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 .
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
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..
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...
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.