#RecipeLab: Daal Week 2 – Daal and Besan Chillas

Daal Week 2 – Daal, besan, and matar chilla. The second recipe from the first #RecipeLab | Check back in the 4th week of every month for new recipes.

Daal Week 2 - Daal and Besan Chillas | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt

Daal Week 2: This was the first dish I made for Daal Week, and honestly I was so under-confident about being good enough to give recipes to people that I had been putting it off forever. Once I ate this though, I loved this so much that I felt I would be proud to put this out for your consumption.

A chilla is a savoury pancake made from lentils or gram flour.

Before I talk more about the dish, and customizations, here’s the recipe (serves 1-2).

Daal, Besan and Matar Chilla

ItemAmountMetric MeasurementNotes
Toor Daal 1 cup ~200gEng. Yellow Pigeon Pea
Besan 2 full tbsp ~40gEng. Gram Flour
Peas < 1/4 cup ~40gMatar
Coriander leaves1/2 a bunchDhania ki patti
Asafoetidaa pinchHeeng
Cumin Powder1 tbsp 15gJeera powder
Red Chilly Powder1 tbsp 15gLaal Mirch
Saltto taste

Paneer and Onion Filling

ItemAmountMetric MeasurementNotes
Paneer100gEng. Indian cottage cheese
Onion1 medium
Garlic2 cloves
Green Chillies2-4 pieces
Spices: Same as aboveto taste Chilly powder, coriander, salt, pepper.

Daal Week 2 - Daal, Besan, Matar Chilla | #RecipeLab | Thorough and Unkempt



  • Wash the daal 3 times* and soak it.
    (*You’ll see the water become milky with starch and dirt.)
  • Boil the peas just enough to soften them. 4-5 minutes should suffice.
  • Grate the paneer and chop up the onion and garlic very fine for the filling.
  • Take both ends off the green chillies. Chop the green chillies and coriander leaves into fine bits.


  • Drain the daal, and add to it the besan, chilly powder, green chillies, cumin powder, coriander leaves, asafoetida, salt, and just a little splash of water.
  • Grind the mixture in a mixer to get a batter. You want it to be thick so only add as much water as necessary to get it to blend.
  • Empty the mixer container leaving about 2 spoons of batter still inside. Add the peas and grind them down to get a greenish batter.
  • Add the green batter to the first batter but don’t mix it well. Just give it a couple of stirs.
  • For the stuffing, mix together the grated paneer, the diced onion and garlic, chopped coriander leaves, chilly powder and salt and pepper.
  • Heat some oil in a (non-stick) pan and once hot, add spoonfuls of batter. Use the back of the spoon to smooth out the shape, and make the chilla as thick or as thin as you want. Once it is cooked on 1 side, which should take 3-4 minutes, flip it over and let the other side cook. Repeat till you have enough chillas.
  • Put the filling into the hot pan with a little oil and let it cook for a minute or so, giving it a stir every so often.
  • Assemble the chilla stack with some filling in between every layer.

Normally, you’d use moong daal for something like this, but I had already washed the toor daal before realizing I’d made a mistake – a very happy one indeed.

Creating an alternating stack gives you a very satisfying full bite if you cut into it with a spoon. Serving options are condiments of choice – ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, all sound good. I’ve gone for a green mint chutney, which is a recipe in itself. Use your favourite, or follow the fabulous Ms Tarla Dalal’s recipe Right Here.

One important thing to note about this recipe is that it lacks any sort of sweetness, which is why I’ve served a sweet frothy lassi with it. I made a simple one with about 300ml of curd, a pinch of salt, and 3 tbsp of honey. You can add cashew nuts, spices etc. and it would work even better.

The recipe also happens to be gluten-free and sugar free.

Thank you for checking out #RecipeLab! If you like this recipe, leave me a comment below telling me about the recipe and your preferences. There are more recipes in Daal Week – check back on the Navigation Post Right Here to see the other recipes, or check out the Cooking category in the Library to see what else I have. 🙂