Gluten-free Lentil Pancake/Dal Chilla

The ingredients of the batter for this savoury pancake are only lentils and which makes it gluten-free and vegan. Lentils are also high in proteins, making it an ideal choice for breakfast and post-workout meals. This recipe is highly versatile and one can add their preferred filling to make an omelette or stuffing like a crepe.


  • 1/2 Cup Green Gram (split moong daal)
  • 1/2 Cup Mix of:
  • Skinned Black Lentils (urad dal)
  • Split Red Lentils (masoor dal)
  • Split yellow gram (yellow moong dal)
  • 1/2 Cup Capsicum (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Cup Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tsp Chilli-Ginger (paste)
  • Salt to Taste
  • 1 Cup Oil


Prep: 10 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes

  1. Soaking Time: 1/2 hr-3 hrs (as per convenience). Fermenting Time: 1-2 hours.
  2. Wash the lentils in 2-3 changes of water until the water runs clear.
  3. Then soak them in hot water for at least 30 minutes (or if you have time, soak in room temperature water for about 3 hours).
  4. Drain the water (store in a vessel) from the lentils and add to a mixer along with 1/4 cup water used for soaking. Add salt and grind until smooth.
  5. Leave it aside in a warm spot for at least 45-60 minutes. If you have time, leave it for 1-2 hours. The batter shall be completely fine to be used even if it is left to ferment for 4-5 hours.
  6. While making the chillas, add water to the batter as required. The paste should have the consistency of an idli batter.
  7. Add the chilli-ginger paste.
  8. Heat a non-stick flat pan or a cast iron tava.
  9. Brush a little oil on the pan. Add a ladleful of batter on the hot pan and spread a light hand keeping the flame slightly high. Do not make it very thin. Then reduce the flame once the batter is spread and sprinkle the chopped veggies on it. 
  10. Add some oil on the sides and cook for a couple of minutes till there are bubbles on the top. Once the underside is golden brown, turn it over and cook for a couple of minutes.
  11. Serve hot with coriander chutney, ketchup or curd.
  12. To add variations, you can also grate some cheese on one side while its on the pan. If you plan to make it for dinner, you can make a potato filling or coconut chutney and sambar for a complete meal.