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Recipes | Three Easy and Healthy Indian Breakfast Treats – Let there be Art

1 February 2013 23 Comments

Healthy breakfast recipes

Creativity has no boundaries and is best expressed when the mind is free and the world is your canvas to work upon. For the last couple of days South Indian cinema and politics is abuzz with a certain ban on the release of a Tamil movie. Though I don’t follow the happenings from the field of cinema or politics much, but this one caught my eyes. People in the shops, morning walkers, school children, my maid and not to forget the screaming TV channel anchors, everyone seems to be worried about the freedom of expression overnight.

I feel that the equation of freedom to express has to face several twists in a democratic country, wherein it is the birth right of every citizen. If one is free to express his feelings through art then the other has all the rights to oppose the same if he feels hurt. In such situations it would be prudent for any creative person to work within the limits of their boundaries and play safe, until the mind set of common people towards art change, me think.

Anyways, hope both the sides resolve the issue amicably soon and the freedom of an artist to express art without any boundaries or political pressure is restored and also the powers of politicians to bring in peace and justice are appreciated.

Its weekend again, time to look forward to some comfort foods for that cozy happy family meal. Here are a few breakfast ideas I restore to when the family shouts the slogan ‘Yaay, no more oats, ’cause its weekend’. The recipes are easy, quick, needs little time to cook and is a welcome treat if you are bored of bread, butter & jam in your breakfast.

The savory pancakes called Cheela is quite popular snack in Rajasthan, India and is normally made with just chickpea flour as the star ingredient to which grated veggies are added for crunch. Bread pakoras is a road side snack in many parts of India, deep fried in oil this recipe makes a wonderful breakfast treat for early office goers. Adai or lentil pancakes is a South Indian delicacy I learned from my MIL.

1. Savory Raw Banana Pancakes or ‘Cheela’


Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free


  • 1 cup grated raw banana
  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp. yogurt/curd
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garam Masala (optional)
  • Salt as desired
  • Water as required
  • Oil for shallow frying

Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free

Method; Peel and grate banana in a bowl filled with 1 tbsp. yogurt/curd. Mix it well, curd will help stop browning of grated banana.

Add chickpea flour (besan), chopped green chilies, turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and chopped coriander leaves in the above mix. Keep pouring a  little water and stir all the ingredients well to make batter of free flowing consistency.

Heat a griddle or Tawa, pour a ladle of batter and drizzle a teaspoon of oil around it. Cook it for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Flip the side and repeat the same.

Serve these healthy savory banana pancakes with tomato sauce or green chutney at Tea time or for a refreshing breakfast.

Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free

Raw banana Pancakes

2. Peppery Lentil Pancakes or ‘Adai’   

Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free


  • 1 cup white or brown rice
  • 1/4 cup whole Black gram
  • 1/4 cup Bengal gram
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorn
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Salt as desired
  • Water to make thick batter
  • Oil for shallow frying


Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free

Method; Wash and soak rice, whole black gram (Urad dal) and Bengal gram (channa dal) in water for 2 hours.

Crush coarsely black peppercorn and cumin in a pestle and mortar.

Drain water from soaked rice and gram. Add drained rice and gram in a grinder pour about 1/4 cup of water and grind to make a smooth batter.

Take out the batter in a bowl, add salt, crushed peppercorn, cumin and mix well.

Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free

Lentil Pancakes or Adai

Heat a griddle or non-stick tawa and pour a ladle of batter. Drizzle 1/2 tsp. of vegetable oil and let it cook for a minute. Flip the pancake and repeat the same till it becomes golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with any chutney, tomato sauce or with just a blob of fresh butter for a filling and delicious breakfast.

3. Spicy Indian French toast or ‘Bread Pakoras’


Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free


(serve 3)

  • 6 Bread slices
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp. yogurt/curd
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 onion
  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Salt as desired
  • Oil for shallow frying


  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Ajwain or carom seeds
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper powder

Method; Peel and chop onion in very fine pieces. Pluck coriander leaves from the stalk, wash and chop them finely. Chop green chilies.

Take a large bowl add chickpea four (besan), turmeric powder, Ajwain (carom seeds), salt, yogurt/curd, water and mix well to make a thin batter.

Slice bread into triangles or small rectangles.

Take a shallow plate and add chopped onion, coriander leaves, green chillies, a pinch of salt and mix well.

Heat a griddle rr flat tawa.

Take a sliced bread and dip into the chickpea flour and yogurt batter. Place the bread slice on the griddle, add a teaspoon of chopped onion mix over it. Repeat the same with a few more slices and place them on the griddle.

Drizzle a teaspoon of oil around the bread slices and let them cook for a few minute on medium heat. Flip all the bread slices, drizzle a tsp. of oil and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

Take out the bread slices, sprinkle a little of black pepper power and cumin powder on each slice. Serve hot with tea or coffee.

Healthy breakfast recipes, vegetarian and egg free

Try these savory Zucchini Pancakes posted on Lite Bite long back. These bread pakoras could be baked in an oven or electric Tandoor also.


  1. You can avoid Ajwain (carom seeds) in the Bread Pakora recipe if you can’t get it.
  2. Skip onion in the 3rd recipe if you wish.
  3. The 3rd recipe of Bread pakora use less of chickpea flour as the bread slices are shallow fried here unlike the traditional deep fried ones.
  4. If you add extra chickpea flour to the batter and coat the bread heavily with it, the slices will not get cooked properly and will become soggy soon.
  5. You could add finely chopped onion in all the three recipes if you wish so.
  6. I use par boiled rice in the recipe to make the Lentil pancakes.
  7. Add any green (spinach/fenugreek/mint/amaranth) leaves in any of the above recipes to make it more nutritive.
  8. Dried herbs such as oregano, rosemary, thyme gives a wonderful flavor and aromatic twist to 1st and 3rd recipe above.


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  • dassana said:

    except the adai which i make occasionally,the bread pakoras and chillas are made quite often. adding raw banana to the chilla is such a novel & healthy idea 🙂
    dassana recently posted..strawberry almond milkshakeMy Profile

  • Kalpana said:

    Wow those bread pakoras look crunchy n yum. Can I use lemon juice instead of yogurt?

  • Pratiba Bhat said:

    Stunning shots. And this recipe is new to me. Bread + chikpea flour + curd. Interesting.

  • Terra said:

    You always share such unique, gorgeous recipes! I love the idea of a raw banana pancake, but i adore a peppery pancake for breakfast! All three recipes sound so delicious, and your photos are beautiful! Hugs, Terra

  • Raji said:

    Loving all the three pancakes..but the cheela would be my favourite..very healthy and yum to start the day. Thanks for sharing these Sanjeeta.

  • Rumana said:

    Very yummy recipe…

  • Arch said:

    I made moong dal cheela today, but never knew about the raw banana bit. Those bread pakodas look amazing ! Its been a decade since I’ve eaten those. Awesome pics as always, you make the most humble dishes look so glam !

  • uma said:

    banana chila is an innovative idea.. makes for a quite healthy breakfast.
    uma recently posted..Instant Oats IdliMy Profile

  • Priya said:

    Beautiful dishes, healthy and totally irresistible.

  • Anamika | madcookingfusions said:

    lovely recipe and grt pics… too tempting, I have never tried banana chila..grt idea for healthy eating!
    Anamika | madcookingfusions recently posted..How to make a South Indian Filter Coffee ~ Filter KaapiMy Profile

  • chinmayie @ love food eat said:

    Never knew raw bananas could be used in pancakes! Must try that soon 🙂
    chinmayie @ love food eat recently posted..Finger Millet Flakes for Breakfast – 3 Ways (Sweet & Savory)My Profile

  • Rakesh said:

    Sanjeeta, you write about soulful food. Simple food that i life to eat and make for my family. You have a beautiful sense of aesthetics. and the food looks stunning and oh so simple.

    Thank you for sharing these with us.

  • mjskit said:

    First of all – I agree and support your views on freedom of expression and art. Such battles come up every once in a while here in the states with books, movies and art (paintings/photography, etc). It’s scary sometimes when it seems the banning of it is getting a significant amount of support. Nice comments! All three of these breakfasts are wonderful but I’m especially drawn to the French toast. Bobby and I both love it, but have never had one like this. Ours is more sweet whereas yours is more savory. This would make a wonderful Sunday brunch or dinner! Gorgeous pictures as always my friend!
    mjskit recently posted..Sauteed Mushrooms with Onion and SpiceMy Profile

  • rebecca said:

    great recipes as always the bread pakora is fun and fascinating about the movie my sis in law has recently seen it in the UK curious to see it too now
    rebecca recently posted..South Indian filter coffeeMy Profile

  • lakshmi said:

    Made the bread pakoras today for snack. wow!!! it came out awesome. Thanks Sanjeeta for posting a simple and excellent recipe.

  • Lilly Sue said:

    These look like some healthy but delicious breakfast items! The banana pancakes have a beautiful color 🙂
    Lilly Sue recently posted..Be RenegadeMy Profile

  • Rit said:

    last one “bread pakora” is really easy and tasty…
    and fav too,
    but i use to eat brown bread pakora instead and a pinch of honey over it…
    i dnt know bt it taste good to me

  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Rit, Brown bread pakoras topped with Honey! Sounds yum…will give a try.

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    I’m craving everything here — love my mom in law’s chila recipe. She uses suji 🙂
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Brunching, tapas styleMy Profile

  • Mallika said:

    Beautiful breakfast recipes! I love to make each of these through the week. Besan Chila is a common at my place too, so is bread pakora. Your’s look tempting!
    Mallika recently posted..Coconut cream, Vanilla Bean & Roasted Almond Ice creamMy Profile

  • Susan Deborah said:

    Dear Sanjeeta:

    I made those bread pakoras today for breakfast and they are so yummm. Thanks a ton for sharing this, dear Sanjeeta.

    Joy always,

  • sudha said:

    Dear sanjeetha ji,

    Iam follower of ur site ur are awesome .Tried ur lentil pancakes was too good . My worry is that i dint get exactly how u have did it ,which rice should i use for this (raw /parboiled rice),kindly clarify .thanks in advance.


  • sanjeeta kk (author) said:

    @Sudha, Thanks. I use par boil rice for the Lentil pancakes. Check the Notes in the end of the post. Hope this helps.

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