges getting golden brown. Take a peak with your flipper to see if the bottom side is browning.
  • Flip over and add 1 Tbsp oil to the new side facing up, letting it sizzle on the pan.
  • Repeat until batter is finished. Depending on how big you make them, you could end up with 6-8 crepes. CHEELA
  • You will likely need less oil as you make the crepes, as some residual oil will be in the pan to help them along.
  • Stack and serve warm. If re-heating before eating, do not use a microwave, instead wrap the whole stack in foil paper and place in the toaster oven on the ‘keep warm’ setting for about 7-10 minutes. This will warm the whole stack without burning them and will maintain their soft fluffy texture.

 

CILANTRO AND MINT CHUTNEY METHOD:

  • Place all ingredients except for the water into a blender (include the stems for the cilantro and mint, and the peel for the ginger if you like)
  • Add 2 Tbsp of water and blend
  • Check to see the consistency, if it’s too chunky or thick, or not blending well together, add another 1 Tbsp of water at a time until you have reached the consistency you desire
YELLOW SPLIT LENTILS PANCAKES

 

A global leader in flavour, McCormick & Company has been helping people create memorable food experiences for more than 125 years. Which trends are you looking forward to trying out in your kitchen?

This post was done in partnership with McCormick & Company.

 


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There are 2 comments

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  1. Faith

    “Soak 2 cups of the yellow split moong lentils in water overnight, covered in a bowl. The water should be about 2 inches higher than the lentils.”

    But what size bowl are you soaking the lentils in?! The amount of water used here will vary wildly depending on which vessel the lentils are placed in, which I imagine could have significant repercussions on how the recipe turns out! (Too thick, waaay too thin, etc.)

  2. Renu Jain Chandarana

    Hi Faith! Thanks so much for your question! I used a bowl that was one of my medium sized mixing bowls, as you can see in the picture, there is quite a bit of room for the lentils to expand as they soak the water. The white square-ish bowls I used were just for visual effect, not practical when I’m actually making this recipe! I would suggest using a bowl that allows for expansion so that the lentils don’t overflow. The nice thing is that you can add more water when you are blending the batter if you find it’s too thick. If you are worried that the batter might be too thin, just pour the soaked lentils in the blender and blend adding the reserved water a little at a time until you get the desired consistency! Hope you enjoy the recipe!


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