Friday, May 20, 2011

mung ke cheeley or mung ka cheela, the way they make in UP ....


Food can be nostalgia inducing . Very much so. Sometimes people stop eating their favorite foods when an unpleasant experience gets attached with it. Even when the most pleasant memories are attached with a particular food , you can feel like not having it again as the memories it brings can be pain inducing . This mung ka cheela has been one such recipe ...a cheela is a savory crepe to make you acquainted with this term.

A couple of weeks back i was at a wedding party ( In Lucknow) and mung ka cheela was being served as a part of a huge range of appetizers . I told an Oriya friend of mine to take her kids to that counter as kids like it very much . They had tasted this mung ka cheela for the first time and this friend was intrigued enough to ask me how did i know that her kids would love it more than the other fancier and exotic looking things around ....

The reason why i knew it was ... Mithi loved it too . I remembered the time when other kids used to play with Mithi and this mung ka cheela used to be a hot favorite with all of them. Probably it is the mildly favored , slightly chewy nature of this cheela that kids find great to munch on. Not that we adults find it like baby food. It is a great breakfast dish , but more popular as an appetizer in wedding parties i guess . The rolled up cheela sliced in 2 - 3 small portions seems to be very popular as i have witnessed . I am talking about the wedding parties in UP .


So i didn't make this particular cheela for a long time . Some 8 years to be precise . The time since Mithi stopped taking solid food . And i never felt like cooking her favorite foods. When i saw these small kids enjoying this cheela , I realy felt good and when we came back home i soaked mung daal and made cheelas with freshly made paneer . Nostalgic i was , but in a good way . Now that her proud momma has learned to remember her good healthy days with a smile , the nostalgia is good. This cheela is exactly like Mithi liked it....minus the green chilies...Pictures are night time clicks as we had it for a dinner that day...


The cheela feels complex by it's looks but actually gets ready within 30 minutes at leisurely pace...when you start from soaked mung daal and cold skimmed milk from the fridge ...enjoying the process while making it.

ingredients...

skimmed milk 500 ml
2-3 tsp of white synthetic vinegar or lemon juice to curdle the milk
soaked mung daal withou skin 2 cups
turmeric powder (optional) 1 tsp
chopped onions 3/4 cup
chopped green chillies as per taste
salt to taste
black pepper powder 1 tsp for the stuffing
ghee to make the cheelas 1 tsp per cheela


preparation....

Heat the milk in a saucepan and grind the soaked mung daal while the milk comes to boiling temperature.

Mung daal paste is quick to make as the daal is quite soft , add salt to taste and turmeric if using...adjust consistency to make thin pancakes or crepes.

Add the vinegar or lemon juice as soon as the milk reaches boiling temperature . Slowly adding the curdling agent helps in getting softer paneer or chhenna as it is called in some parts of UP . Strain the curdled milk as soon as you see the clear whey separating from the curdled milk .The solid part is panner , also called cottage cheese. The whey can be used to knead chapati dough .

Add chopped onions, green chillies , salt and pepper to the paneer and mash to make a soft crumbly mixture .
Make thin crepes on hot griddle using very little ghee , it is usually cooked on one side as mung daal cooks quickly . Other side can be cooked if you feel like .
Spread the mixture over the crepe like this..


Then fold the sides overlapping each other , pressing to flatten the rolled up cheela so the paneer stuffing sticks well to the moist inner layer of cheela....

Serve hot with any chutney of your choice , it was a garlic and tomatoes cooked chutney for us this time . A green coriander chutney goes well with it too . The cheela can be roasted deep brown or light brown as in the picture...


The browning has little difference on the final taste , browned ones are crispier though . But both get soft when cool and taste equally good at room temperature too and that makes it a good tiffin box option too.Those who are avoiding or minimizing carbohydrates in their diet , will find this recipe great.

Mithi used to like this cheela any time of the day and it was a great distraction for her too. I could keep her occupied by giving her this cheela broken into small bits ( sometimes little paneer with just salt as a stuffing and sometimes plain cheela) as she used to pick up every bit with care using her thumb and index finger ...putting the bits in her mouth immaculately...neatly . Those are happy memories ...


Make this cheela if you haven't had it already and let me know if it becomes your favorite....I made another version with tofu and i am sure you would like that too...

Note : some readers have indicated that this mung ka cheela could be similar to Andhra pesarettu . I have posted pesarttu earlier. The only similarity between this cheela (crepe) and pesarettu is the ingredient mung daal , but the similarity ends there . This is an interesting example of how an ingredient behaves differently in it's different forms . In pesarettu , the mung daal used is with skin and the texture and taste of the dosa is very different . Here the husked mung results into a mild flavor and an almost glutinous texture . I have indicated that the roll sticks by itself and stays in shape , that is because if the slightly sticky nature of the mung crepe here. The flavor of the yellow mung is so delicate that another version of mung ka cheela , which includes some seasoning in the batter, tastes very different from this one.


27 comments:

  1. Absolutely love cheela, thanks for this yummy filling. I will try it out :)

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  2. sounds very much like the andhra pesarattu :)..the filling looks yum!

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  3. I wish you could make me breakfast, or dinner, or lunch.

    Thanks for sharing your words of comfort, sis.

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  4. Hey Sangeeta,
    I appreciate the fact that u have such vast inner strength ...it's truly a learning.....
    Chillas with chenna filling must be a great combo as both are soft, must be like biting and chewing on a piece of cloud :P

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  5. Thanks Priya , do let me know if you like it.

    @ Sudha...it is not like the pesarettu in any way . I have added a note to the end of the recipe to explain that. Thanks for indicating that.

    @ Cynthia...thank you sis. Your words made me smile.

    @ Suparna...thanks darling . Yes i know i have immense inner strength , but this is like a learning process . The more you feel week the more you equip yourself with the virtue called strength . Thanks for the sweet words.

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  6. thanks sangeetha...i looked at different recipes after seeing your post and understood that...and thank you for the footnote :)

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  7. Havent had breakfast, can I have one of these please ;-)? Am feeling hungry and this is making me all the more hungry.......

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  8. Hello...cheela looks lovely! I have a set of awards waiting for u at my space. Would you please come over and collect? :-)

    regards
    Sharada

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  9. Pull off one anonymous ...being anonymous doesn't help much :)

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  10. THis i think i can make .. looks easy :)
    sat-sun two days off hmmm yummy why is friday not going fast enough ...


    Bikram's

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  11. It's really easy Bikram ...get going :)

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  12. @Sangeeta: LOL :D, As Shakespeare once said, "What's in a name?" ;-), people who matter know me and my name and am happy in my world :)
    - Yours truly, you know who :).

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  13. @ anonymous .... lol...i wish Shakespeare was a foodie , he would have never said this name thing ever :)

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  14. Moong dal cheela will always remain special for me now.

    Loved the simple and easy to make recipe.

    And LOL @ wishing Shakespeare was a foodie :) But why could he not say, "Moong Dal cheela with any other name will taste as great" :) ?

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  15. @ IHM...mung daal cheela would be as tasty by any other name but imagine it being called as 'that yellow roll with white filling' ..as my husband used to say 'that yellow sponge like dish you make' (dhokla)...names are important when you are a foodie:)

    Mint being called a green puckered leaf will be unappetizing for me...

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  16. @Sangeeta, LOL :D, Who knows, may be Shakespeare was a foodie ;-), if he were to be one unfortunately he was born in a country where they don't have these many choices......;-)

    I couldn't stop myself from making this "yellow roll with white filling" with green puckered leaves and green zig-zag leaves (coriander) for breakfast today, and we loved it... Paneer was also homemade, and other paneer (including amul) doesn't come anywhere close to it.... And,making paneer at home was easy too, thanks to your tips :).

    Btw, just remembered that had seen a similar stuffed cheela recipe on Sanjeev Kapoor show with the same filling, but the cheela was made of sprouted green moong..... Am sure that must be inspired from this recipe, as Sanjeev Kapoor was in Banaras aka Varanasi for some time in early years of his career :).

    wah-wah banaras....... An anonymous banarasi ;-)

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  17. Yes Anonymous...homemade paneer lifts up anything it is used in.

    So that man who killed his characters could be a foodie too . But he was definitely not good with names as i find his characters having names unpronounceable for me ;)

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  18. :):) @ your Oriya friend's incredulity about how could you know what her kids would relish.She really must have been foxed :)

    I am so glad that you made this cheela and it brought to you sweet memories of Mithi. You have a strong desire to be strong and an even more intense desire to be able to remember Mithi with a smile. And I am watching you going from strength to strength.

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  19. Yes.. Thank you Amrita....for understanding and for being there. You know it all :)

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  20. Sangeeta - I love these cheelay - I first had them in Chawri Bazaar (where else?) and have been on the lookout for a recipe. How long do you soak the moong dal for? Also - do you have a 'share on twitter' button - can't see it

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  21. @ Pamella...I never knew these cheelas are available in Delhi too . Let's plan and have it one more time :)

    Mung daal soaks easily and 2 hrs time is enough . Soaking overnight works nicely too as this was done back home. Later on i observed that 2 hrs time is enough.

    The twitter and share button is on the left top of this page...

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  22. That looks very appetising - generally make besan cheelas as moong daal ones sounded rather hard...but, this doesn't look bad - will give it a go...

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  23. @ Bakingdevils ...Thank you and welcome to Banaras ka khana .

    These are very simple to make , actually the time taken to make a besan batter is equal tot he time taken to make mung paste in the mixie ...so take my word for the ease factor.

    Do let me know when you try this.

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  24. how interesting these are! Im yet to try mung ke chele though Ive heard so much about how good and nutritious they are! Thanks for the recipe

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  25. tis is my mom favs will prepare for her when i meet her next

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  26. sangeeta... ur such a strong woman makes me proud to know you, what a lovely way to keep ur daughter with you always by remembering her favourite foods, we mothers like that dont we? i have never made chillas ever (only the green south indian version) and now i will and wl let you know how nayantara liked it.

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  27. Thanks Rajani ...Love to Nayantara . I quote her so many times when someone picks his nose at broccoli :)

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