Friday, October 26, 2018

Sooji - Poha Cheela / Savory Semolina - Flattened Rice Pancakes

All devices with internet access in my home are usually filled with bookmarks, loads of them. Thanks to my craziness for collecting recipes and reading books, as my family points out. I usually bookmark recipes with an honest intent to attempt them sometime in the near future but it seldom happens. This recipe for instance has been on my 'to try' list for quite sometime now (maybe years) that I couldn't trace it back to the original blog from which I jotted this recipe down. 

I made some changes to the recipe when I tried them for our lunch yesterday with least expectations. I thought it was going to be another dosa variety but to my surprise, my husband was all praises for it and wanted to see these cheelas being made frequently. My husband exactly doesn't fall in the spinach loving category and I had second thoughts after adding it to the batter. I had earlier left out cabbage from the recipe keeping him in mind and started to wonder if I should have left spinach as well. It turns out that one cannot taste it if these pancakes are cooked really well on both sides. Finely chopped onions and green chillies would be a nice addition if preferring spicier version.The original author of this recipe have meant these cheelas as a kid friendly snack and so, she seems to have left them out. 

I found fine variety semolina is well suited here though it is optional. One can go with regular semolina/rava. Either thick or thin variety poha can be used. The thick variety poha available in south India needs more soaking than the one I get in USA. The batter can be used immediately to make cheela or can be prepared ahead and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Skip yogurt and use water instead if looking for a vegan version. Serve these cheelas or chillas with spicy accompaniments like chutney and sambhar to make it a wholesome and tasty meal.

Ingredients: (Yield 12)
1/2 cup flattened rice flakes / poha
3/4 cup semolina (Preferably fine variety.)
1/2 cup yogurt 
1/4 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh spinach / chopped frozen spinach
Salt to taste
Oil / Ghee to make cheela

* Rinse poha once with water and drain. Soak it in yogurt for about 5 minutes or until it softens. (I was busy with something else and by the time I took care of it, the poha had absorbed all the yogurt and was dry.)
* Add poha-yogurt mixture, semolina, salt and enough water to a blender and grind until the poha is ground fine. The batter should be of pouring consistency like pancakes and not too thinner. 
I had to add about 2 cups of water since my poha had absorbed all the yogurt. Buttermilk can be substituted for water.
(Or poha and yogurt can be ground smoothly first and then semolina, salt and water can be added to the blender and pulsed enough just to mix.)
* Add spinach and carrot to the batter and mix well. If using frozen spinach, thaw it before using.
* Heat a non stick tawa / flat pan / griddle and when it is hot enough, pour a ladle / 1/4 cup of batter at the center and spread it as much as possible. No need to make it thinner. Pour a few drops of oil around the edges, Cook until the bottom side browns and flip it. Cook until the bottom side is cooked. Transfer the cooked cheela onto a plate and repeat the steps of making cheela.
* Serve hot with chutney and sambhar.



  1. Excellent dosas Suma, love the beautiful texture and the ingredients that have been added. Even all my gadgets have these bookmarks and I too never get back to them, however, it looks so good when we glance at them right..

  2. Those chellas are instant breakfast option with not much of work.Looks delicious.

  3. Beautiful looking dosas, Suma. My husband doesn't care for poha as much as I do and I usually grind and use in many recipes. But these dosas are a fantastic find. The story of the Bookmarks is just the same at my place. The bookmarks have become so unmanageable that I now maintain a google document of all the bookmarks as a compromise :)

  4. I guess I better not mention about bookmarks. When I started off blogging, I used to take print out from my office, now wondering how many trees I have cut down because of that! I still have three files full of prints not touched since years... Now it is all over pinterest, and saved up as word docs in my pen drive... hehe... This dosa looks like something I can try for the girls for a quick dinner... pinning this up!

  5. Wow Suma, this is a great instant dosa recipe. Bookmarking it to try real soon. I think my family will enjoy these.

  6. Poha and Semolina Dosa!! Interesting Recipe! And about the Bookmarks, same for all foodie's I believe..

  7. Poha cheela looks so good. Quick dish to make for breakfast or after school snack.

  8. Thats a beautiful cheela, adding carrots and spinach makes it more interesting and healthy as well. Seriously an excellent dish to give a try without any fail.

  9. I have never tried this combination of Poha and Sophie in dosas. The addition of veggies make it so colourful and what a lovely way to start the day!

  10. cheela looks yummy, a great breakfast recipe.

  11. These chillas look so beautiful and colorful. Thesy will make an excellent breakfast or evening snack option

  12. this is definitely one I need to try and I have all of the ingredients!

  13. A great breakfast recipe. My son loves this recipe so much that he usually carries it in his tiffin whenever I prepare it in breakfast.