A vegan vegetable omelet that’s been made in Indian kitchens for the longest time, this Besan Cheela is completely eggless and made with nutty, delicious chickpea flour. Stir in a rainbow of veggies and herbs for more flavor and health.
It’s easy to see why a Besan Cheela often gets called a vegetarian omelet, especially in Indian vegetarian restaurants that serve up this lipsmacking dish. This chickpea-flour pancake from north India resembles its egg-containing counterpart so closely, you might think they were separated at birth.
But the resemblance is entirely skin-deep, because they taste outrageously different and weigh far apart on the health scale. While the traditional omelet is packed with cholesterol and reeks with that awful egg smell, the Besan Cheela (also called a Chilla) is nuttily fragrant and can be made fat-free if you just spray your skillet with one of those oil sprays instead of using real oil. And because chickpeas are packed with protein, you will definitely not miss out on your protein in this vegan omelet.
Another thing I love about the Besan Cheela is that it can be pretty much toyed around with to suit different tastes. You can change the veggies you add to it: I added mushrooms, green peppers, onions, and tomatoes, but you could add zucchini, carrots, or spinach (I usually cook the spinach in one of my tiny saucepans with a little bit of water to soften it, then drain thoroughly before adding).
Or you can add herbs: coriander, sage, parsley, basil, all add different but delicious flavors that make the Cheela just that little bit extra-special each time you make it.
Here’s one tip: to make your Besan Cheela extra-crispy, add a mashed potato to the batter. Or just add half a cup of rice flour (preferably brown rice flour to keep it healthy).
On with the recipe. Enjoy, all!