Bombarded by local fare of burgers, pizzas and pasta, it’s easy to forget the many flavors that the world has to offer, including the very fragrant cuisine of India. To remedy our mono-lined meals, I’d like to introduce a new completely dairy-free cookbook: Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook. In addition to some tidbits about this title, I’ve been given a sample recipe for some stunning chickpea flour pancakes to share.
Filled with stunning photography, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen is a delight for all senses.
Richa starts by taking us through the spices of India, offering substitution tips for the few items that may not be found at conventional stores (though we easily found all of them online). She then discusses and offers advice on other ingredients and equipment for best results.
Richa then moves briskly into the recipes, which seem to have a savory focus overall. If you are cutting down on sugars, I highly recommend Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen as even the breakfasts and snacks are surprisingly light on sweet stuff. There is a dessert section, but most of those enticing treats still have wholesome appeal.
For a taste of each chapter, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen includes:
- Mom’s Chickpea Flour Pancakes (Breakfast; Recipe below)
- Street-Style Tempeh Wraps (Small Plates & Snacks)
- Maasi’s Nepali Potatoes (Sides & Dry Vegetable Curries)
- Sprouted Mung Bean Curry with Dinner Rolls (Dals – Lentils & Beans)
- Vegan Paneer and Spinach in Tomato Sauce (Main Dishes)
- Puffy Restaurant-Style Naan (Flatbreads)
- Saffron Cream Popsicles (Dessert)
- Chickpea Tofu (Chutney’s, Spice Blends & Basics).
Hungry yet? Well order Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen and whip up a batch of these chickpea flour pancakes while you wait for it to arrive!
In reference to these chickpea flour pancakes, Richa says:
This is my Mom’s chilla recipe. It is also known as pudla. The classic Indian pancake made with chickpea flour is a popular breakfast in North India. These chillas in the simplest form are easy and perfect for breakfast, a snack, or a side flatbread. For a veggie omelet version, add less water for a thicker batter and add leavening such as baking powder. Add finely chopped vegetables such as zucchini.
Special Diet Notes: Chickpea Flour Pancakes
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based and vegetarian.
- 1 cup chickpea / garbanzo bean flour or besan
- 1½ cups water
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon carom seeds or cumin seeds
- ½ cup finely chopped red onion
- 1 hot green chile, finely chopped (remove seeds to reduce heat)
- ¼ cup packed chopped cilantro
- 1 to 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon safflower oil, divided
- In a bowl, combine the chickpea flour and ¾ cup water. Whisk to get a smooth consistency. Whisk in another ½ to ¾ cup water to make a thin lump-free batter. (If using besan, you will need less water).
- Add the salt, turmeric, cayenne, carom seeds, onion, chile, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of oil, and mix well. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. When the skillet is hot, drizzle a few drops of oil on the skillet. Spread the oil using a paper towel. Pour a ladle full (1/4 to ⅓ cup) of the batter onto the skillet. Spread the batter by moving the skillet to make a 6 to 8-inch pancake. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the edges of the pancake.
- Cook until the edges start to leave the pan and the bottom is golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Continue to make the rest of the pancakes. Serve hot.
I love these. They are so tasty! I have to avoid all kind of allergens and I miss my savory egg breakfasts. These pancakes are making my day! Thank you for the recipe.
Thanks for the feedback Jenifer!
I love this recipe! It’s become one of my favorite breakfasts and sometimes I make it as a vegan omelette too. I’ve just started my own blog and am writing a post on chickpeas.
So glad you are enjoying the recipe!
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Who has the best Indian cookbooks and what are the names of them? I am interested in recipes using Besan flour in alot of recipes. Thank you, Mari ?
The one referenced here Mari, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen: Traditional and Creative Recipes for the Home Cook.
I use Madhur Jaffrey’s Quick and Easy Indian Cooking. Published 2007, available on Amazon. I actually do not believe there is such a thing as a quick and easy Indian recipe – they have far too much respect for good food to take it lightly, but this book does avoid over complexity — most of the recipes preparation can be completed in 30 minutes. Author says all ingredients can be obtained from Indian grocers or on line,.
OMG just made these, and they are AMAZING! I was skeptical, but they taste great! I think the’d go nicely with some coconut chutney.
So glad you enjoyed them Catherine! Richa definitely makes excellent vegan Indian food recipes.
I just had these yummy pancakes and I am now very curious about the cookbook, If the rest of the dishes are this easy and delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I think it will be my go to pancake recipe from now on, as I have a low-carb diet. Though I have to add that adding just 1 egg made a great difference to my pancake composition, that first pancake broke to pieces when frying, but it still was a good nibble 😀
So glad you enjoyed the recipe Andra! She is a great cookbook author, so if you like Indian food, I would go for it!
Just tried this recipe. It was delicious. I wanted to make more, but I’m out of fresh Cilantro. Had no cumin seeds, so I used cumin powder. Looking for more recipes that use besan!
So glad you enjoyed it Beth! You may like these recipes, too, which also use besan:
Yummy. I added 2 eggs as I am not vegan and it works wonderfully. Thanks!
Yes. Adding eggs was like night and day for me. Much better with two eggs.
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Now I know what to do with my chickpea flour! Thank you!
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I love her recipes, thank you so much for sharing this one! I sent it to my mum, she’s obsessed with that flour!
I hope your mum gets the chance to make it!
I believe you’ve just introduced me to a MUST HAVE cookbook! If this recipe is representative of the rest of the book, I’m totally sold. Love everything about it!
It really is a good sample – lots of delicious, fragrant, easy recipes!
Wow, these are so cool! I actually have some chickpea flour (I used to make socca sometimes) so I guess this would be sort of similar! I’ll have to try it!
Yes, similar, but thinner and a bit more flavorful.
These look super tasty! I’m not vegan, so I think I’d have these with some cucumber raita! PS. Those Saffron Cream Popsicles sound SO good.
That sounds like a delicious accompaniment Brandon!
Okay, these look amazing and your photography is beautiful! I really need to try these! We love Indian food here 🙂
Isn’t it stunning?! I believe Richa did it all herself.
Thank you for the wonderful start to the blog tour Alisa! Indian food is definitely more savory. Hope you love cooking through the book!
Happy to share Richa!
This looks like a fantastic book and the pancake recipe couldn’t be simpler! I never make Indian food at home b/c it seems so complicated, but this has truly changed my mind!
You should definitely check out my book. Look through the first few pages on Amazon or in the library 🙂
Richa certainly created a lovely book – the three recipes I have so far tried have been excellent! these look great!
Ooh, which ones? 🙂
the Royal Tofu is SO GOOD, and I am sharing the Fudgy Cardamom Squares later this week – those are incredible! I just made the Saffron Cream Fudge, very tasty!
Dang, you’re making me want more dessert!
Awesome! so glad you are cooking up from the book Kristina!