Monday, March 13, 2017

Tomato Omelette - Besan Cheela - Besan Chilla

Tomato Omelette also known as Besan Cheela/Chilla is an eggless savory Indian pancake/crepe made with gramflour (also known as chickpea flour and Besan), veggies (primarily onion tomato) and flavored with Indian spices and herbs. Its super easy to make and healthy too since its made with gram flour as the base/main ingredient which is gluten-free, rich in protein, iron and fiber. Bonus is the addition of veggies and spices which impart a great crunch and flavor to these pancakes. 

As a kid, I was not very fond of eggs but I loved the concept of omelette and was the only one thing I would agree to eat from the egg category. But when it was time to eat I somehow couldn't get past the egg smell (too fussy back then but obviously love eggs now). I know weird right!! Ultimately I would land up not eating it. Knowing my love for omelette mom would often whip up this Tomato Omelette for me which actually has no eggs instead gram flour and is so much delicious and healthy too. 

I love eating this omelette with bread just like the regular egg omelette. Makes it such a filling meal. I simply apply some butter, ketchup and chutney to the bread and add the Tomato Omelette to it. But you can definitely add some onion tomato and cucumber slices to the sandwich and make it even better, Yum!! Also for this recipe I've used just onion, tomato and bell pepper to make the Tomato Omelette, but you can definitely add/substitute any of these veggies with you choice like grated carrots, beets, bottle gourd etc. 

Tomato Omelette can be eaten for breakfast/brunch or as a snack or as an easy dinner option. Serve it with some Green Chutney and ketchup and add slice of bread to make it a a filling meal. It also makes an excellent kids lunch box option since it doesn't get soggy (serve the condiments on side). 

Hope you will give this recipe a try and if you do I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.  

Now to the recipe...

Ingredients: (makes 7-8 pancakes using 1/4 cup measurement)
1 cup besan (gram flour)
1/4 cup onions very finely chopped
1 small tomato very finely chopped
1/8th cup green capsicum finely chopped
1-2 green chilli finely chopped (or to taste)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 to 1 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1/4 tsp ajwain (carom seeds) 
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1/8 tsp black pepper powder
salt to taste
handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
oil for cooking (as required) 

Serving suggestions: 
Green Chutney
Tomato ketchup
Bread slices 

For making the batter - 
In a mixing bowl add the gram flour (you can sift the flour if you prefer to do so), turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ajwain, hing, black pepper and salt. Using a whisk mix all these dry ingredients and then add water, half cup at a time. I used about 1 cup water. The consistency should be pouring. Again mix well till incorporated and smooth without any lumps. 

Next add the veggies -  onion, tomato and capsicum followed by green chillies and coriander leaves. Mix until everything is well combined. The batter should be pouring consistency so incase you feel the batter has become thick after adding the veggies adjust the consistency by adding some water. Mine was just right with the original 1 cup of water we added before. Our batter is ready. 

For making the Omelette or Pancakes -

I'm using a small (8.5 inch) non-stick pan for making these as I find it gives the perfect shape and consistency for these pancakes. I do not grease my pan before pouring the batter since mine is a nonstick one but you could grease one if you do so generally. Follow these steps if you are using a pan similar to mine or follow the steps which work best with your pan. 

For every pancake you make, turn the heat to low, wipe the pan with wet kitchen towel for bringing the pan temp to low which helps in spreading the batter and not cooking it right away, pour and spread the batter and then raise the heat to medium, cover and cook as mentioned in steps below. This will not be required for the first one since the pan is just heating up. Repeat this for every pancake you make. 

Heat up the pan on medium heat and once hot add about 1/4 cup of the batter to the pan and spread it using you spoon for even distribution of the veggies and the batter. Add some oil (1/2 tbsp or so) around the omelette and on the top, cover and cook until the batter is all dry on the upper side (making sure the bottom side is not burning in which case adjust the flame). 

Flip and let the other side cook too. Once done, remove it on to a plate. Repeat for the remaining ones.

For making Tomato Omelette Sandwich - 
Take two slices of the bread of your choice and apply butter and Green Chutney on both. Now take 1-2 Tomato omelettes and divide it in half and place it over the bread stacking one above the other. You can also add some sliced onions, tomato and/or cucumber too. Cover with the other bread and cut the sandwich into two. That's it our Tomato Omelette Sandwich is ready! Serve with some more Green Chutney and/or Ketchup on the side.  If you are packing this for lunchbox then skip applying green chutney to bread to prevent it from turning soggy.

That's it, our healthy and delicious Tomato Omelette - Besan Cheela is ready! Serve it hot on its own or with bread along with some Green Chutney and/or Ketchup, Enjoy!! 

Happy Cooking!


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