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Cheela: Indian Protein Pancake Perfect for Pitta Savory Ayurvedic Breakfast.

Updated: Apr 29

Easy to prepare, this nourishing, satisfying, protein packed dish is a great way to start your day and to keep Pitta balanced and avoid the hangry. Pitta wakes up hungry and ready to go and this meal is food as medicine!

plate of cheela, Indian protein pancakes

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Cheela means pancake and besan is Hindi for gram flour also known by several other names.

Besan also known as chickpea flour or garbanzo flour, is rich in vitamin and minerals. According to Bobs' Red Mill, "Garbanzo beans are loaded with protein and dietary fiber and are a good sources or iron. Garbanzo flour‚ also known as gram flour, chickpea powder and cici bean flour‚ is popular in Middle Eastern and Indian cooking and baking....Use garbanzo bean flour to replace up to 25% of the flour in your baking to increase protein and fiber."

Besan Cheela is easy to prepare, requires no preparation, and it tastes so good. Cheela Indian Protein Pancake is Perfect for Pitta Savory Breakfasts and it's great for afternoon snacks, or evening meals.

plate of cheela, Indian protein pancakes with cilantro coconut chutney

Cheela: Indian Protein Pancake Perfect for Pitta Savory Ayurvedic Breakfast.


  • 1 cup besan flour

  • 1 small purple onion finely chopped

  • ½ teaspoon ajwain seed

  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • ¼ teaspoon Red Alaea Hawaiian Salt (or other good quality salt)

  • Good sized bunch of fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped

  • ½ inch ginger root finely grated (approximately 1 teaspoon)

  • ¼–½ cup water

wood bowl with chickpea or besan flour


  • Add one cup besan flour, turmeric, ajwain, and a little salt to a mixing bowl.

  • Mix together well.

  • Add onion and ginger, coriander leaves and about 3/4 cup of water.

  • Mix together well.

  • The batter should be thick, but still pourable.

  • Add more water if needed.

  • If the batter is too thick, the cheela will not cook correctly and that will feel not at all good in the stomach.

  • Heat the griddle or pan. If the surface is not no-stick, add a few drops of oil.

  • When the pan is hot, ladle in the batter to the center.

  • Using the ladle, spread the batter out as thin as possible. (Think: crepe)

  • Drizzle with 1/2-3/4 teaspoon ghee or oil.

  • In a couple of minutes, the edges will contact from the pan.

  • Now, it's time to flip the cheela and press down on it with a spatula to flatten it thin so it cooks through well.

  • When the cheela gets freckles (brown spots) it's time to remove it from the pan.

  • For soft cheela, cover it right away.

  • Options: You can add finely grated carrot and/or baby spinach to the batter.

cilantro coconut chutney

Cheela: Indian Protein Pancake Perfect for Pitta Savory Ayurvedic Breakfast. It's as easy as it is delicious.

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There is a saying, "The mind is more in the body, than the body is in the mind." The Saumya 3 step meditation process shifts us from fight-flight-freeze mode, to rest-restore-relax mode. Give it a try for forty days and observe the changes. The more grounded and relaxed we are, the smoother life flows.

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Veenat at Saumya Ayurveda

Veena is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and meditation teacher, and monk.

She is President Emeritus and teaching faculty of the Meditation Center.

Veena fell in love with the traditional medicine used in her family’s home, learning herbal remedies at her grandmother's knee.

These childhood experiences were the seeds of a lifelong passion. For over 30 years, Veena has dedicated her life to the world’s oldest healing system: Ayurveda.

She draws on this ancient wisdom to help others find their compass to a healthy life – and support those left wanting by Western medicine.

An experienced Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Veena’s deep, intuitive knowledge of Ayurveda empowers her clients to reclaim their fullest, most vibrant lives –mentally, physically, and spiritually. Veena individualizes treatment plans to each person, rather than offering a one-size-fits-all approach, so it fits your life and becomes woven in your lifestyle, naturally.


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