Onion Chila (An Indian Flat Bread)

I love my paranthas during winters. Especially with a raita and a pickle. But we very soon run out of ideas on what kind of paranthas to make. I suppose I am difficult to please. I was discussing the menu for the following day when Hari suggested a potato or radish parantha. I told him that I wanted something different. That’s when Manoj suggested this chila. It sounded intriguing. I immediately requested him to prepare the dish for breakfast the next day, served with a raita. I was not expecting anything spectacular. Imagine my surprise, therefore, when he served it to me. To say that it tasted good is a huge disservice to both the chila and Manoj’s cooking skills. I will leave it to you to discover how good this dish tastes.

Onion Chila

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup chickpea flour (besan, kadalai mavu)
200 gms spring onions, both green and white chopped really fine
1″ piece ginger, crushed
2 tbsp coriander seeds (sabut dhania, kothamalli varai), roasted
5 garlic cloves, roasted
4 black pepper corns, roasted
1 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 1/2 tsp red chili powder
2 cups water
Salt to taste
Roast coriander seeds, garlic cloves, black pepper corns and cumin seeds together
Transfer to a pestle/mortar
Add ginger and grind coarsely
This is the masala
Set aside
Mix the whole wheat flour and chickpea flour
Knead, in water, to a loose dough, slightly stiffer than pouring consistency but ‘spreadable’
Add the ground masala, turmeric powder, salt and chili powder to the dough
Mix in the spring onions
Set aside
Heat a griddle
Scoop a ladle of the dough and pour in the centre of the griddle
Using the back of the ladle, spread the dough out evenly and as thinly as possible
Ensure that the flame is set on medium
Cook one side and then flip over
When there are brown spots on both sides of the chila (flat bread), transfer to a casserole
Repeat for the remaining dough
Serve hot with any chutney of your choice or a raita

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Henrietta says:

    I just happened upon your site so this is my first time visiting and I have a question. Why at the bottom of this page does it say it’s gluten-free when you’re using whole wheat? What would be the gluten-free substitute for this?


    1. Must be a mistake, though I try to be careful. Apologies. Will review tomorrow (bed time here in India). If you can also point out the recipe/s where this has happened, I will be much obliged.


    2. Anonymous says:

      It says “guilt free” not gluten free!


      1. When it is gluten free, I mention it specifically. I do not mention gluten free even if there is a hint of gluten. Many of my recipes use asafoetida. Most brands of asafoetida contains a small amount of gluten.


  2. Henrietta says:

    Thank you. My mistake


  3. Mary Pat Allen says:

    Made this recipe just now! Very delicious. I put some steamed potatoes, cilantro, and a creamy tomato sauce inside and rolled it up!
    Thanks for the recipe!


    1. I am delighted to hear this.


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