, , , , , , ,

Moong daal chila

Today I am in need of words. To my surprise, more than often, they just flow out of my brains and I don’t need to do much mapping to fit them into sentences or para to get my point across. But today, na..the brain juices refuse to flow. How on earth was I dreaming to take a online or in-person creating writing class, (may be in near future, scratch that), when I can’t even motivate myself to write a few lines after all these weeks? Yeah, again, work, work and work is keeping my plate empty from all my creative side. After having said all that, and having started to communicate with you with all the gibberish above, I think I will help myself (finally) by getting started with some encouraging lines, here.. the ones I (always) so rely on to shake things up..

It takes courage to answer a call
It takes courage to give your all
It takes courage to risk your name
It takes courage to be true

Aah, definitely so true. In more than one way, this pithy saying has stood beside me all these years, in all my journeys. I won’t bore you by reiterating my life episodes. But I do find amazing is that “this” is still so immensely encouraging and applicable in all walks of my life. Even today. For instance, this time around, it pushes me to strive to remain healthy and fit – to participate in the offerings of this gorgeous weather and sunshine. As the spring is on its rebound, I find myself reciting these lines to persuade myself to get out of bed, to get in tune with myself, and my surroundings. And oh boy!, these lines definitely work out for me (if you know what I mean) Did these lines help you find meaning in your context?

For me that workout is biking.

I love a good ride. The fresh, soothing wind blowing in my face, a trail mix bag on my shoulder, a bottle of water secured in the cage, the Endomondo tracking my speed, hands on the handle bars, an open path, and a kind sun makes for an excellent companion on a long road. Even though at times, the destination may not be rewarding, the journey always is. And that is all that matters.

The spring green grass on the sides, cherry blossoms on the trees, a house with a bright yellow door, a rusted mailbox next to the stand, a broken street light, the towering 49ers stadium dwarfing the AMTRAK station, Open house sign on Eisenhower, is what I remember from my most recent ride to Alviso marina county park. I realize, I have probably sped fast the same area/street some uncountable number of times in last few years, in a car. But only recently, I started taking notice of smaller finer details of my neighborhood. All thanks to my bike, my ride. It has liberated me. Allowed me to stop and stare. Redefined what is leisure.

Undoubtedly, biking is just one of the perfect ways of celebrating solitude – something that is hard to find since we all are ALWAYS ON these days. So, be 20 or 2 miles, getting on the road helps. Helps to remain fit, reconnect with surroundings, and breathe slowly. And since, I am on this health lecturing mode, I want to share this Instagram picture that I snapped at Alviso. And yes, this is the same place, I had spoken about in here. The view is so rejuvenating that I keep going back, again and again.

And before I let you go, I would (as always) want to share with you this recipe of nice, savory, healthy moong dal chila or yellow gram lentils crepes. Often called as vegetable omelets, moong daal chila makes for an excellent breakfast item. Topped with a bit of oil, made with chilly, gingered moong batter, chila are known for excellent texture and softness, and can be decorated with chopped vegetables, avocados, paneer or cilantro. Or, you can also make it a full meal with a side of aloo matar rasa or just plain with mint chutneys. I find mine delicious with simple, off-the-shelf tomato ketchup. So long! Until next share. Have a fabulous week-end!

20131201-IMG_0007Bike ride along alviso

Yellow Moong daal

Grind daal into fluffy batter

Spread batter onto a pan to make a crepe

Stacked moong daal chilas aka crepes


  • Cooking Time: 15 min
  • Recipe Level:  Easy
  • Serves many
  • Source: Mom
  • Cuisine: North Indian
  • 2 cup moong daal
  • 2 tbsp oil for spreading
  • 1 small chunk of ginger
  • 2 small green chillies chopped
  • 2 tbsp of chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 0.5 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt (per taste)
    • Soak moong daal under water for about 2 hrs.
    • After 2 hrs, remove daal from all of the water and place in a mixer jar or grinder.
    • Add ginger chunk, roughly cut green chilly, salt in the grinder as well. Add a tbsp of water.
    • Grind the daal mix until it turns into a batter. Add one more tbsp of water if the batter is too thick. 
    • Pour the ready-ed batter in a bowl, and add pepper. 
    • Now, place a girdle or heavy bottomed pan on stove. Put it on high heat.
    • After a 4-5 min when pan is hot enough, use a round ladle, scoop the daal batter and spread it on the pan. Ensure a single layer of spreading.
    • As the spread chila is getting cooked, sprinkle oil on the sides. Add chopped cilantro, onion,  or paneer at this time. 
    • After a couple of minutes of spreading, use a spatula to flip over the chila if making a plain crepe. If using any fillings, refrain from flipping or heating on both sides.  
    • Now dish out the chila aka crepe using the spatula carefully and place on a plate.
    • Relish using ketchup, chutney or curry sides. Eat it warm. Additionally, slice some apples, bananas for making it a complete (and healthy) breakfast meal.

Accompany your breakfast with apple slices


Mad Notes:
  • Grind lentils enough to turn into a smooth but relatively thick batter. Start with less water to ensure that batter doesn’t become too flowing.
  • Ensure pan is right hot, else crepes won’t be crisp. And not too hot to blacken the crepes. Judge the right hotness of the pan when you see light heat smokes emerging from the pan.
  • Sprinkling little oil on the sides, allows to dish out the crepe easily using the spatula. Scrape or life the crepes using the spatula side to ensure it is ready to be dished out.
  • Add any chopped vegetables such as onions, green pepper, paneer or add paste of avocado if desired. Heat chila only on one side in this case.
  • You may choose to make besan aka ground flour chila or crepes similarly. The difference between moong and besan chila lies in its’ texture.