Moong Dal Chilla (Indian Mung Bean Pancake)

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One of my most favorite dal or lentils is the moong dal, because you really can’t doubt on its versatility. Plus, it is highly nutritious, filling and is a great choice when you want to manage your weight effortlessly. According to Ayurveda, moong dal is also tridoshic, that is, balances all 3 doshas. Try this Moong Dal Chilla (or Moong Dal Cheela) – an Indian style spiced Mung Bean Pancake made with husked and split mung lentils. These savory tasty pancakes makes for a great breakfast, brunch or even a lunch when you want to have something different and healthy at the same time.

moong dal chilla folded and garnished with coriander leaves, served on white plate with a small bowl of tomato ketchup kept on the top left side and text layover.

About Chilla

Chilla or Cheela is nothing but an Indian style pancake. Traditionally, these are popular in North India where both sweet and salty variants are available.

This Mung Bean Pancake is one such savory variation. Others in this category are made with Indian cottage cheese (paneer), semolina (rava) or the classic Besan Chilla made with gram flour. A popular sweet cheela variation is made with a whole whet flour batter and sugar/jaggery.

A cheela can be made either soft or crisp. If the batter is poured and not spread much, just like an uttapam, then what you get is a soft cheela. If the batter is spread thinly and evenly, then you get a crisp chilla.

Chilla is also known as pudla, puda or poli in various other regions in India. These versions can be found in Maharashtra and Gujarat. A close cousin of the Moong Dal Chilla is the Pesarattu Dosa of Andhra Pradesh in South India. These are more crepe like but made with moong dal batter.

About Moong Dal Chilla

You must really not underestimate the power of moong dal in terms of taste as well! This Mung Bean Pancake will prove that. It is one of those healthy dishes which is also full of flavors and simply delicious.

This chilla recipe is one of the first recipes that I learnt from my mother. She would make them often then; she still makes them often now.

Moong Dal Chilla can be made with both split and husked moong or whole moong. In this recipe, I have used yellow moong lentils. Some basic spices and herbs are also added.

moong dal chilla folded into halves and garnished with coriander leaves, served on white plate with a small bowl of tomato ketchup kept on the top left side and text layover.

Some days I prepare chilla for breakfast as well as snacks. The preferred ones at home are always this Moong Dal Cheela plus others like besan chilla, Oats Chilla and Rava Chilla.

While the chilla with besan is super quick to make, the moong dal ones require soaking of the moong lentils.

So, when you want to make these mung lentil pancakes for breakfast, soak the moong dal overnight. And if you are planning these as an evening or after school snack for kids, then soak the moong lentils for just 3 to 4 hours.

You can make the Moong Dal Chilla more wholesome by adding some grated carrot or beetroot, chopped capsicum or shredded cabbage.

Serve these Mung Bean Pancake stuffed with crumbled/grated paneer or as is with tomato ketchup or green chutney. Have these chillas for breakfast or as a snack.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Moong Dal Chilla

Soak and Grind Moong Dal

1. Rinse 1 cup moong dal 3 to 4 times in water.

rinsing moong dal.

2. Then, soak moong dal in 2 to 3 cups water for about 3 to 4 hours.

soaking moong dal in water.

3. The moong dal will swell or double up in size. Discard the water.

drained doubled up moong dal after soaking.

4. Add the drained moong dal and ¼ cup of water in a grinder or blender jar. Grind or blend to a fine and smooth batter.

Don’t add too much water at once, else the moong dal won’t grind very well. In case you are not able to grind the lentils, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water.

moong dal ground to a smooth batter with water.

Spice Up Moong Dal Batter

5. Add ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, ¼ teaspoon red chili powder and ½ teaspoon roasted cumin powder or cumin powder.

turmeric powder, red chili powder and roasted cumin powder added the moong dal batter.

6. Add 1 teaspoon salt or add as required.

salt added to the moong dal batter.

7. Stir and mix very well. Keep aside.

mixing the salt and spices in the moong dal batter with a wired whisk.

8. Chop coriander leaves, onion, green chilies, ginger and keep them ready. You will need:

  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 to 2 finely chopped green chilies or about ½ to 1 teaspoon finely chopped
ingredients chopped for the moong dal batter.

9. Add the chopped ingredients to the moong dal batter.

chopped ingredients added to the moong dal batter.

10. Mix very well.

chopped ingredients mixed well in the batter.

11. Add 1 pinch asafoetida (hing) and mix again.

asafoetida added to the moong dal batter.

12. Allow the batter to rest for 15 to 20 minutes. The onions will leave moisture and the consistency of the batter will change slightly. 

Check the consistency of the batter. If its too thick, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons water. I added 1 tablespoon water to make it to a pouring consistency.

Adding too much water will not be good as the batter will not spread evenly on the skillet or tawa. The batter should be of a medium pouring consistency, neither too thick nor too thin.

batter to make moong dal chilla recipe

Make Moong Dal Chilla

13. Heat a well seasoned pan. This is important as the pan has to be hot before you make the cheela. Add a scoopful of batter on the center of the pan.

Tip 1: If using a cast iron pan, spread some ½ teaspoon oil evenly all over the pan or tawa before adding the batter.

Tip 2: If using a non-stick pan, there is no need to spread oil on it.

adding moong dal batter in the center of a hot pan.

14. Rotate the batter with the back of spatula giving a round and even shape. Cook chilla on medium heat.

batter spread into an even round shape with the help of the back of a spatula.

15. Drizzle few drops of oil around the edges of the chilla and in the center.

cooking moong dal chilla.

16. Cook the chilla on medium heat. After a minute, they will look crisp and brown.

cooking moong dal chilla.

17. Flip the chilla and cook the other side for a minute or till golden brown and crisp.

moong dal chilla flipped.

18. Once the chilla appears crisp and brown, fold it.

crisp and brown chilla folded.

19. Again fold them forming a triangular shape or you can just keep them round. Similarly make rest of the chillas. To speed up the cooking, use two pans and make chilla on them.

You can stuff the chilla with crumbled paneer, and then fold them. If using crumbled paneer, then fold from one side.

moong dal chilla folded into a triangular shape.

20. Serve the Moong Dal Chilla hot or warm with tomato ketchup or chutney. Since these chillas stay soft, you can also pack them in a tiffin box.

moong dal chilla folded into halves and garnished with coriander leaves, served on white plate with a small bowl of tomato ketchup kept on the top left side and text layovers.

Expert Tips

  1. Make a gluten-free Moong Dal Cheela without asafoetida (hing).
  2. For a spicier chilla, add more red chili powder or use hotter green chilies. You can alter these quantities to make it less spicy.
  3. Add the rest of the spice powders too as per what suits your preferences.
  4. While the batter is kept for resting, the onions in it will leave some moisture and change the consistency slightly. In case of a thick batter, add 1 or 2 tablespoons water to make it of medium pouring consistency. Avoid adding excess water because a thin batter will not spread evenly while cooking.
  5. Boost the nutritional profile of this Moong Dal Cheela by adding some veggies like beetroot, carrot, cabbage and capsicum. You can also include some greens like spinach or kale or fenugreek leaves.

More Breakfast Recipes To Try!

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folded moong dal chilla on a white plate.

Moong Dal Chilla (Indian Mung Bean Pancake)

Moong Dal Chilla are healthy, nutritious, spiced and tasty Indian style pancakes made with moong lentils, herbs and spices. This Moong Dal Cheela makes for a great breakfast, brunch or even lunch when you want to have something different and healthy at the same time.

4.95 from 39 votes

Prep Time 4 hrs

Cook Time 30 mins

Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins

Soaking and grinding moong dal

  • Rinse the moong dal 3 to 4 times in water.

  • Soak the lentils with 2 to 3 cups of water for 3 to 4 hours or overnight if you plan to make the chilla for breakfast.

  • The moong dal will swell or double up in size. Discard the water. Rinse the mung lentils again a few times in water. Drain all the water.

  • In a grinder, add the soaked moong lentils and ¼ cup of water. Grind to a smooth and fine consistency.

  • Don’t add too much water as the lentils might not grind evenly. We need a smooth and lump free batter for moong dal chilla.

Making moong dal chilla batter

  • Take the finely ground batter in a bowl. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder and salt or as required.

  • Mix very well. 

  • Then add add chopped coriander leaves, chopped onions, grated ginger, finely chopped green chilies and a pinch of asafoetida. 

  • Again mix very well. 

  • Allow the batter to rest for 15 to 20 mins.

  • The onions will leave some moisture. Check the consistency of the batter. If its too thick, then add 1 to 2 tablespoons more water. But remember not to add too much of water as the batter will not spread evenly on the skillet or tawa.
  • The consistency of the batter has to be of pouring consistency, neither too thick nor too thin.

Making moong dal chilla

  • Heat a well seasoned pan. This is important as the pan has to be hot before you make the cheelas.If using a cast iron pan, spread ½ teaspoon of oil evenly on the pan.If using a non-stick pan, do not spread oil on it.
  • Add a scoopful of batter towards the center of the pan.

  • The batter will spread a little on its own.

  • Just rotate the batter with the back of spatula giving a round and even shape.

  • Cook the chilla on medium heat. After a minute they will look crisp and brown from the bottom.

  • At this point drizzle few drops of oil around the edges and in the center of the chilla. Spread the oil drops with a spoon all over the chilla.

  • Flip the chilla and cook the other side for a minute.

  • Once the moong dal chilla appear crisp and golden, remove and place aside. 

  • Similarly make all other chilla. You can opt to stuff the chilla with some grated paneer if you want. 

  • Serve moong dal chilla with tomato ketchup or green chutney.

  • Add the ground spice powders less or more depending on your preferences. 
  • You can skip or reduce green chilies, if you want.
  • For a spicy chilla, you can increase red chili powder or use hot green chilies.
  • Some grated veggies like carrots, beetroot, cabbage and capsicum can be added to give a nutritional boost in the chillas. 
  • For a gluten free moong dal chilla, skip adding asafoetida (hing). 

Nutrition Facts

Moong Dal Chilla (Indian Mung Bean Pancake)

Amount Per Serving

Calories 84 Calories from Fat 27

% Daily Value*

Fat 3g5%

Saturated Fat 0.2g1%

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1g

Monounsaturated Fat 2g

Sodium 215mg9%

Potassium 11mg0%

Carbohydrates 11g4%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 1g1%

Protein 4g8%

Vitamin A 70IU1%

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 0.003mg0%

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 0.002mg0%

Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 0.02mg0%

Vitamin B6 0.01mg1%

Vitamin C 1mg1%

Vitamin E 1mg7%

Vitamin K 1µg1%

Calcium 11mg1%

Vitamin B9 (Folate) 1µg0%

Iron 1mg6%

Magnesium 2mg1%

Phosphorus 2mg0%

Zinc 0.02mg0%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Moong Dal Chilla recipe post from the archives first published in July 2016 has been republished and updated on 6 July 2022.


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