Easy childa recipe made with gram flour, also known as chickpea flour. Childa are Indian savory chickpea flour pancakes or crepes with a delicious mix of ingredients and spices. Naturally gluten-free and vegan.
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Super easy to make.
- Quick and healthy.
- Packed with flavor.
- Can be enjoyed a large variety of ways.
- Naturally gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, nut-free and soy-free.
❓What is Childa Dish?
Childa, also known as besan chilla, cheela or pudla, are savory gram flour flour pancakes or crepes originating in India. Gram flour is also known as chickpea flour or garbanzo bean flour. Childa makes a great snack or meal all on its own.
📔 Ingredient Notes
Gram flour: Gram flour is the same thing as chickpea flour or garbanzo bean flour and is essential for a classic childa recipe, so I do not recommend replacing it with anything else. Bonus: it's rich in protein and fiber.
Green Onions: I find green onions to add a nice flavor and vibrancy to the batter, but regular white, yellow or red onions will work, too.
Tomato: Not only do tomatoes make this dish look festive with a pop of color, but they also add some nice moisture and texture to the dish.
Garlic: What's anything without garlic? It adds some wonderful flavor notes.
Ginger: The ginger root in this dish really ties together all of the flavors and adds more of a sweet factor over a spiciness.
Cilantro: Fresh cilantro (also known as coriander) adds a refreshing flavor to this dish, but in a pinch ground coriander powder or another another fresh herb like parsley can be used as a substitute.
Turmeric: Turmeric powder adds color and flavor, but if you are out, you can omit for a still-tasty recipe.
Cumin: Cumin seeds add a wonderful pop of flavor to this recipe and the seeds toast nicely during the cooking process. Having said that, you can use ground cumin powder instead if need be.
Salt: Salt enhances all of the flavors in this dish. I love to use Himalayan pink salt.
Water: Water is what creates a batter when combined with the other ingredients. No other ingredient should be used to replace it.
Oil: You will just need a touch of a favorite oil for the pan to help produce a golden childa and prevent sticking in the pan. I love to use avocado oil.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the chickpea flour, cilantro, cumin, garlic, ginger, onion, turmeric, salt and tomatoes. Mix well.
- Slowly stir in the water until well combined and a smooth batter forms.
- Heat a tawa (aka crepe pan) or regular non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Lightly spray or apply a touch of oil to coat.
- Take a ladleful of batter and pour it in the center of the pan. Much like you do with crepes, you will then tilt the pan and swirl until the batter fills the pan and forms a thin circle.
- Cook for a few minutes, until the edges look golden and the bubbles in the batter have popped and disappeared. Flip and repeat with the remaining batter on the other side until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.
🍽️ How-to Serve
- Chutney makes an excellent side for childa. I'm partial to green chutney.
- Childa is great served alongside salads to make it more of a filling meal. It's especially excellent with a spinach salad.
- You can make a yummy quesadilla by melting some cheese inside childa.
- Fill childa with beans, vegetables and a drizzle of a favorite condiment for a fabulous wrap recipe.
- Serve alongside a good curry or dal, much like you would with naan or papadum.
- Some people love to dip childa in ketchup (yes, ketchup!).
The ingredients you find in this particular recipe, allow for a lot of room for error and customization. As long as you have the base of gram flour and water, you are good. Here are some other add-ins you might want to try:
- Chopped bell pepper.
- Shredded carrots.
- Thinly sliced green chiles.
- Grated potato.
- Add a bit of spice with red chili flakes or red chili powder.
- Mix up the spices by adding a favorite spice blend to taste.
- Add a handful of favorite pre-cooked veggies.
♨️ Storage and Reheating
Childa tastes best warm and fresh, but you do have two other options! You can make the batter ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking and enjoying. Another option is to store the cooked childa in an airtight container or wrapped in foil, in the refrigerator for up to one week. To reheat, place in a skillet over medium heat, cover and cook until warm throughout.
💭 Top Tips
- There are some variations in chickpea (gram) flour brands that may make the batter thinner or thicker than intended. However, this is easily remedied! Simply adjust the amount of water or flour needed to achieve a consistency similar to a thin pancake or crepe batter - use the photos in this post for reference.
- A ladle is just about the perfect size for the amount of batter you'll seen to fill a standard pan. If you do not have a ladle on hand, use approximately 1/2 cup of batter.
🧆 More Chickpea Flour Recipes
Childa Recipe - Savory Chickpea Flour Crepes
- 1 cup gram flour chickpea flour, garbanzo bean flour
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- ¼ cup tomatoes chopped
- ¼ cup green onions chopped, approx. 2 green onions
- ½ inch knob fresh ginger root grated
- 1 garlic clove minced or grated
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 cup water adjust as needed to make a thin crepe-like batter
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cilantro, tomatoes, onion, ginger, garlic, cumin, salt, and turmeric. Mix until well combined.
- Pour the water into the dry ingredients, then whisk until you have a smooth batter.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat, spray or drizzle a touch of oil, then using a ladle, take a ladleful of batter and pour it into the center of the heated pan. Tilt the pan until the batter covers the bottom of the pan and forms a thin circle.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the edges are golden and the bubbles on top of the batter have popped or disappeared. Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes, or until golden. Repeat with remaining batter.