Palak Chilla

// Palak Chilla or Spinach Cheela, is a very popular, delicious, and nutritious Indian breakfast or snack dish. Vegan and gluten-free.



Palak Chilla, also known as Spinach Cheela, is a very popular, delicious, and nutritious Indian breakfast or snack dish. Prepared using fresh vibrant spinach, aromatic spices, and chickpea flour, this Indian-style savory pancake is a treat for the eyes and taste buds.

This vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free breakfast recipe comes together in just 15 minutes. Not only is it super tempting and scrumptious, but it is also a versatile choice for a wholesome breakfast, a tea time snack, or even a light lunch or dinner.

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a plate of palak chilla aka spinach cheela with a side of sauces

Whether you are into a healthy diet or simply looking for a quick and flavorful meal, this Palak Chilla or Spinach Chilla perfectly fits the bill.

On this page, you will get a step-by-step picture and video recipe on How to make the Best Palak Chilla recipe or Spinach Chilla recipe at home.

About Palak Chilla

Indian Palak Chilla recipe or Spinach Cheela is an Indian-style savory omelet recipe known for its exotic taste, simplicity, and nutritional profile.

It is inherently gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian due to the use of chickpea flour, vegetables like fresh spinach, onion, ginger-garlic, green chilies, and aromatic spices.

Chilla is one of the biggest favorites for breakfast in the Northern part of India and is often referred to as a vegetarian omelet. The great thing about chilla is that you can make adaptations and go with any vegetables or spices of your choice.

This instant palak besan chilla is a super simple easy-to-follow recipe with a burst of tastes and textures in every bite. The ease of making this palak cheela recipe makes it a favorite go-to weekday breakfast choice for both novice cooks and professional chefs alike.

The base of this easy palak chilla recipe is crafted from a mix of freshly chopped spinach puree, complemented by the nutty taste of besan aka chickpea flour, distinct flavors of garlic, onion, and a medley of spices.

Chickpea flour not only tastes good and binds everything, but it also adds a gluten-free dimension to the final dish.

For a nutritional boost and an extra burst of flavor, I like to add finely chopped spinach into the batter when preparing Spinach Cheelas. However, you can also use spinach puree for making this palak cheela.

Known for its gluten-free nature and high protein content, this high-protein vegetarian recipe is not only wonderful for breakfast; it also serves as an excellent option for an evening snack or a nourishing lunch box meal.

Whether you serve it in the morning, as a midday snack, or pack it into a lunch box, palak cheelas always taste delightful and satisfying.

a wooden plate of palak cheela that is on a table

This Palak Chilla

✓ is super quick and easy to make

✓ is perfect for busy mornings

✓ needs only a few basic ingredients

✓ is a rich source of protein & iron

✓ gets done in under 20 minutes

✓ is wholesome and nutrient-packed

✓ promotes a healthy lifestyle

✓ is ideal for a time-efficient meal

✓ is loaded with fresh spinach

✓ is a nutritional powerhouse

✓ can also be served at get-togethers

✓ can be customized to your taste glands

✓ can also be paired with a meal of dal and rice

✓ is vegan, Vegetarian, and gluten-free

✓ is ideal for breakfast, snack, or even lunch

Ingredients

Fresh Spinach Leaves: This is the main ingredient of this healthy palak chilla recipe. I like to use freshly chopped spinach leaves for a balanced meal and exquisite taste. You can also use blanched or frozen spinach leaves here.

Spinach puree can also be used in this recipe. When using spinach puree, make sure that you don’t add any water.

Chickpea Flour (Besan): Chickpea flour, gram flour, or besan is the second main ingredient of this chilla recipe. It creates the base for chilla while giving it thickness and a nutty flavor. Also, it makes it a gluten-free Palak Chilla recipe.

Ginger-garlic: I have used minced ginger and garlic for pungency and an aromatic touch. You can also use homemade or store-bought ginger-garlic paste in this recipe.

Other Vegetables: In this spinach cheela recipe, I have used chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, and chopped green chilies.

Oil/Ghee: For cooking chilla, you can either use any vegetable oil or ghee. If you are on a vegan diet, make sure that you only use oil for cooking chilla.

Spices: I have used an array of spices to make this chilla recipe taste mouth-wateringly good. The spices I have added to the chilla batter are cumin seeds, carom seeds, turmeric, red chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, and salt to taste.

plate of palak chilla aka spinach chilla with some sauces and a candle in background

Variations of Palak Chilla - Spinach Cheela

Moong Palak Chilla:

Moong dal and spinach are a lovely combination. If you like dal palak, moong dal palak idli, then you can try making moong palak chilla. To make this variation, swap water and besan with green moong dal batter. To make green moong dal batter, simply soak green moong dal for about 4 hours and then blend to make a smooth puree using a bit of water and use this batter as the chilla base. The rest of the ingredients and procedure will be the same.

Oats Spinach Chilla:

Love enjoying oats in savory dishes like oats green paratha or oats rava dhokla? Then why not make Oats Spinach Chilla by swapping chickpea flour with oats flour. Oats add a nutritious twist to this chilla recipe.

Palak Rava Chilla: 

In this version, replace the chickpea flour with rava, suji aka semolina. You can also add about 1/4 cup of regular or dairy-free yogurt to this chilla recipe.

Blended Spinach Chilla:

In this variation, you need to replace freshly chopped spinach with spinach puree and also make sure that spinach puree is the only liquid you are using in this high-protein chilla recipe.

Palak Chilla Roll:

You can use this chilla to make a wrap or chilla roll. Simply fill up the chilla with your favorite fillings like sautéed veggies, or jeera aloo, and your portable snack or on-the-go meal is ready.

Storage Suggestions

This Spinach Chilla stays fresh for up to 3-4 days when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Simply store the leftovers and reheat them either on a stovetop pan or in a microwave.

I personally like to reheat it over medium-low heat in a pan; this reheating brings back the crispness of chilla.

Freezing

This spinach chilla is freezer-friendly. To freeze, simply wrap each chilla in plastic wrap and transfer it to a freezer-safe container or a ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months.

When you want to serve, simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat with a bit of oil for a quick and delicious meal.

someone holding a palak chilla or spinach cheela in their hands over a table

Serving Suggestions

Palak Cheela can be served for breakfast or as a snack along with green coriander chutney, lehsun ki chutney, or a simple ketchup and a cup of hot caramel chai, kesar chai, or masala chai

You can also serve it as part of an Indian thali (platter) along with Indian dishes like garlic naan, tandoori garlic roti, paneer korma, amritsari chole, or rice dishes like paneer pulao, mushroom pulao, or matar pulao.

I personally love to have hot palak chilla with some fruit raita. You can go for mango raita, pineapple raita, kiwi raita, pomegranate raita, or any other raita of your choice for a refreshing contrast.

a plate of palak chilla aka spinach cheela with fresh spinach and a bowl of sauce

Professional tips & tricks to make the best Palak Chilla - Spinach Cheela

  1. Fresh Ingredients: This recipe uses gram flour aka chickpea flour and spinach leaves. For the best flavors, it is advised to use fresh spinach leaves and fresh chickpea flour (besan) as stale flour may ruin the taste and texture of this chilla recipe.

  2. Nuts: For a rich nutty texture and flavor, you can also add a handful of coarsely powdered almonds or cashews.

  3. Blending: I have used freshly chopped spinach, but you can also use blended spinach puree for a greener touch.

  4. Medium Heat: For evenly cooked chillas and crisp chillas, it is best to keep the heat at medium.

  5. Sautéing: Instead of adding chopped spinach leaves, you can also sauté spinach leaves with a bit of garlic for a different flavor and taste.

  6. Mix Veg: I have only added spinach leaves here, but you can also make this spinach chilla recipe using chopped mix veg. A variety of seasonal veggies add a hint of color, texture, and flavor.

  7. Customize: Feel free to adjust the spice level according to your spice tolerance. You can also swap the spices with any other seasoning of your choice.

  8. Asafetida: If you are using asafetida, then make sure that you use a gluten-free variety of asafetida (hing) to make this palak chilla recipe gluten-free.

some spinach cheelas or palak chillas on a plate with sauces and dips

FAQ

Is Palak Chilla gluten-free?

Yes, Palak Chilla is certainly gluten-free. When using asafetida, ensure that you are using a gluten-free blend. Also, check all the spice labels for assurance.

Is Palak Chilla spicy?

It is a mildly spicy chilla recipe. The great thing about this chilla is that you can easily customize the spice levels according to your spice tolerance.

Can I make Palak Chilla in advance?

Yes, preparing this chilla recipe ahead of time is possible. It is a lovely option when you’re meal prepping or making it for parties. Simply make the cheelas, let them cool, and store them in a kitchen tissue-lined airtight container.

Just reheat them before serving, and your meal is ready in no time.

Can I make Palak Chilla with nuts?

Traditional recipes don’t have any nuts. However, there is no harm in adding nuts. So feel free to add any nuts of your choice to make it nutty and rich.

How long does it take to make Palak Chilla?

Making Palak Chilla is a quick process, making it an ideal meal option for busy mornings. The whole batch takes about 30 minutes from start to finish.

What vegetables can I add to Palak Chilla?

Yes, you can add any vegetables of your choice to this palak chilla recipe. The veggies that taste good in this spinach cheela are potatoes, carrots, beans, green peas, or corn.


Palak Chilla (Step-by-step photo instructions)

Prepare Palak Chilla - Spinach Cheela Batter

  1. Finely chop 400 grams of palak/spinach and add it to a mixing bowl. Set it aside. Peel and roughly slice the ginger. Peel and finely chop the onion. Also, chop the large tomato and set them aside. Roughly chop the green chili and peel the garlic cloves. Add green chilies, garlic cloves, and ginger to a mortar and make a coarse paste. Alternatively, use finely chopped green chili and 1.5 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-1 for Palak Chilla
  3. In a bowl, add the finely chopped tomatoes, finely chopped onions, crushed ginger-garlic-green chili, and all the spices: turmeric powder, red chili powder, black pepper powder, garam masala powder, cumin seeds, carom seeds, and salt as per taste. Mix everything using hands while mashing spinach and veggies to release the liquid from the vegetables. Once mixed, gradually add chickpea flour (besan) and keep mixing. After mixing, add water to adjust consistency and make a pourable batter. Mix everything well, and lastly, add 1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida (hing). Mix again.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-1-2 for Palak Chilla

How to Make Palak Chilla

  1. Heat a pan and spray or brush it with a few drops of cooking oil. Pour a ladleful of the prepared palak chilla batter onto the hot pan and spread it evenly to form a thin layer. Spray the top layer with some more oil. Cover the pan with the lid and cook on medium heat until the edges start turning golden brown. Flip the chilla and cook the other side until both sides are golden brown and well-cooked. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
  2. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-1 for Palak Chilla
  3. Serve the Palak Chilla hot with your favorite chutney or dip. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious Palak Chilla.
  4. Image of the recipe cooking step-2-2 for Palak Chilla

Recipe Card


Palak Chilla [Recipe]

Recipe Image
Palak Chilla or Spinach Cheela, is a very popular, delicious, and nutritious Indian breakfast or snack dish. Vegan and gluten-free.
★★★★★
(Rating: 5 from 4 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
25 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Breakfast Indian 8
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
125 calories 1 Chilla

INGREDIENTS

For Palak Chilla
  • 400 grams fresh spinach, rinsed
  • 1 large-sized onion
  • 1 large-sized tomato
  • 1 green chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2-inch piece of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon carom seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1.5 cups gram flour (Besan)
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
  • Water, as required
  • 2-3 tablespoons cooking oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

Prepare Palak Chilla - Spinach Cheela Batter
  1. Finely chop 400 grams of palak/spinach and add it to a mixing bowl. Set it aside. Peel and roughly slice the ginger. Peel and finely chop the onion. Also, chop the large tomato and set them aside. Roughly chop the green chili and peel the garlic cloves. Add green chilies, garlic cloves, and ginger to a mortar and make a coarse paste. Alternatively, use finely chopped green chili and 1.5 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste.
  2. In a bowl, add the finely chopped tomatoes, finely chopped onions, crushed ginger-garlic-green chili, and all the spices: turmeric powder, red chili powder, black pepper powder, garam masala powder, cumin seeds, carom seeds, and salt as per taste. Mix everything using hands while mashing spinach and veggies to release the liquid from the vegetables. Once mixed, gradually add chickpea flour (besan) and keep mixing. After mixing, add water to adjust consistency and make a pourable batter. Mix everything well, and lastly, add 1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida (hing). Mix again.
How to Make Palak Chilla
  1. Heat a pan and spray or brush it with a few drops of cooking oil. Pour a ladleful of the prepared palak chilla batter onto the hot pan and spread it evenly to form a thin layer. Spray the top layer with some more oil. Cover the pan with the lid and cook on medium heat until the edges start turning golden brown. Flip the chilla and cook the other side until both sides are golden brown and well-cooked. Repeat the process with the remaining batter.
  2. Serve the Palak Chilla hot with your favorite chutney or dip. Enjoy your delicious and nutritious Palak Chilla.

WATCH RECIPE VIDEO: Click the play button and video will load ...


NOTES:

  1. For evenly cooked chillas and crisp chillas, it is best to keep the heat at medium.
  2. For a rich nutty texture and flavor, you can also add a handful of coarsely powdered almonds or cashews.
  3. I have only added spinach leaves here, but you can also make this spinach chilla recipe using chopped mix veg. A variety of seasonal veggies add a hint of color, texture, and flavor.
  4. I have used freshly chopped spinach, but you can also use blended spinach puree for a greener touch.


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