Sooji Chilla| Rava Pancakes| North Indian-style semolina pancakes

We have gotten a wee bit tired of eating idli, dosa, upma, bread and pongal for breakfast. That is all I seem to be making for breakfast over the last year or so, day after day after day, and, I must say, the routine has gotten monotonous. So, I have been reading up about other options for breakfast – things that are healthy and which don’t need extensive labouring in the kitchen, considering we have a toddler in tow. I came across several recipes for sooji/ rava chilla aka pancakes, which sounded like the North Indian version of the rava dosais I have grown up eating. I thought they would be delicious, but easy to prepare, and interesting, too.

That is how sooji chillas ended up being our breakfast yesterday. My hunch was true – not only were they simple to make, but were quite interesting and delicious. The family gobbled them up in no time! I have no doubt these beauties are going to turn up, time and time again, on our breakfast table.

PicMonkey Collage sooji chilla

Here is how I made the chilla. Recipe adapted from several different internet sources.

Ingredients and method (makes 8-9 pancakes):

Step 1

  • 2 cups raw rava (I used the fine variety that we use to make upma – no need to roast it)
  • 1 cup curd (slightly sour is better)
  • Salt, to taste

Take the rava, salt to taste, curd in a large mixing bowl. Add a little water and mix well. Cover and let the batter rest till you get the rest of the ingredients ready, at least 10-15 minutes.

Step 2

Now, go ahead and get ready the veggies that you need for the pancakes:

  • 1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped
  • A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated finely
  • 2 green chillies, chopped very finely

Add the veggies to the batter resting in the mixing bowl.

Step 3

Then, proceed to get together the other ingredients:

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon chaat masala
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala or chana masala
  • A pinch of asafoetida

Measure out and add all of these ingredients to the batter in the mixing bowl.

Step 4

There is one more ingredient that you need to add to the batter:

  • About 2 tablespoons of raw peanuts

Coarsely crush it in a mixer – just pulse it for a couple of seconds so that it doesn’t get crushed into a fine powder. Then, add the coarsely crushed peanuts to the batter in the mixing bowl.

Step 5

Now, proceed to make the tadka:

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds

Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds, and let them splutter. Add this tadka to the batter in the mixing bowl, along with a little more water.

Step 6

Mix the batter thoroughly, so that the veggies and all the other ingredients are well incorporated into it. The batter should neither be very runny nor very thick – just dropping consistency.

Step 7

Heat a dosa pan till water droplets dance on it.When the pan is in the process of getting hot, add the last and final ingredient to the batter:

  • 1/2 teaspoon Eno fruit salt (plain)

The batter will start foaming at this point. Mix it very well, so that the Eno is well incorporated into the batter.

Step 8

When the pan is nice and hot, spread a ladleful of the batter evenly on it – keep it slightly thick, you won’t be able to spread it very thin anyways. Reduce the flame, and add a little oil around the edges of the pancake. When it is cooked on one side, flip the pancake over to the other side. Let the pancake cook well on the other side too. Slide the pancake from the dosa pan onto a plate, when done.

Step 9

Prepare all the pancakes in a similar manner. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice, though they don’t really need an accompaniment and taste good on their own.

Note: If you have the time, get the batter ready sans the Eno fruit salt and keep it covered for a couple of hours. Then, get the dosa pan hot and make the chillas. They taste so much more better that way!

ETA on 21/6/2016: Made these chillas again, minus the Eno, and they still turned out pretty good. So, I might be skipping the Eno henceforth.

Sounds good? Do you make sooji chillas at home too? How do you make them?

Also, do tell me of your favourite breakfast options!


20 thoughts on “Sooji Chilla| Rava Pancakes| North Indian-style semolina pancakes

  1. Once i read this recipe i decided to try. I usually dont make any dosas on weekdays as it takes time and attention at stove. so tried this yesterday. Only change, no tadka and lemon pudin hara 1 small packet instead of ENO. I hope its the same 😛


      1. Oh really..Will look for eno this time. Let me say, it did taste delicious…nice and mildly sweet…i usually grind the chillies so the child can eat befikar…many thanks for the new recipe. Gonna share this link with friends


  2. Hey, I make even a simple version if this rawa chilla, we dont add any eno salt, tadka and masalas. We eat these chilla with peanut chutney and its yum.


  3. Love! Will try this soon. I think we’ll make this for dinner though instead of breakfast. We’ve been trying to eat light / non heavy ‘tiffin’ like dinners and this sounds perfect!


  4. This is one of my favourite breakfasts – very light on the tummy and super yummy. (Gosh, that rhymes)
    We add any/all of the following:
    Tomatoes, capsicum, carrots, beans, corn, chillies, onions, paneer, beetroot and more to the batter, to make it more wholesome.


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