On my quest of finding healthy breakfast options, this oats chilla with loads of veggies turned out to be a winner! Couple of healthy oats chilla in the morning will not only keep you full but will also set your energy quotient for the day.
I have been quite fond of oats and the various recipes that can be made using this healthy grain. Not just the regular oats porridge, I love to have oats in different shapes and forms.
You will find many oats recipes in my blog which I have already shared over the last few months. If you are also looking for an interesting oats recipe which will suit your taste buds, I am sure you will get at least a couple of them here!
Today I have another delicious yet healthy oats recipe for you which has been gaining popularity in the healthy-eating community of late for obvious reasons. Oats chilla was one of my favorite breakfasts when I craved to eat something salty in the morning. Not sure what oats chilla is? Read on to know more!
What is oats chilla or cheela?
Chilla is a popular recipe in the northern part of India and is primarily eaten for breakfast. If you are not familiar with this Indian dish, you can think of it as an oats pancake but only savory and served with chutney or pickles instead of maple syrup.
The most popular form of chilla is besan chilla made from chickpea flour. In oats chilla, chickpea flour is simply replaced by oats flour and the rest of the process is almost the same as far as I believe (I hadn’t made besan chilla so far, so i am just taking an educated guess!)
So this healthy oats chilla is round in shape but a little thinner than a regular pancake. You need to make a batter of almost similar consistency as a pancake batter and use a ladle to spread on a greased hot griddle or tawa to cook it until golden brown.
Why is oats chilla a healthy breakfast option?
Health benefits of oats are already very well-known, so I am not repeating them here again. But if you still want to know more about it, you can visit this article which clearly lays down the primary nutritional advantages of including oats into your diet.
Apart from oats, the oats chilla also contains a lot of veggies which accounts for your fiber quota of the day. I usually add grated carrots, finely chopped onions, finely chopped green beans and my favorite herb i.e. coriander leaves.
I would suggest avoiding watery veggies like tomatoes as it would not let the chilla firm up while cooking. You can add finely chopped bell peppers or any other veggies which cook fast.
In my version of oats chilla, I also add a couple of tablespoons of besan aka chickpea flour because it increases the protein content of my already healthy chillas and also besan gives them a firm yet pliable structure.
Ingredients for oats chilla with veggies
You will usually need a few kitchen staples for making the oats chilla.
Oats: The primary ingredient of this savory oats pancake is of course oats. You will need oats flour for this recipe. You may get ready-made oats flour in the supermarket, but I suggest making it on your own as it just takes a whiz on your grinder. I prefer to buy old fashioned rolled oats and grind them dry in my grinder and store them in an airtight jar. It’s better to keep a large batch of oats flour ready so that you can have this healthy breakfast quickly on a busy morning.
Besan/Chickpea flour: Besan is a very common ingredient in any Indian kitchen. Besan is nothing but chickpea flour and a besan chilla is a popular breakfast in the Northern part of India. I would say that besan chilla is the original inspiration behind the healthier oats chilla which is exponentially gaining popularity of late. Adding a little amount of besan helps to bind the batter and holds the shape of the oats chilla.
Veggies: To increase the fiber content of our oats chilla I add a few vegetables. Veggies also add colors to the food as well as a bit of crunch. My go-to options for veggies are grated carrot, finely chopped onion (regular or even green onion), finely chopped green beans and at times a few tiny pieces of green chilli to add that spicy kick. Make sure to chop the veggies finely as otherwise they won’t cook properly.
Herbs: I personally like to add finely chopped coriander leaves to my oats chilla batter as I am fond of the aroma of coriander leaves which is also known as cilantro. If you don’t like it, just omit it for the batter or replace it with any other herb that is your personal favorite.
Spices: To spice up your oats chilla, add just a couple of spices – turmeric powder, black pepper powder and salt. Black pepper is needed because it helps in absorption of the curcumin that we get from turmeric and has immense health benefits.
Aromatics: Finally to round things off, add the flagship Indian aromatic i.e. ginger – grated or in powder form. It takes the flavor of your oats chillas to the next level.
How to make oats chilla
You can easily compare the making process of oats chilla with that of making pancakes – make the batter and then just cook the pancakes on a hot griddle or tawa (as we Indians call it).
Step 1: Prepare all the veggies first – grate the carrot, finely chop onion and green beans. Also chop green chillies if using. Also chop the herb you are using which in my case is fresh coriander leaves or cilantro.
Step 2: In a large mixing bowl, add the ingredients one by one – 1 cup of oats flour, ¼ cup of besan, all the spices like turmeric powder, black pepper and salt. Give a good mix so all the ground items are mixed well.
Step 3: Now add the veggies – grated carrot, finely chopped onion and green beans, chopped green chillies and fresh coriander. Also drop in the grated ginger; you can also use ginger powder but then add it with all the other powdered spices. Mix things up with a fork or wire whisk.
Step 4: Now start adding water a little at a time. After adding ¼ cup of water, start mixing using a wire whisk with a very light hand. The batter should not be too thick; consistency must be very similar to that of a regular pancake. So add additional water depending on the batter consistency. When you are happy with it, get on to the next step.
Step 5: heat a non-stick frying pan or a cast iron griddle. Once hot, reduce the flame to low and brush it with any oil of your choice.
Step 6: Now using a ladle, pour about ¾ cup of batter on the hot griddle, keeping the flame at minimum. Swirl the pan to make a round pancake shape. Now cover the pan or griddle using a lid and let it cook on low for at least 5 minutes.
Step 7: After about 5 minutes on low flame, flip the oats chilla carefully using a spatula. Before flipping try shaking the pan lightly to check if the chilla is still sticking to the bottom of the pan which means it will need a few more seconds to cook and come off on its own.
Step 8: Flip over and let the other side cook for another 3 to 4 minutes on low flame. You may cover the pan with the same lid.
Step 9: Take the oats chilla out once browned nicely on both sides. Repeat the process to make oats chilla with remaining batter.
These delicious and healthy oats chilla is best served warm with plain yogurt or some homemade green chutney. These chillas are very filling, hence 2 chilla per person is the optimum serving size for breakfast or even lunch.
These will keep you full for a long time hence preventing you from munching some junk! So a totally win-win recipe in all aspects!
If you like to include oats in your diet in more ways, please check out my other delightful oats recipes:
If you try making any of these recipes from Flavor Quotient, don’t forget to tag us on your social media! We would love to see your own creation!
- Oats flour - 1 cup
- Besan/Chickpea flour - ¼ cup
- Carrot - 1, medium, grated (about ½ cup)
- Green beans - 5 to 6, finely chopped
- Onion - 1, small, finely chopped
- Green chilli - 1, finely chopped (optional)
- Turmeric Powder - ¼ tsp
- Black pepper powder - ¼ tsp
- Ginger (paste or grated) - ½ tsp
- Fresh coriander leaves/cilantro - ½ cup, chopped
- Mustard oil or any other un-refined oil of your choice as required for brushing the pan
- Water as required
- First prepare the vegetables - finely chop onion, green beans, green chill (if using) and fresh cilantro. Grate the carrot.
- Now take a large mixing bowl and add the oats flour, besan or chickpea flour, turmeric powder, salt and pepper. Give a good mix.
- Next add the veggies and ginger. Give another good mix using a fork or wire whisk.
- Now start adding water ¼ cup at a time and start making the batter by mixing using a wire whisk with a very light hand. Consistency of the oats chilla batter should be similar to a regular pancake batter.
- Heat a non-stick tawa or griddle and brush some oil of your choice on it. Pour over a couple of ladle of the prepared batter and swirl the pan to make a round pancake like shape. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, uncover the pan and flip over the chilla and let the other side cook for 3 to 4 minutes. When both the sides are nicely browned, take it out on a plate.
- Repeat the same process to cook the oats chilla with remaining batter. Once all cooked, serve them warm with plain yogurt or curd or homemade green chutney. Enjoy!
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