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Moong dal quinoa Chila with green tea Egg plant dip

Moong Dal Quinoa Chilla

by Shyamali Sinha

Moong dal Quinoa Chilla is a warm, savoury breakfast from the pantry. Chilla or Cheela is lentil based Indian crepe, the texture of this crepe is thinner than a pancake and thicker than a  regular crepe. You can enjoy Chilla with your favourite Chutney or dip from your refrigerator, and it is also an outstanding dish for those who eat vegan meals.

Moong dal Quinoa Chilla with Eggplant dip
Moong dal Quinoa Chilla with Eggplant dip

Add Iron to your Breakfast- Cook in Cast -Iron Pan.

As much as I love savoury delicious dish to start my day, I also prefer to cook my meals in cast iron cookware. There are many benefits of using cast iron pans, skillet and griddles for cooking. They are excellent when it comes to conducting heat. They are chemical-free, adds iron to our food, easy to clean. These are a few benefits to mention. Since last year I was building my cast iron cookware collection. A Lodge Cast Iron Round Griddle has been on my wishlist too.

Everten has a huge range of cookware and kitchenware collection along with this Tawa. They also offer free shipping all over Australia if you purchase over $99. Check their website for more information.

Healthy warm but quick Breakfast to start my day.

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day! But, I am not a smoothie person at all.  As mom and wife, my mornings are quite busy. Every morning, I spend 45 minutes in the kitchen to finish all my morning to-dos. Making breakfast, packing lunch boxes for my daughter and husband,  taking pictures of all the meals for social media, helping my daughter to get ready for school, then I clean the kitchen after we finished our breakfast. And then drop her in the school. 

As you see, all these works occupied my mornings. But, no matter how busy my mornings are, I love to start my day with a warm, savoury breakfast.  I make sure that it shouldn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes to make breakfast. You can say making a warm fresh breakfast for us is a ritual and happiness for me.

Easy pantry meals!

Every morning I am looking forward to making a different kind of breakfast with a few ingredients from my pantry and refrigerator! It is my way to welcome the day!

Chilla Ingredients
Ingredients for Chilla

As I am eating gluten-free meals, this year I am going to make various types of crepes for our breakfast. Chilla, Dosa, all these are some of my favourite breakfast options on a busy morning. If the batter is ready,  It requires 2 minutes of prep-work to cut the onion, tomato, and chillies for topping. 

Ingredients for Chilla in a bowl

I soak Moong Dal and Quinoa into the water at night, cover and keep on the kitchen counter. Then the next morning, in a blender or as we say Mixer in India, I put Dal, quinoa, green chillies, ginger and curry leave and blend everything to make the batter. 

Overnight soaked Quinoa and Moong Dal
Overnight soaked Quinoa and Moong Dal

Having a lentil batter in the refrigerator is a vehicle to access for a quick meal!

Well, If I have to make lunch or dinner just for me, I am happy to make Chillas for me. I always keep a batter in my fridge. As currently, I am trying to eat gluten-free meals, most of the time I make lentil based batter. When you make a batter with plain flour or wheat flour it is good to consume within 2 days. But you can store a lentil-based batter in the refrigerator for a week.

Chila batter consistency
Chilla batter

It’s been a couple of years I do weekly meal prep and keeping a lentil batter in the refrigerator is a vehicle to access for a quick and easy meal. When I don’t want to cook, I make a Chilla or Dosa, and throw some chopped onion, tomatoes as a topping and serve with the Chutney. An easy, simple, yet satisfying meal for my lazy day.

Moong dal quinoa Chila with green tea Egg plant dip
Moong dal quinoa Chila with green tea Eggplant chutney

How to season a Cast-iron Griddle or Tawa for Crepes, Chilla or Dosa?

Having a well seasoned Cast iron Tawa is a very important factor to make a nice Chilla.

  • Scrub: Sprinkle a generous amount of salt on the skillet. Pour a  small amount of mild soap, then with the help of a steel wool scrub for a minute.
  • Rinse and Dry: Rinse with warm water and then dry immediately with a dry cloth or paper towel.
  • Add Oil and  Rub: Pour 1 or 2 tsp of cooking oil on the skillet, spread the oil with a piece of cloth inside and outside.
  • Heat: Place the pan over medium heat and heat for 20 minutes. You can see smoke on the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, keep heating.
  • Cool the Pan: Turn off the heat, allow the pan cool completely, then remove from the oven.
seasoned crepe pan
A well-seasoned cast-iron griddle

How to cook Chilla or Dosa on a Cast Iron griddle?

  • Heat the pan over medium-high heat for about five to seven minutes.
  • Do the water test:
    • Keep a small bowlful of water ready. Sprinkle water on the hot pan, if the water evaporates immediately,  the pan is ready to make crepes or Chilla.
water pan
Water test

To make Chilla:

  • Keep a small bowl of water and a metal spatula ready.
  • Pour a tsp of oil of your choice, use a clean cloth to rub the oil all over the pan.
  • First, make a small chilla to check the pan. Take a spoonful of batter and spread on the pan. 
  • Wait for a minute, dip the spatula into the water, then flip the chilla.  
  • Cook for a few seconds. Remove from the pan.
  • Now, your pan is ready for use.

If you take good care of your cast iron skillets, these are not only going to serve you, but you can hand them over to your future generations.

Already I made a few varieties of crepes in this skillet. Keep an eye on this place for more crepe recipes. 

Moong dal quinoa Chila with green tea Egg plant dip

Here is my Moong Dal Quinoa Chilla recipe.

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